The primary thesis of Wires and Lights is that entertainment media tells the most about a people because it tries to tell us what we want to hear. So what does this season of American television tell us about Americans?
Culturally, Americans are going through an identity crisis. Beliefs about who we are as a people are being challenged and shattered left and right. Of course we want to believe that regardless of past imperialist adventures, the United States is a force for good in the world, and at heart an honorable nation. Even in the face of growing economic inequality we want to believe that the U.S. is an economic bastion and a beacon of prosperity. But seeing the abuses of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, and the financial Hindenburg that is Wall Street—well, the comfortable truths we relied on are revealed to have never been true in the first place.