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To read traditional newspapers or to visit online sources of opinion is to lately be inundated with commentary about HBO’s just concluded drama/comedy (?) Succession. Viewers of it just can’t seem to let go, including those like SpliceToday’s Nicky Smith who want to let go. Though Smith is glad it’s over so that he “won’t ‘have to watch’ anymore,” he (like so many others) concludes that Succession “is one of the most consistently strong television shows of the last 25 years.”

In short, the endless pre and post-mortems on Succession speak to how well regarded it is. And this says a lot. Succession stands out at a time when quality television is abundant and always available. No taping, no DVRing, and most often no waiting. We can have whatever we want when we want it, only for voluminous sources of television content to provide us more and more of what we want but can’t get to. The ‘Peak TV’ in the title is a compliment. And it’s indicative of much more than there being lots of good television to watch.

To see why, readers might travel back in time to their childhoods. Particularly for readers 40 and up, more than a few remember the routine lament of the network television age: TV was sapping the minds, imagination and creativity of young people. Television was making mush of our brains if the experts were to be believed. Self-proclaimed “good parents” limited television time with an eye making sure their perfect children actually imagined stories and images as opposed to having them imagined for them.

Ok, but “Peak TV” mocks the mindless pessimism of the past. The very generations that grew up transfixed by television weren’t weakened by it as much as their fecund minds vastly improved on the quality of shows from their own childhoods. So good is television today that “movie star” is no longer a prestige designation, or the proverbial “varsity” to the “junior varsity” that is or was television. The best produced entertainment is episodic, and can be consumed at home. Movies and the movie theaters that house them must increasingly do backflips to lure viewers into theaters.

Speaking of movies, one of the greatest filmmakers of modern times is Quentin Tarantino. He didn’t learn his craft at NYU or USC film school, rather he learned it at a movie rental store. Remember those? Tarantino learned by watching, contrary once again to expert opinion of old that watching caused the brain to atrophy.

Please keep all of this in mind as the nailbiters of today wring their hands about the internet and social media. According to NYU professor Jonathan Haidt, “we have a whole generation that’s doing terribly.” Evidently the source of all this anxiety, depression and self-hate is the iPhone and its myriad uses. And while misguided-by-experts parents of the past simply limited TV time, Haidt doesn’t trust parents. He wants laws passed.

Oh well, readers can rest assured that much like the alarmism that prevailed during their childhoods only to die of reality, this too will pass. Progress doesn’t harm us or weaken us, rather it improves us. Kids of today lucky enough to have – gasp – “screen time” and other allegedly hurtful pleasures of modern technology won’t be rendered catatonic and anti-social by it, rather their time spent with it will give them ideas on how to improve it.

Imagine that. Today’s youth improving the genius of the present much as the young of the network television era turned TV into television. This is the reality that unoriginal minds of experts can’t grasp. Maybe they should have more screen time. 

John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets, Vice President at FreedomWorks, a senior fellow at the Market Institute, and a senior economic adviser to Applied Finance Advisors (www.appliedfinance.com). His latest book is The Money Confusion: How Illiteracy About Currencies and Inflation Sets the Stage For the Crypto Revolution.

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