The better HBO dramas (The Wire, Carnivale, Six Feet Under) also use the expanded possibilities to good advantage (insert past tense for the now-canceled Carnivale and ended SFU.)I'm not sure if this is the right to put this, but I've been watching The Sopranos on DVD recently (I'm about halfway through season 3 right now) and what really strikes/interests me about the show is how cinematic it is. I don't just mean this in an aesthetic sense, but also in the sense of how The Sopranos has actually cinematic poetry and meaning behind it. When I started the show I was expecting it to be nothing more than a violent Mafia soap opera but found it to be so much more (in dealing with the issues of family, and especially Tony's issues of masculinity).
But what struck me most about watching the Sopranos is how it uses Television as a medium. It seems equivalent to a "cinematic novel" where it is painting with a much larger canvas. It struck me how television could be used as an artistic medium but rarely is because of the system it's trapped in. What do other people think about television as an artisitic medium and or how it could be used, or perhaps even just their comments/criticisms on The Sopranos in general. I'm not exactly sure I framed any sort of definitive question. But feel free to add any sort of comments if you like
Initially, Deadwood seemed to be on the same road, but it really stagnated in S2 andf it's starting to be more and more like the static and repetitive latter day NYPD Blue thanks to David Milch's overuse of his tropes (like the pseudo-Mamet dialogue which just blew up into an out of control mess this last season.)