The ’00s: The Greatest Decade in Television
Here's my big fat essay on the decade in television, full of starry-eyed raving and theories that are mine. In it, I get to slather praise on my favorite medium — and to analyze the role of many of the TV creators who are my heroes.
I still remember the period, sometime around 2000, when The Sopranos was in its early days and I myself was pretty much constantly at the mercy of one Buffy-induced neurological event or another: let's call it "the year I became a crazy TV person." (There was an earlier age, at the beginning of The Simpsons, when the syndrome began, but it only took full flower in the last days of the '90s.) This essay allowed me to turn ten years of televisual madness into a fat argument for the medium's essential greatness — basically, it's everything I've wanted to say to some annoying cocktail-party person who bragged about not having a TV — and for this I am eternally grateful to New York Magazine.
I'm interested in other people's takes on the decade: Do you think I'm overstating my case? Did I miss any shows? (Big Love came to mind when the piece was going to press.) What show made you think of TV in a new way? And what comes next, in this age of corporate and technological flux, branded entertainment and the Madness That Is NBC?