Quality Show Fatigue
Sternbergh on Quality Show Fatigue: "Maybe the furor around shows like Mad Men is not the product of some rampant mass hysteria. Maybe it's the expression of a yearning for the last remnant of the traditional viewing experience we once shared. Long gone are the days when we would all sit down on Thursday at 10 to watch L.A. Law. So instead, to retain some sense of communal experience, we cling culturally to a single show. We don't want to admit we're splitting off in a million directions; we want to believe that all our eyes still occasionally turn in the same direction. (For the past year, the election campaign served this purpose -- the one great show we all tuned into.) So it doesn't even matter that not many people, relatively, are actually watching Mad Men. What matters is that everyone's talking about it."