Binge watching: From Twin Peaks to House of Cards: television as an art formTheir names are Walter White, Tony Soprano, and Don Draper, and they are the heroes of a new age of entertainment. In the last decade, shows like Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, and Mad Men have toppled cinema from its leading position in the universe of popular culture. Proclaiming their ambition to tear down the barriers set up around commercial television for too many decades, networks such as HBO, AMC, and ABC have launched a new era of cinematic narrative. Cable TV networks, DVDs, and the Internet have ushered in new ways to watch “television” and spawned global fan communities who, independently of programs and broadcasting schedules, devour episode after episode, season after season, and probe the multiple levels of meaning of their favorite series. Thanks to these expertly-produced shows, we can plunge into the offices of a 1960s advertising agency, follow the day-to-day dealings of a Mafia clan in New Jersey, or shadow elite soldiers suspected of being terrorists.Alongside a wealth of TV stills, this book presents an overview of the most important and successful series of recent years. Who were the trendsetters of this TV revolution? Who were its forerunners? What inspired the creators? What sparked the boom that has already produced dozens of top-rated series and shows no sign of slowing down? The book offers readers fascinating insights into the worlds of their favorite series and inspires them to discover new ones. All of the facts are here about authors and actors, influences and backgrounds, sequels and spin-offs—from David Lynch's groundbreaking masterpiece Twin Peaks and milestones such as Oz, Lost, and Breaking Bad to current highlights like Game of Thrones and House of Cards.