Look in just about any art form of the last century and you’ll find a “Golden Age,” which is generally accepted as a time when that form was at its peak in terms of popularity and/or glamor. Search for “Silver Age” and you’ll find nothing but comics and maybe a few references to Greek Mythology.
I propose we give this thread a twofold purpose: first, to define the criteria that make a “Silver Age,” and second, to say what marks the “Silver Age” of various art forms.
To start, I’ll say that, while a Golden Age may mark a more popular or glamorous time, a Silver Age marks a period when an art form undergoes significant internal development, gaining greater depth and transforming it into the basis of what we now know and accept today.
The Silver Age of… Movies: late 50s - early 70s. More realistic acting, development of the R-rated film, increased use of score & soundtrack; Hitchcock, early Kubrick.
The Silver Age of… Jazz: 50s - early 60s. Bebop and Cool genres, moving away from dance music to listening music; Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane.
The Silver Age of… Science Fiction: 60s - early 70s. Moving away from pulps to more scientific stories, Star Trek, 2001; Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein.
The Silver Age of… Radio: late 60s - 70s. FM, single-format stations.
The Silver Age of… TV: 70s - early 80s. Sitcoms like MASH and All in the Family, Cable TV, specialized channels; HBO, PBS.
The Silver Age of… Cartoons: mid 90s - right now. Computer animation, mainstream cartoons that appeal to adults; The Simpsons, Pixar