HBO’s hit crime drama The Sopranos is widely considered to be the greatest show of all time and was the start of the rejuvenation of television series. Television overall is better, owing  its succes to the research being put into its subject matter and its realistic writing. Another HBO sensation, The Wire,has been regarded by some critics as superior to The Sopranos. Better writing has allowed audiences to invest months and even years of their time into characters and storylines – something you cannot do with an average 90 – 120 minute movie. Series have gone as far as becoming part of our socialisation. Shows like Breaking Bad, Homeland, Game of Thrones and Scandal are regular conversation topics and shared interests among people. Further fuelling television’s fire is that the quality of shows is excellent across genres including comedy (Veep), drama (The Good Wife), period pieces (Downton Abbey) and science fiction (The Walking Dead), which means that there is something for almost everybody to sink their teeth into.

There is so much good television that viewers are now spoiled for choice. Television is of such a high standard that actors who traditionally only act in big budget movies have crossed over into this foray. Earlier this year Josh Hartnett returned to the screen in the horror series Penny Dreadful. Similarly, Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett star in the hugely successful American Horror Story franchise.

Series are no longer limited to television channels; on-demand internet streaming media such as Netflix provides entertainment with the benefit of being able to watch them at your convenience. Netflix released entire the entire season of Orange Is the New Black so that their patrons would not have to wait every seven days to watch their favourite shows – they could binge watch the entire season in a single sitting. Speaking to CBS News about Netflix releasing entire seasons of series, Kevin Spacey (who portrays the seductively corrupt Frank Underwood on House Of Cards) said, “It’s sort of almost treating a series in the way you treat a novel. You can pick it up and put it down when you want to, and I think audiences really dig that.”


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