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New Television's New Families

By Martin Shuster/Aeon

Our present, many have noted, is a new golden age of television, defined by the rise of a range of sophisticated, creative and powerful serial shows.

We know that, time and again in history, forms of art arise to meet the demands of even the most profound and unsettling changes in the world.

Several centuries ago, it was the novel and its alleged ability to engage with what the Hungarian philosopher György Lukács in 1914 termed our "transcendental homelessness."

After that came film, and - as thinkers from Walter Benjamin to Robert Warshow noted - its ability to give some order, at least for a couple of hours, to our otherwise discordant experience.

"All care about movies, await them, respond to them, remember them, talk about them, hate some of them, are grateful for some of them," is how the philosopher Stanley Cavell put it in The World Viewed.

Moving images, in other words, have an inherent egalitarian quality; you need little more than an ability to acknowledge motion and sound to appreciate them.

To what moment does the rise of television respond? And what is the significance of this medium?

Above all, new television responds to an omnipresent loss of normative authority, of a robust failure of humans to feel at home in their world; to trust their governments, their leaders, their role models, their traditions and, ultimately, even their senses.

New television confronts this state of affairs artistically and politically, presenting - like film - some order to such a world, but over weeks and months and years.

Continue reading "New Television's New Families" »
Posted on May 16, 2018
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New Television's New Families

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Within these shows, the family emerges as the sole site where normative authority still exists; it is the only motivation that still makes any sense.

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MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - New Television's New Families.
POLITICS - Thousands Illegally Denied Health Coverage In Illinois.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Much Ado About Machado.

BOOKS - Chicago Zine Fest Recap.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Charles White Retrospective.


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