We’re only halfway through 2017, and already trying to keep up with the sheer amount of TV on offer has been a breathless exercise.
The sheer number of shows on offer in the Peak TV is staggering, with serious pros and cons: it means there is, during any given week, likely to be at least one excellent TV series available for you to watch; it also means that, during any given week, there’s likely to be at least one excellent TV series you cannot possibly get around to watching.
That in turn makes it harder for individual episodes to shine through. Prestige TV is wrapped up in season-long narratives where the pieces of the puzzle are deliberately withheld, meaning it only fits as part of a whole. Binge-watching, whether it’s on Netflix or just an attempt to catch-up on an already finished show, means that instalments blur together faster than you can click ‘play next episode’.
It results in some series that, even while having a strong run, might not have a particular standout episode (see: House of Cards, A Series of Unfortunate Events), and of course a few blind spots too (for me, this year, it’s Big Little Lies and The Americans). However, it also means that when a specific episode does rise above the noise, it’s offering something really great.