When TV Became Art

11 Dec

Sticking to the theme of the post below, the always brilliant Emily Nussbaum has a nice piece in the latest issue of New York Magazine that I just had to highlight. Her article, When TV Became Art, catalogues the rise of complex, issue-based, hard-hitting TV narrative in our culutral realm. As a fan of The Soprano’s, The Wire, Mad Men et al, this makes for a great read:

As the sixties are to music and the seventies to movies, the aughts—which produced the best and worst shows in history—were to TV. It was a period of exhilarating craftsmanship and formal experimentation, accompanied by spurts of anxious grandiosity…a new generation of prickly, idiosyncratic, egotistical TV auteurs were starting to shove up against the limits of their medium, stripping apart genres like the sitcom and the cop show, developing iconic roles for actors…On pay channels, especially HBO, it was a genuine renaissance: Show-runners like David Chase and Alan Ball and David Milch and Michael Patrick King (and his Sex and the City writers) reveled in cable’s freedom, exploring adult themes in shocking, sometimes difficult ways.

Nussbaum goes on to pose an interesting argument for the future delivery of TV entertainment, and suggests that “[TV show] creators might sell directly to fans, enabling indie TV to bloom on the Internet.”

Read the full article here.

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