Television's Golden Age is No Threat to Hollywood – At Least Not Yet


The testosterone comes off Brett Martin's new book, Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution, like wafts of Brut. A short, stocky account of the rise of such shows as The Sopranos, The Wire, The Breaking Bad, Mad Men, it comes with the muscular thesis that cable TV has "become the significant American art form of the first decade of the 21st century, the equivalent of what the films of Scorsese, Altman, Coppola, and others had been to the 1970s or the novels of Updike, Roth. And Mailer had been to the 1960s." You see? Now that's what I call a thesis: beefy with name-drops, and a cultural frame of reference that could stun a herd of bison at 30 paces.

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