Remember the whole “golden age” of TV thing?
It most likely kicked off with The Sopranos in 1999, but it really got rolling with shows like The Wire, Lost and Deadwood in the mid-2000s. Big-time productions that could match Hollywood in terms of budget and scale.
But that was just the beginning. TV kept steamrolling. Toward the end of the decade it was Breaking Bad and Mad Men, later it was Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Eventually, the idea that television played second fiddle to the cinematic experience began to erode and collapse.
Television was king.
But the golden age of TV never really ended. It just kept going to the point when the phrase golden age stopped making sense. “Prestige TV,” or whatever you want to call it, was just the new normal: content that pushed the boundaries of what was possible. New ideas, great writing, world-class performances. This quality is baseline now. There are fully grown adults who have literally zero understanding of what it was like to scramble for scraps via shows like Twin Peaks or The X-Files.
For the last 20 years we’ve been swamped with incredible television. Drowning in it.