What makes a TV show intellectual or stimulating?

From Marvel’s superhero-based TV shows to shows such as Black Mirror – we have a very differing opinion of "good". For shows that fall into the intellectual or stimulating category, what makes them tick? A few shows to compare: Black Mirror, The Wire, Sherlock, Westworld, Peaky Blinders, The Vikings vs. Stranger Things, MCU shows, sitcoms, Game of Thrones. Also, where does it leave shows like Breaking Bad, The Boys? More specifically, is it the story, acting, direction, or the intended audience?

  • I believe this has some legs, but the question, I think needs more direction. Either as a contrast or a complement. Your examples are decent enough as many have entered the popular canon many to critical acclaim but there's quite the variation between genre, subject matter, and target audience as well. Even though The Boys and MCU have superheroes you can clearly identify the goals and direction of the work. The only commonality of the works mention is their popularity which could be expanded upon, the cultural value of recognizing a popular property, along with the works own entertainment value. – SunnyAgo 1 month ago

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