The Definitive Show of the Decade?

Anthony Strand tries to identify the definitive TV drama of the ’00s — not necessarily the best, just the one that best embodies all the TV trends we’ve been seeing in this almost-ended decade: ambiguity, continuity, and other elements that don’t rhyme. His choice is Angel, and his reasons are pretty convincing.

Of course Angel didn’t actually start in the ’00s. But its first season, in 1999-00, was more of a straight-ahead episodic show with some continuing storylines (and of course, being me, I kind of liked it better that way), so in its eventual development into a show where new viewers can’t have any idea what’s going on, who half the characters are, or even where the show takes place, it mirrors the development of all of TV in the transition from the ’90s to the ’00s.

The question then becomes, what shows that are starting late in this decade will develop into templates for the shows of the next decade?

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