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Aristocracy seems to be the successor to Peak TV's "Difficult Men" era

  • Noting that Succession and Game of Thrones succeeded The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, Aaron Bady says it's "striking how many dramas of dynastic succession seem to be soaking up the culture, how many shows not only have a distinct apathy about change — much less progress — but seem actively hostile to the idea of history itself. In place of all of those slow-motion collapses of American empire that grabbed onto the zeitgeist in the early 2000s, what has followed after the end of masculine history turns out to be endless, ahistorical dramas about power rearranging itself ... without ever changing. Succession is the obvious example, a comedy about superwealth that has no characters other than the superwealthy and no narrative principle other than proximity to superwealth. But it's only the best example: Dynasty has been rebooted, Arrested Development and Downton Abbey came back, Empire continues, and the Righteous Gemstones just completed its first season of what Danny McBride has promised to be an 'epic, sprawling tale, like the f---ing Thorn Birds or something.' Meanwhile, Game of Thrones summed up the whole thing when a council of (mostly) nonentities who inherited their positions laugh at the idea of democracy and give the throne to a scion of wealth whose story they inexplicably like; after all of that tragedy and suffering and death, we discover, after fetishizing the Iron Throne and the winter apocalypse and the 'wars to come,' it turns out that nothing has changed and pointless aristocratic BS will just continue, endlessly, forever."

    TOPICS: Succession, HBO, Dynasty (2017 series), Empire, Game of Thrones, The Righteous Gemstones, Peak TV