Remember when watching television was supposed to be a leisure activity? Now, with an endless torrent of streaming services pouring into our living rooms, watching television has become a job. Friends will grill you about what show you're currently watching, which series they think you should be watching, and what you should watch next. People like to cite the advent of Netflix as the beginning of " prestige television culture," but that's not exactly true. Netflix might have invented "binge culture," but The Sopranos was the catalyst for the modern era of television.
Last year, The New York Times wrote an article about how The Sopranos is seeing a massive resurgence in popularity since the first quarantine lockdown. A generation of new fans has discovered the show in their 20s and 30s- a demographic I happen to fall into. For new viewers like myself, The Sopranos was only something we were peripherally aware of through its omnipresence in pop culture. For most new fans of The Sopranos, their first interaction with the series might have come from the Sesame Street clip linked above. In the video, James Gandolfini realizes he wasted a fortune on therapy with Dr. Melfi when a simple hug from a Muppet would've solved all of his problems.