We're living in a great time for television.
If this were politics, and someone where to stand up and shout about how great everything is today, a vocal group of white-haired men would rise up to shout the notion down and remind the speaker about how great things used to be. But this isn't politics, and most cultural critics agree that we're experiencing a new golden age or revolutionary era for TV. The only thing up for debate is what to call it.
But why has there been so little argument against this being the greatest moment in television history? Why do so many lists of the greatest television shows of all time cull three-quarters of their honorees from the post-Sopranos era? Why now?
As with any revolutionary moment in art (or any revolutionary moment of any kind, really), there are a number of cultural factors that have converged to bring about this apex. The tools used to create and promote the medium have changed dramatically in recent years. Other art forms have suffered setbacks, setting the stage for television to step into the void. Public perception of the form has shifted and a new crop of hungry young artists are growing up talking about becoming showrunners when ten years ago most people didn't even know the position existed. Television, a form that was once a critical red-headed step child, is laying claim to an ever growing share of cultural capital.
It's hard to argue that we aren't living in the best times television has ever seen. Let's take a look at why television is better now than ever before.
Written by Brenden Gallagher (@muddycreekU)