“The popular art of one era is often the high art of the next,” wrote the Greek-American literary scholar Alexander Nehamas not so long ago in defense of television, drawing a parallel with Plato’s scorn of Ancient Greek drama.1 TV has long been considered the lesser counterpart to cinema: the place to go in the industry if you couldn’t make it into film. For a very long time it was also considered a subject not worthy of academic study. Not so today. With television drama achieving both popular and critical acclaim, it would seem that TV is finally going through its high art era, and that it has emerged from cinema’s shadow for good.
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