This writer is quite convinced the advent of reality television signified the final nail in the coffin for modern civilization. If the Mayan calendar-makers hadn't run out of space, they'd have likely chiseled something about ritually sacrificing small-screen pea brains (Kim Kardashian, Snooki, Kate Gosselin) to avoid the hellfire wrath of Bolon Yotke. The money needed to produce a whole season of shows about a pack of delusional whores throwing drinks at each other in a McMansion in the SFV would've produced a single episode of something meaningful in seasons past; producers backpedal, claiming successful reality shows fund quality programming. If you need some convincing, join Occidental College historian Thaddeus Russell, former television exec James Andrew Miller, Boston Globe columnist Joanna Weiss and producer Meredith Stiehm as they debate “Is This the Golden Age of Television?” Moderated by Kim Masters, host of KCRW's The Business, panelists will ponder high-caliber, critical darlings such as Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Modern Family, why many movie stars have migrated to television, and whether, in some respects, television has “gotten smarter.” MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Tues., Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.; free, resv. recommended.

Tue., Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly