Television dramas have changed since the turn of the 21st century—for the good, many would say, as a result of changes in technology, the rise of cable networks, and increased creative freedom. This book approaches the new golden age of television dramas by examining the programs that define the first 15 years of the new century through their complex narratives, high production value, star power, popularity, and enthusiastic fan culture.
After an introduction that sets the stage for the book’s content, thematic sections present concise chapters that explore key connections between television dramas and elements of 21st-century culture. The authors explore Downton Abbey as a distraction from contemporary class struggles, patriarchy and the past in Game of Thrones and Mad Men, and portrayals of the “dark hero protagonist” in The Sopranos, Dexter, and Breaking Bad, as a few examples of the book’s coverage. With its multidisciplinary perspectives on a variety of themes—terrorism, race/class/gender, family dynamics, and sociopolitical and socioeconomic topics— this book will be relevant across the social sciences and cultural and media studies courses.
- Identifies and explores connections between critically acclaimed television dramas and real life in the 21st century
- Documents the qualities of television drama series since the turn of the 21st century in the latest era in television that some refer to as the "third golden age of television"
- Offers accessible analysis of popular and current television dramas relevant to educators and students in the fields of media studies, television, and popular culture as well as anyone who enjoys modern television drama