TV is just amazing. Remember your frustration, especially during the summer, “there’s nothing on but re-runs.” Boy did that get fixed and then some. Imagine kids today if they were stuck with the three major networks? And now Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

Besides some regulatory changes, Robert Prechter, of Elliott Wave fame, says social mood has much to do with the quality of entertainment in a piece entitled “On Breaking Bad: How Social Mood Helped it Become the ‘Best Ever’ Program.”

“Certain times of peak social mood support peak artistic achievements in many fields, including the field of popular entertainment,” wrote Prechter, who goes on to list a number of shows to illustrate his point such as Weeds, Downton Abbey, The Wire, Dexter, Game of Thrones and so on.

“This cornucopia is reminiscent of the late 1930s in film and the late 1960s in pop music,” he writes. “Lauds for ‘Breaking Bad’ are reminiscent of timeless praise for two artful films of 1939 (‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Gone with the Wind’) and a comment about popular music from a major newspaper years ago: ‘Rock peaked in 1969.’”

Leaving out the Elliott Wave nomenclature, Prechter concluded, “Apparently the mix of a return to peak positive mood during the larger transition to more negative mood produces an ideal emotional state to motivate people toward peak artistic creativity.”

The Fed has done all it can to prop up our moods with cheap money while the world seems to border on chaos. The upside is, good programs, making for excellant leisure, continue to be produced.

For example, the third season of Orange is the New Black (OITNB) was released last month and ardent fans have no doubt gobbled up all 13 episodes. The series is based on Piper Kerman’s best selling book, but I have a hunch the Australian show Wentworth Prison also influenced the makers of OITNB.

Writing about season 2, Jeffrey Tucker makes the case that OITNB “is a microcosm of our whole society. The police state, the welfare state, the military state, and social management state — every bit of the oppressive order that manages us today outside the prison finds its analogy in the prison environment.”

With season 3, OITNB has stretched well beyond where Ms. Kerman’s story ended. The normalness of Litchfield is disrupted with the prison being taken over by private operators. Management cultures collide and incarceration is not so much about punishment and rehabilitation but cutting costs, increasing occupancy, and making a profit.

And while The Atlantic gushes over the season’s final scene: “The show’s finale gave its characters a real miracle, and in some ways, it gave viewers one, too—one of the best TV scenes in recent memory, or maybe ever,” writes Spencer Kornhaber.  Don’t be surprised if you’re underwhelmed.

The kind of scene that makes OITNB great occurs in the first episode. Because 80 percent of inmates are mothers, “Mother’s Day was off the chain at the Camp,” writes Kerman in her book. Season 3’s opener revolves around a Mother’s Day party at the prison. So there’s plenty of inmates enjoying their kids for an entire afternoon.

But then there’s Pennsatucky who is off by herself, sitting in the grass in front of six little wooden crosses designating the graves of the six fetuses she aborted. She’s named them all, staring with B. She pours out some Mountain Dew for them, feeling like a failure.

Big Boo, dressed as a  clown of some sort, comes to sit with her: The born again hick and the aggressive dyke. A hysterical shouting match between these two would have ensued during the show’s first two season.  Instead, Boo lends the ex-meth head a sympathetic ear.

Boo calmly tells Pennsatucky about Steven Levitt’s and Stephen Dunbar’s book Freakonomics.  In their book Levitt hypothesizes that the lowering of the crime rate in the 1990s was due to the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973,

Despite the numbers supporting his theory, and it making intuitive sense, the notion was controversial. Instead of thousands of unwanted children being brought into the world to commit crimes while in their twenties, those thousands weren’t born because Roe v. Wade made abortions legal throughout the land.

Steve Sailer, among others, took issue with Levitt, claiming it was the rise and fall of crack use that explained the fall. Levitt summaries Sailer’s  argument.

The arrival of crack led to large increases in crime rates between 1985 and the early ’90s, particularly for inner-city African-American youths. The fall of the crack epidemic left many of the bad apples of this cohort dead, imprisoned, or scared straight. Consequently, not only did crime fall back to its original pre-crack level, but actually dropped even further in a “overshoot” effect.

Levitt answers,

Two of the key assumptions underlying your alternative hypothesis appear to be false: The retreat of crack has not led to an “overshoot” in crime, causing it to be lower than 1985, and even if it had, the states with high abortion rates in the ’70s do not appear to be affected particularly strongly by the crack epidemic. Moreover, when we re-run our analysis controlling for both changes in crime rates from 1985 to 1991 and the level of crime in 1991, the abortion variable comes in just as strongly as in our original analysis.

Boo doesn’t trudge through all of that analysis, but simply tells the crestfallen Pennsatucky that since she was such a terrible meth head, her children would have likely ended up just like her. By aborting her fetuses, “You spared society the scourge of your offspring,” Boo tells Pennsatucky, which brings a smile to her face. She was a good mother for getting the abortions.

Don’t assume the great storytelling on TV will continue. Enjoy it while you can. As much as we want Better Call Saul to be as good as Breaking Bad, it’s not.

What will we fondly remember from the Obama years? ObamaCare, the Iran deal? It’ll be something he had nothing to do with–great TV.