Saturday, September 21, 2013

One Hour Drama as Masterpiece

The in fashion art form has changed over centuries of cultural evolution. Paintings and poetry, literature and the black and white film. The television was always cast aside. Remove your television from your house. It will dim your mind and square your eyes. Replace that 50 inch flat screen with a Da Vinci print and you will be better for it. 

This logic will likely make you an expert on every aspect of that print. Spend 4 hours watching that painting a day and you will either become an art buff and surround your home with more or you will do what I would do in the generation of screens, and throw the painting in the trash and go and buy a 60 inch flat screen. 

Television had been underrated as an art form for years. Quality shows started to explode into the forefront of intellectual culture in the 1980's and 90's. The one hour drama is the format in the spotlight. Without it the Emmy's on Sunday would be missing out on the most intriguing programming we have ever seen.


Among the honoured on Sunday will be the late James Gandolfini. He is credited by many as the creator of the 'difficult man'. He is so morally absent as Tony Soprano in his senseless and violent and criminal tendencies that you should hate him. But you don't, you don't hate him because his portrayal of Tony was not one sided, he showed the human side of a criminal mastermind. He showed the emotional depth that creates a more than three dimensional idea of the person on screen. The Soprano's was the first truly great one hour drama. It ushered in the era in which we currently reside. We are surrounded by superb one hour dramas like Mad Men, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and plenty of others.We are surrounded by Don Draper, Dexter Morgan, Walter White, Carrie Mathison, Nucky Thompson and who ever Game of Thrones want to let live long enough to gain notoriety. Carrie Mathison is played by Claire Danes, she is taking control quickly as a powerful force in one hour television. Bucking the stereotype of the male lead in dramatised television and creating her own archetype, the difficult woman.


These characters are the new classic, the new wave dramatists, archetypical difficult men. Soprano was the first truly great one. Before you watch the Emmy's on Sunday you should consider this. Of all the shows I love, how many of them are true masterpieces? The one hour drama is the artistic masterpiece of the time. Never has television been as good as it is now. Appreciate the time period in which we are in. Enjoy the Emmys.

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