As the year (and the decade) draw to a close, there’s never been a better time to sit back and appreciate the multitude of gifts that television has bestowed upon us in 2019.
But for as wonderful as it’s been to behold the pleasures of Amazon Prime’s “Fleabag” and Netflix’s “Russian Doll” or bid fond farewell to HBO’s power pairing of “Game of Thrones” and “Veep,” all the gratitude that audiences have for the medium ultimately boils down to a single, regrettable sentiment: Thank goodness for too much TV.
In this week’s episode of IndieWire’s TV industry podcast “Millions of Screens,” TV Deputy Editor Ben Travers makes the case for fans of every stripe — even beleaguered Hollywood-types and burned-out entertainment journalists — to thank their lucky stars for the sheer breadth of content available at their fingertips.
Travers makes a good point. For as exhausting as the ever intensifying streaming wars are and for as endless as the glut of new content has become, without the volume of shows flooding the airwaves (and broadband), we wouldn’t have the benefit of smaller shows that the basic broadcast model often ignores. Delightful comedies including Hulu’s “PEN15” and Comedy Central’s “The Other Two” would have a tough time competing in a landscape with little room for quirky storytelling. The same goes for short-form series, including Sundance TV’s “State of the Union” or Netflix’s “Special,” which deliver fresh and funny stories in an abbreviated fashion that never would have flown 10 years ago.
Peak TV is a grind, sure, but if wading through the mediocre offerings makes room for more daring fare, then let the television feeding frenzy continue. (Also, all hail Baby Yoda.)
Tune in to this week’s episode of “Millions of Screens” where TV Awards Editor Libby Hill and Creative Producer Leo Garcia join Travers to discuss what else they’re thankful for as they head into the holidays. The episode also features an exploration of Episode 6 of HBO’s “Watchmen,” as well as insight into The Paley Honors: A Special Tribute to Television’s Comedy Legends event celebrating Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Carl Reiner, Carol Burnett, and Norman Lear.
“Millions of Screens” is available on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with the crew on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Review the show on iTunes and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the gang address specific issues in upcoming editions of “Millions of Screens.” Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.
This episode of “Millions of Screens” was produced by Leonardo Adrian Garcia.