"Collectively, 2019’s graduating class represents some of the most exciting fruits of the fertile valley between two distinct periods," says Alison Herman. "On one side lies TV’s loosely defined Golden Age (or Third Golden Age, depending on the historical framing), the imperfect yet sticky term for the stretch from the late 1990s to the early 2010s that saw an explosion in noteworthy, resonant series, many of them on subscription cable networks. On the other lies the Streaming Wars, the imperfect yet sticky term for the time when the entertainment conglomerates and tech giants started to join in on the resulting gold rush with owned-and-operated services of their own. Not that the mid-2010s were exactly free of corporate influence; it takes a tremendous amount of capital to run a TV network, meaning the dynamic between major ones will never be as simple as scrappy indies versus bloated behemoths. Still, there’s a notable gear shift between HBO and HBO Max, FX and the Disney+-Hulu-ESPN+ bundle, Netflix as vanguard and Netflix as incumbent."