COOL TV VOL 80 – The Golden Age Part 1



  • Breaking Bad
  • Game of Thrones
  • Mad Men
  • Sex and The City
  • The Sopranos

Fashion Industry Broadcast is proud to present our first edition in our “Cool TV” book series. In this edition, we look at 5 of the most groundbreaking TV Series of the last 50 years. The Sopranos, Mad Men, Sex in the City, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. A collection that heralded the new Golden Age of Television.

It’s not the first Golden Age, but it is the best. The third Golden Age began at the onset of the new millennium, following on from the original era which is recorded as beginning in 1947 and lasting until 1960. It was characterised by the increased availability of cultural offerings in a time when channels were limited and audiences were searching for variety.

After grittier dramas pervaded screens in the form of NYPD Blue, shows like Oz were transforming the way people perceived stories on the small screen. HBO, unburdened by the restraints of advertising restrictions, were free to make good on their slogan of “It’s not TV” with darker and more honest explorations of the human condition.
But the doors blew wide open with The Sopranos. The story of torturously complicated mob boss Tony Soprano expanded the nature of stories that could be told on television: rich, complex characters that existed solely within shades of grey, an echo of our real world fallibility. The Sopranos dealt with relatable concerns of family, profession, isolation, and helplessness: all through the prism of a ruthless and violent world of crime.

People quickly became hooked. More stories began to appear that redefined the way narratives that could be told on television: shows like Deadwood, The Wire, The Shield and Six Feet Under, radically different tales that explored the frailty of humanity, concepts that stretched back to the godly fables of Ancient Greece.
The Golden Age was darker than any previous iteration of television. Hardly a surprise, considering many of these acclaimed shows were born in the aftermath of the Twin Towers attack. All great stories hold a mirror to society, a means of exploring societal and cultural experiences and what it means to be human. In the wake of a darker and more fearful society, we became exposed to darker and more fearsome characters – and if not darker, then certainly we were treated to more complex characters in the face of an increasingly complex world. Never before had television been so immersive or relatable. Thus, the huge increase in popularity. It went from being considered as a form of entertainment to pass the time, to an intense passion that consumed audiences in a similar manner to the artists who created it.

The new Golden Age of Television is more than just entertainment. It’s truly a new and dynamic art form.