The Balkanization of Episodic Television

Icons of various streaming services shown in a jumble.

According to my social media feeds there are now MORE episodic series in production than there are people living in the ACTUAL United States. If you are like me, you have observed your friends posting about “TV shows” that you have NEVER EVEN HEARD OF BEFORE.

Sally posts “Oh I really enjoyed this week’s episode of Nuzzled!” while Petey posts “The season finale of Whirlyturd was INCREDIBLE!!”.

The chances of you watching any of the shows your friends are yapping about is about as nearĀ to ZERO as you can get using high school math. This is largely due to apathy on your part and partially due to your absolute failure to fully comprehend derivatives in calculus. However, it is ENTIRELY due to the reality that you would have to live to be 500 YEARS OLD to catch up on all of these shows.

It would probably take you far longer to summon a reason to CARE about most of them.

A lot of scholars seem to be worried about the balkanization of the west. I’m just trying to find somebody who watches Disney XD and can discuss the season finale of Star Wars Rebels with me (not really).

But let’s be honest: unless a series is an anthology (a different story premise and different cast each week) it really begins to lose its oomph by the 3rd season. No network executive should allow a show like Marvel’s Agents of Shield to linger as long on the air.

Still, the good news about this radical new diversity is that your a-hole friends who EXIST to post spoilers are unlikely to spoil the show that you watch, because they’ll probably never have even HEARD of YOUR show! Just keep your trap shut and you’ll be golden.

Another good thing about this is that they’re going to need a LOT MORE actors to burn through, so now’s your chance to abandon your job late in life, leaving behind security and benefits to pursue that acting career you’ve been putting off. Or directing career. Or whatever.

Of course you need to realize that this big boom time of investment in episodic television could very well go bust one day in the near future so we might all have time to go back and catch up on each others’ shows during lunch break at our night job ;P

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