“Thirtysomething,” the preeminent 1980s show about whiny soul-searching baby boomers, comes out on DVD this week, and a writer at Newsday had the insane gumption to say that it influenced shows like “The Wire” and “Mad Men.” Put in your dentist-prescribed mouth guard, because you’re about to grit your teeth.
“Lost” owes a debt to “thirtysomething.” So does “Mad Men.” “Six Feet Under.”[...]
That’s quite an impact for a four-season drama of people in their 30s sitting around talking… Name an aspect of daily life, and the show’s [characters] got introspective over it. Forsaking detached TV tradition, they bared their souls to viewers, who often embraced this intimate portrayal of their own angst (or rolled their eyes at its “me decade” self-absorption).
“If you look at the work being done on ‘Mad Men,’ ‘The Wire,’ shows that are unique to the voice of the creator,” [producer Ed] Zwick said by phone, “shows that have their own sensibility, shows that are given license to do it as they see fit, I think those are our spiritual descendants.”
Yeah, go ahead and tell that to David Simon. Tell him that “The Wire” — a gritty urban tale that tackled complex story lines and characters across the spectrum of a city’s drug dealers, cops, politicians, journalists, teachers, and union workers — is a f-cking spiritual descendant of f-cking “thirtysomething.” Let me know how that goes.
I guess it’s fitting. The self-important show about whiny baby boomers thinks it’s more influential than it really is.
I want more like this!
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