BOARDWALK PLEASINGNESS / THE HOME OF LONG-FORM STORYTELLING

Posted by @ 11:35 am on March 17th, 2010

And here’s the glorious second, extended trailer.  I may be more excited to see this than I am to see almost anything else on the horizon.

I don’t think it’s at all a stretch to argue that since the early part of the past decade, dramatic television has been the healthiest artistic medium around.

This is because the advent of DVD allowed the form to breathe.  Once it was no longer necessary for shows to make episodes be mostly self-contained (because with DVD viewers could get caught up on the story later, at their leisure, and appreciate an enormously complex story in its totally rather than in glimpses through the interstices of a rigid schedule), artists who wanted to tell evolving and sophisticated stories could use the medium to do things that films simply can’t, and that novels can do but often don’t. Obligatory namechecks to The Sopranos, The Shield, Mad Men, The Wire (overrated in my opinion, but still remarkable), Lost, Deadwood, Arrested Development

And look what’s coming from HBO alone: Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Luck, Treme.  I have extremely high expectations for at least three of those, and one may pleasantly surprise me.

With the epic failure of the Jay Leno experiment, five hours of TV just opened up for scripted prime-time TV.  That’s potentially a good thing.  The network may very well fill those hours with yak shit–but there’s something in the air right now that is hospitable to creative intelligence and the construction of rich, elaborate narrative.

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