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From the old days of The Brady Bunch and Bewitched to today’s ‘golden age of television’, where screenwriters and show-runners like Joss Whedon and Matthew Weiner have become household names – American television has long colonised our hearts and minds.
Vanity Fair recently declared television to have taken over from film as the place ‘where the action is, the addictions forged’. This century’s water-cooler viewing doubles as narrative art: The Wire, Breaking Bad, Girls, Game of Thrones.
What makes American television so good? Our qualified couch potatoes have the answers: producer Amanda Higgs, critic Debi Enker and commentator Jess McGuire.
Chaired by Michael Williams.
Jess McGuire is a writer, broadcaster, MC, film reviewer, trivia host and DJ based in Melbourne. She can be heard each week talking about music documentaries with Myf Warhurst on Double J, and discussing a variety of topics with Raf Epstein on 774 ABC Melbourne's Drive program. For many years, she was the editor of pop culture website Defamer Australia, and was a former co-host on Triple R’s Breakfasters.
Amanda Higgs is an independent TV producer with a 13-part series in production with the ABC. Amanda co-created and produced the first three series of the television drama The Secret Life of Us.
Debi Enker has been writing about film and television for more than 20 years – long enough to have written reviews of Mad Max 3 and Far East for the late and lamented film magazine, Cinema Papers.
Just a few short weeks from now, millions of Americans will go to the polls. It’s an election that will decide the future of a superpower – and a world – on the precipice of economic and environmental crisis. As the campaign heats up, we take a look at new-millennium America: its politics, its polarised media and its vibrant creative culture. And we ask: how long will America continue to dominate the global conversation?
Also included in this series is our Intelligence Squared debate, Western Civilisation is in Terminal Decline.