Television’s New Golden Age
THE SOURCE: “Storied TV: Cable Is the New Novel” by Thomas Doherty, in The Chronicle Review, Sept. 21, 2012.
A random episode of the multiseason AMC drama Mad Men or HBO medieval fantasy Game of Thrones is not likely to enlighten a first-time viewer. What’s this allusion to adman Don Draper’s secret past? Who rules the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros? Welcome to the world of “Arc TV,” Thomas Doherty’s name for a new breed of television shows that throw old conventions out the window. Tidy endings to every episode and static characters are out. Long arcs of character and plot development filmed in big-ticket productions are in.
Doherty, chair of American studies at Brandeis...