"HBO, critics, HBO-hopefuls, academics, and audiences have used the term “quality” to legitimate their pleasure in watching television. The very need to defend or explain the love for television underlines its root (and continued) status as a feminized mass medium, and the unspoken but widely held characterization of “difficult” media (high art cinema, high modernism) as masculine and “easy” or “pleasurable” texts (soap operas, television at large, romance novels) as feminine. But that equation dismisses the stunning similarities between soap operas — in truth, some of the most narratively complex programs on television — with our contemporary iterations of quality"
I love this next part even more:
“Indeed, one of my favorite pastimes is telling Game of Thrones bros that their “high quality” show is soap opera: it’s true, and that’s why most fans react so virulently. Thrones is gorgeously shot swords-and-sandals soap opera, but it’s still a soap opera — just one that costs ten times as much as an entire season of Days of Our Lives and shoots on location in Europe and Africa. “