Creator of 'The Sopranos' laments the 'funeral' of TV's modern 'Golden Age' of complex and engaging series

 January 16, 2024

Last week marked the 25th anniversary of what was arguably one of the best television series that ever aired, HBO's The Sopranos, but the show's creator is far from being in a celebratory mood.

The man who created "The Sopranos," David Chase, lamented in a recent interview that the "Golden Age" for modern TV that began around the same time as his famous series is now essentially over and finished, according to Breitbart.

What Chase was referencing, and what American viewers are seeing fewer and fewer of these days, are complex and original stories featuring flawed characters that require viewers to pay attention and think critically to fully understand and figure out the plot as it unfolds.

Premiere of "The Sopranos" marked the beginning of a new "Golden Age" for TV that is now over

In an interview last week with The Sunday Times, David Chase sat down and discussed "The Sopranos," which debuted on HBO in 1999 and included 86 episodes spread over six seasons, and was focused on the life of mafia boss Tony Soprano, played by the great late actor James Gandolfini.

"Yes, this is the 25th anniversary, so of course it’s a celebration," Chase said. "But perhaps we shouldn’t look at it like that. Maybe we should look at it like a funeral."

That "funeral" would be for complex series similar in nature to "The Sopranos" that aired during a roughly 25-year period that began in the late 1990s, such as "Boardwalk Empire," "Breaking Bad," "Game of Thrones," "Justified," "Mad Men," "The Shield," and "The Wire," to name just a few.

"That was a blip," he added of the so-called modern "Golden Age" of TV. "A 25-year blip. And to be clear, I’m not talking only about The Sopranos, but a lot of other hugely talented people out there who I feel increasingly bad for."

TV shows are now "dumbed down" by network executives

Chase recalled in that interview how his initial attempts to secure a deal on "The Sopranos" were rebuffed by all of the major broadcast and cable networks, save for HBO, which had no qualms about the proposed series' promise of cursing, sex, violence, and other things that all of the other networks had shied away from.

The show turned out to be a huge hit and established a sort of template that several other incredible TV series followed to their own success, but those days are now apparently over, as evidenced by Chase's struggle to find a home for a new series he is working on about a high-end prostitute who ends up in the witness protection program.

Chase asserted that, according to network executives, Americans no longer have the attention span or desire to focus on a "complex" series and prefer instead "dumbed down" shows that can be watched while also playing on their smartphones.

"So, it is a funeral," he said of the sort of engaging TV that he was once an integral part of. "Something is dying."

Will there ever be another "Golden Age" for TV?

To be sure, there was an initial "Golden Age" of American television that began in the late 1940s, right around the time that American family's began to purchase TVs for their homes in significant numbers, that lasted until around the end of the 1950s.

Television thereafter became rather uninspired and driven by advertisements, with some exceptions, but led to the resurgence of the "New Golden Age" that Chase referenced in his interview, only for that period to now seemingly come to an end.

Now, per Breitbart, gone are the complicated characters in engaging story arcs that require critical thinking on the part of the viewer, largely replaced by shallow and empty characters who espouse leftist virtues, are politically correct, and fit neatly into various diversity boxes, with simple storylines that demand little thought from distracted and unengaged viewers.

Latest News

© 2024 - Patriot News Alerts