|By Euan Wilson and Institute Staff | Excerpted from the October 2012 Socionomist
Originally published under the titles “A ‘Falling Transition’ is Creating Television’s Golden Age” and “Timing is Everything: Why Homeland is Now ‘The Best Show on TV'”
[Ed.: In these two concise articles, socionomist Euan Wilson explains that a transitioning social mood is producing popular TV shows that feature innovative plots, complex themes and morally compromised protagonists.
Here is an excerpt of Wilson’s October 2012 articles:]
Breaking Bad, Homeland, and Mad Men Grip Viewers With Complex Themes
The current “falling transition” in social mood makes for strong, complex cross-currents of artistic expression throughout society, including on television.
A falling transition occurs just after an extreme in positive social mood. The sweet spot for this kind of creativity seems to come after the initial setback of the new bear market bottoms and during the first major stock market rally that follows (wave B in the Elliott wave model). The decline creates a newly introspective frame of mind, and the advance provides the mental energy to put that introspection to work.
This year’s top shows have similarities to popular rock music in 1967-1968. Then, a falling transition produced artistic music, with similarly complex influences and innovative arrangements. Bright “psychedelic” lights accompanied moody lyrics. Bands epitomizing the style included The Beatles, Big Brother, Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago Transit Authority, Cold Blood, Cream, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana.
This time around, the same type of mood transition is leading to similarly layered TV drama. Today’s heroes are actually antiheroes: conflicted, complex and compromising, yet viewers cheer for them. Women, as predicted in Robert Prechter’s 1985 report Popular Culture and the Stock Market (1985), are taking on strong, central roles of leadership. Villains are becoming sympathetic, to a degree. And moral ambiguity abounds.
… Let’s take a quick look at the socionomic aspects of the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy nominees for 2012. In alphabetical order, the shows are: Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downtown Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland and Mad Men.
• Boardwalk Empire is in front of the current trend in being very dark and offering little or no redemption…. In the end, it’s a show about crime—and not in the Law and Order sense, because there’s neither law nor order in Empire. Everybody is a bad guy, and as such the show is more emblematic of a peak negative mood than it is of a falling transition. Look for more shows of this ilk as we near a mood nadir….
In the remainder of the two articles, author Euan Wilson examines the other Outstanding Drama TV Series Nominees that are benefiting from the falling transition in social mood, including Breaking Bad, Downtown Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, and Mad Men. His in-depth study of the winning TV show Homeland – with its complex portrayal of the War on Terror – exemplifies the cultural effects of falling transitions. Bonus: An in-depth video interview with the Director of the Socionomics Institute in which Wilson further explains his findings.
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