I should be thinking about all the upcoming fall finales and holiday episodes. Instead, most of the shows I watch aren’t back, already hit threat break, or are on streamers so I have to wait to binge. And the more I sit and think about ‘what’s on now?’ the more I see that Peak TV and the golden era of appointment television is gone.
A Constant Cycle
The TV world was really consistent for a long time. There was a ‘season’ or at least a time set aside for all the shows to drop all their new stuff on us. We’d get a run of trailers per network, where we could talk about what looked interesting and what didn’t. We knew that the upfronts were coming, and we would learn all about what was new.
Related to that was pilot season. From January to April, people pushed and perfected and pleaded for the next great show. A show would be written, a pilot filmed, and then we were off to the races. Only, as of last year it was clear to me that Pilot Season was gone. And when you mirror that with the massive changes when it comes to air dates, it’s not just the industry who is struggling.
New All The Time Is Bad
I feel like I wrote some Orwellian doublespeak there. The problem, as I see it, is that we’re constantly getting new things. All the time. Warrior Nun and The Dragon Prince have dropped on Netflix, with their new seasons, but if you weren’t paying close attention you would have missed it. And it’s not like there’s ‘too much’ TV going on, as most of the standard Network Dramas are already on hiatus. It’s that there is simply too much new all the damn time.
We can’t keep up.
No one can.
And if we, the consumers, struggle, imagine the constant hellscape this is for the creators. It never ends. Heck, I didn’t even realize Big Shot was back until I happened to hit Disney for something else (Andor), and I run this site! I have a calendar! How come I keep missing?
We Need Breaks
I know during peak pandemic, having constant content to binge was great, but it took the difficulties of the binge model, and the airing model (as in new shows show up all the time) and made it a million times worse.
We have over 150 shows on the ‘watch to add’ list and between everyone’s life and the constant additions every week, it’s gone from what I called the best worst problem to an actual “How can we get through all this!?” fear.
The market cannot sustain unlimited growth, but instead of giving us scripted in winter and reality in summer, we get two Survivors a year. Your favourite drama? Maybe will be back in Summer, maybe in Winter. Who knows!
And I know it’s too much to ask for that the networks and streamers put their heads together and sort out who goes first, but at this point, I kinda wish they would.