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Why TV needs to slow down

By William Skidelsky  

Over the last few weeks, I have been watching two very different, but equally good, TV drama series on DVD: Granada’s extraordinary 1981 production of Brideshead Revisited, and HBO’s The Wire, which has been showing over the last few years on the American cable channel, and is now in its fifth season (and was described by Charlie Brooker in last Saturday’s Guardian, not unjustifiably, as “the best TV show since the invention of radio”).

In many ways, the two series couldn’t be more different: one concerns English aristocrats in the 1930s and 1940s; the other is about drug dealers, drug…

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