Balloon debate: what's the best ever box-set?

Saturday 22 October, 16.00 - 17.15 , Conservatory Culture Wars

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The political upheaval in the UK over the past few months has had commentators and politicians alike making comparison to the wildly popular fantasy drama Game of Thrones. The rise of Donald Trump, meanwhile, has inspired as many quotes from The West Wing and House of Cards as from Trump’s own The Apprentice. In the much-heralded golden age of television, sprawling dramas packaged in literal or figurative ‘box sets’ have come to dominate our cultural and intellectual discussions. Meanwhile, the viewing appetite for foreign language programming - covering everything from European noir to Scandinavian politics – now stretches beyond the wildest dreams of world cinema

A common view is that it was HBO’s mafia drama The Sopranos that launched the renaissance of TV drama, although some would claim that comedy pioneered the way, with the likes of Seinfeld developing a word-of-mouth popularity via VHS never matched by their live TV ratings. Critics regularly hail the highly-rated cop show The Wire as the moment when ‘television could be taken seriously as art’ although fans of the 1980s German family saga Heimat may argue it got there first. For some there is not even a clear definition: should Friends qualify but not Das Boot? Do Breaking Bad or Orange Is The New Black have more to say about crime and punishment than Making A Murderer? Would we hold the outlandish conspiracies of The Killing or The Bridge in the same regard if they were made with British accents? Is Fargo more satisfying as amorphous serial or tightly-made feature? Did anyone really understand Lost?

Join our panel of intrepid balloonists as they fight for their survival and try to persuade you of the greatest box set of them all.