"Yes, it’s true, we’re living in a time of short attention spans and reality-show screaming matches, exploited by a president who measures success through the lens of TV ratings," says Joanna Weiss. "But these televised hearings also come at a time when television has conditioned viewers to do much more than passively watch. The serial shows that fill the broadcast, cable and streaming channels—the phenomenon known among critics as Peak TV—have sprawling casts and rich dialogue, sympathetic antiheroes and complex storylines. They actively train viewers in feats of unprecedented engagement, driving a passionate fan ecosystem online, promising big payoffs if everyone can just sit through the slow parts. So maybe TV hasn’t ruined us for politics, after all. Maybe, instead, it’s been preparing us for precisely this moment. That may even offer one explanation for why Trump supporters are likely to stick with him through the coming weeks: Nobody ends up winning our sympathy more than a Walter White or a Don Draper."