Innovative television rules my generation

Illustration by Miles Huffman

Three years into college and three of the most memorable television series of my generation have risen to popularity: “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones” and “House of Cards.”

Today’s students don’t have to be television enthusiasts to appreciate what it has to offer. With the current caliber of shows available on Netflix, HBO and live television, the life of a couch potato has never been better.

Dramas like “Mad Men,” where the climax of an episode is a business meeting, demonstrate how good writing and character development, not 45 minutes of action, are the foundation of shows that last seven seasons.

And the tube has been around so long that the classic high school storylines that fueled vintage fan favorites such as “Saved By the Bell” and “Boy Meets World” are cliche now. “CSI” can only make a series for so many cities, and Charlie Sheen can only star in so many sitcoms.

So producers are stepping it up.

Today, original plots, quality writing and modern technology are driving the top television series.

Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer who partners up with his ex-student in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Together they become drug lords who cook and sell methamphetamine.

My freshman year, 2013, the season finale of “Breaking Bad” affected dormitories like a plague. Most students were incapable of pulling themselves away. Teachers received emails that students were ill, when in reality they were still in pajamas watching Malcolm’s dad cook crystal meth.

My sophomore year, 2014, “Game of Thrones” had become a huge presence in pop culture as Jon Snow memes overwhelmed social media.

Because of the epic theme song that appropriately resembles Risk (the board game), the steamy sex scenes that are borderline pornographic, and the fact that even the good guys die, “Game of Thrones” is pushing the limits of modern television. My roommates and I had to sacrifice winter to catch up with one of HBO’s hottest shows.

And just as I am thinking Americans couldn’t get anymore into politics, Netflix has viewers upright in their beds at night watching “House of Cards.”

“Well I just finished #houseofcardsseason3 and I must say this show is just beginning #thelimitsofpower,” Chico State graduate Jack Lincoln recently tweeted from Washington, D.C.

From unexpected murders to bizarre marriage partnerships to extremely liberal sex scenes, constant surprises in the White House keep fans on edge.

As a student, I have been spoiled watching quality television as a reward at the end of school nights. The question is, what show will cause me to lose sleep as a senior?

Miles Inserra can be reached at [email protected] or @m_inserra on Twitter.