I ask the above question at least halfway in earnest, and also as an excuse to write about Mad Men. (The season premiere has been delayed by contract disputes, so I have to get my fix somehow.)
Mad Men is the Russian novel of TV shows. Its power derives partly from the dramatization of large-scale historical events, but mainly from the slow accumulation of meticulous slice-of-life vignettes. It’s paced unevenly and plotted like a soap opera, but the depth of its character studies and the quality of its dialogue surpass anything else on television. Austin Allen/Big Think.
Image by AMCTV.