It’s a truism that we’re living in the Age of Peak Television, so much so that news that there were an astonishing 409 scripted shows televised in 2015 might pass without comment. But for those of us who grew up with less than a handful of channels — channels which would sign off before midnight and leave us with several hours of what used to be called a Test Card — the idea of hundreds and hundreds of hours of drama, sci-fi, horror, thriller, and comedy (all available a few mouse clicks away) is almost too much to bear.
Much of this explosion in TV is due to the rise of new media platforms: Amazon, Netflix, Yahoo, Crackle, and so on, providing an alternative to traditional network and cable programming. Of course, quantity does not guarantee quality. Sure, there were highlights like Better Call Saul, Mr. Robot, and The Knick. But there was an awful lot of dreck (having no wish to offend anyone’s taste, I won’t name names). Still, though, with over 400 shows to choose from, you can hardly complain about there being nothing interesting on TV. You could always turn it off, however, and, I don’t know, go outside in the fresh air. Or read a book. After all, there were millions of books published this year… Millions. Take that, TV.