Conventions Television

NYCC 2021: The Shows That Changed the Way We Watch TV

During the New York Comic Con 2021, there was a great, lively panel: The Shows That Changed the Way We Watch TV. 


Moderated by Rotten Tomatoes and with panelists, Anthony Alicea, Aramide Tinubu, Eric Kohm, Joel Meares, Kimberly Potts-Muraro and Mark Ellis, with audience participation discuss the most influential and totally bingeable series of all time. 


It begins with asking for what is the one show that changed television the most. This doesn’t mean it is the panelist’s favorite show but it has to have changed how we watch and how stories are told on television. 


The first mentioned was The Wire because it showed black characters and not just the bad guys, the white cops were not  the perfect heros and portrays an American system that no longer works. It did not win any awards and didn’t get a lot of views but it has withstood the test of time. 


Saturday Night Live came next because it is a commentary reflecting Americans in a positive and negative way and it shows and becomes a part of our history. Plus it brought us huge stars (Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, to name a few) and spin-off films that also have also been a huge impact. 

“(SNL) is not always good but it’s always important.” 


Lost was mentioned because it showed that mystery was a key element in storytelling. However, as the creators eventually learned for the future shows, you need to know where the story is going, not just go with the flow.

Star Trek changed the game and laid the ground for how the game is changing. It is also often referred to as breaking down racial barriers and opened the doors for more diverse storytelling. 


Then the panelists had to discuss, which is more influential? 

Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead
Family Guy or The Simpsons
The Sopranos 
or Breaking Bad


The Walking Dead changed the zombie niche genre forever but Game of Thrones brought so many elements of a story together. The Sopranos helped bring us the golden age of television but Breaking Bad made the audience root for an antagonist like never before. 


These were not easy to decide on and the audience were vocal when they agreed or disagreed. You can’t help it but it showed that television has a huge part of our lives and of our history. So tell us, what do you think is the most influential, most important tv show of all time? 

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