“Is realism a thing?”
Calling media "dated" as strictly a pejorative needs to stop. It implies that only contemporary works matter because they're about The Way We Live Now, ignoring the archival value of a cultural statement. Sure, there's a spectrum through which one can have this conversation, but it very often winds up as a dead-end. If there is a common complaint with Mann's work, it's that his attempts at staying in the vanguard of taste fossilize portions of his works in amber…
"...For there is a man inside me, and only when he's finally out, I can walk free of pain."
-- Tobias Fünke