2018 saw the emergence of a new Peak TV problem: The neverending show
Joining the problem of there being too many shows and too many streaming services is another major flaw in our Peak TV world that emerged this year: "TV just can’t let a good thing end," says Kathryn VanArendonk. "Between shows that unrolled disappointing follow-up seasons in 2018 (American Vandal, The Handmaid’s Tale), shows that premiered this year and have more to come next (Barry, Homecoming), and limited series that suddenly leapt into second seasons that haven’t even aired yet (Big Little Lies, The Young Pope), there is a common thread: Each had a perfectly complete debut season, the sort that could exist as its own satisfying story, and then they all kept going. From the standpoint of sheer bulk, unnecessary second seasons are obviously contributors to the current TV glut. They don’t need to be here, but here they are, and so we’re getting that many more hours of TV to watch. But these unnecessary second seasons are not just a problem of greed, or of a more-must-be-better ideology. They’re the result of a swinging pendulum, and a contradiction buried deep in the foundation of TV storytelling: TV shows can’t end anymore because TV shows have gotten really, really good at endings."
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- The large number of TV options is a good thing because it frees viewers from the notion that there’s anything they “should” be watching
- The best new shows of 2018: From Barry to Forever to Homecoming
- TV's best and worst moments of 2018: From Chidi being "jacked" to "Rick dies but then doesn’t"
- The year of "fine TV": 2018 was a reminder that whether something is good or bad can often be the least interesting thing about it
- The best TV musical moments of 2018: From Big Mouth's "I Love My Body" to GLOW's "Makeover"
- TV shows we quit this year: From Saturday Night Live to The Conners/Roseanne
- The 22 most shocking TV character deaths of 2018
- The 25 best TV episodes of 2018: From The Americans' "START" to BoJack Horseman's "Free Churro"
- More of TV's best episodes: From The Good Place's "Janet(s)" to Atlanta's "Teddy Perkins"
- The 10 best TV scenes of 2018
- 2018 in TV superlatives: From the best shirt on TV to the best twist to the most overt product placement
- The best TV title sequences of 2018: From A.P. Bio to Aggretsuko to Dietland and Lodge 49
- The most binge-worthy shows no one watched this year: From Kidding to America to Me to A Very English Scandal
- The best TV performances of 2018: From Jodie Komer on Killing Eve to Julia Garner on The Americans, Ozark, Maniac, Waco and Dirty John
- 12 dumb things TV did in 2018: From ABC spiking a Black-ish episode to The Simpsons' response to the Apu controversy
- The most memorable TV monsters of 2018: From Teddy Perkins to The Tuunbaq on The Terror
- The 10 best overlooked shows of 2018: From Sorry for Your Loss to Detroiters to On My Block
- Twitter users are helping Monica Lewinsky find shows to binge-watch
- Will You's massive Netflix popularity mark a major turning point for TV?
- How the TV mom has evolved to tackle today's real-world challenges
- Does Peak TV have a sex-scene problem?