AMC (an acronym for American Movie Classics) never seemed like anything else but the poor man's TCM. AMC realized that they could never compete with the amount of class TCM has (Robert Osbourne has to be one of the coolest people ever) and decided to be more broad with their definition of movie classics. No longer showing films of the silver screen, AMC moved more into 80s action film territories. If TCM had the market cornered on timeless classics then AMC will be the "new classic" station.
In 2005 AMC experimented further by broadcasting the show Hustle. Hustle was a BBC program about a group of nicely dressed con artists who help dispense their own brand of justice (the kind of nice guy con artists that you never meet anywhere else but prime time television). Hustle, with all of it's polish, was an interesting choice because it contradicts the whole basis of the channel. Hustle, being a contemporary British program, is neither American, a movie, or a classic by any definition. What it showed was that AMC was interested in televising something besides movies and that AMC had balls enough to put whatever they wanted in their slots.
In 2007 a show would premiere that would become a critical darling and give AMC the class it so desperately wanted. The show was Mad Men and it is as awesome as you have heard. A unflinching and not kitschy look at 1960s America through the prism of advertising and, more specifically, the character of Don Draper. Yes, Don Draper is as cool as you have heard. Don Draper is cooler then you will ever be.
Don Draper: Every man's man-crush.
Also sweeping the Emmys three years in a row is Bryan Cranston for Best Actor in a Drama series. Dexter fanboys may be crying foul that Michael C. Hall never gets to win. However anyone that has seen Bryan Cranston on Breaking Bad will realize how much he deserves this recognition. Also Dexter is overrated. Playing a cancer ridden, high school science teacher who decides one day to cook meth; Cranston explores a realm of human drama that few people could dream of. Not only does he succeed in this but seeing his work is astonishing. Yes, the dad from Malcolm in the Middle is the best actor today.
There is no accounting for taste, I know that. I also understand the fact that Emmys are not the best gauge towards how good television is. The fact that The Wire has not only never won an Emmy but has also barely been nominated shows how faulty the awards can be (this is, of course, a topic for later discussion). Forget the Emmys then and see for yourself why these shows are the best around and deserve all the recognition they can get.