The golden age of TV

We’ve been watching the real golden age of TV lately on HBO.

This week’s episode of Six Feet Under was a wonderful exploration of the pain that death not only causes but exposes in a family when we leave them behind.

In The Times, Virginia Heffernan tried too hard, as she does, to intellectualize her reaction to it. I’m not sure whether this is an attempt to raise up the lowly arts of TV and TV criticism or to give TV credit for being more than some think it is.

In choosing among these idioms of mourning, Lionel Trilling’s great series of lectures, “Sincerity and Authenticity,” published under that title in 1972, comes to mind. Sincerity – what Trilling calls “congruence between avowal and actual feeling”- once seemed (to the Romantic poets, x say) like an exalted state of existence that could be achieved only with conscientious attention to the heart.

And what dorm do you live in?

She goes on:

But the ideal of sincerity has long ago been devalued, rendered commercial or quaint. Today, for example, it is associated with Coldplay, mewling God-and-country Republicans and weepie cable-television dramas like “Six Feet Under” that appeal mostly to women and gay men.

Heffernan gives sincerity one star.

Oh, well, I liked it.

I also liked Entourage these last two weeks, especially in its skewering of the potential for egotistical corruption in citizens’ media, mocking an online movie blogger (a la Ain’t It Cool News) as a power-hungry star-f’er.

The MT Law Blog wonders why I’m not enraged. Enraged? Hell, no, I’m entertained.

I only wish that The Comeback was a tenth as good as these two have turned out to be. It is as cringeworthy as they are memorable.