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Televisionation: Screen Culture: Matt Brennan, Television Editor at the LA Times

September 27, 2021

ITVT is pleased to present the latest episode of Televisionation: Screen Culture, our new video series exploring the symbiotic relationship between culture and filmed content—television, streaming, and cinema. Hosted by fandom expert Lisa CrawfordScreen Culture was created for thoughtful discussions about the impact of premium filmed content on today’s society.
Matt Brennan is Senior Editor for Television and Pop Culture at the Los Angeles Times. Before joining the Times as television editor, Matt served as Paste Magazine’s TV editor. His writing has also appeared in Indiewire, Slate, and numerous other publications. Born in the Boston area, educated at USC and an adoptive New Orleanian for nearly 10 years, he currently resides in Los Angeles. Matt can be found on Twitter as @thefilmgoer, and recently spearheaded the launch of the LA Times’ Screen Gab newsletter.
In this episode of Screen Culture, Matt shares the realities of a career in entertainment journalism, his focus on covering television not solely as a product or “artifact” but instead as “the conversation around the artifacts,” and his belief that we’re now in a “Gilded Age” of television.
Expressing his view that the widely regarded “Golden Age” of television in the aughts was more an “aesthetic movement” than time period, Matt compares the era of Don Draper and Walter White against the large ensembles of Succession and The Crown. He envisions today’s “Gilded Age” of TV content as one where forms—drama and comedy—are melding together and shows more closely reflect contemporary societal issues. In a brief discussion of an essay by critic James Wolcott, Matt suggests that we must adapt further to recognize and respond to TV’s cultural dominance and the way it’s being consumed and understood.
Matt and Lisa also cover:
  • The need for accurate and effective depictions of the working class on TV;
  • The importance of greater diversity and representation in writers’ rooms;
  • The underrated status of The Americans, and Matt’s ongoing love for The Good Fight as his “favorite show on TV right now.”

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