My Years in Television


Reservation Dogs, S3

Party Down, S3


Mrs. Davis

Ghosts (UK), S5

Big Door Prize

Jury Duty

Good Omens, S2

Fargo, S5


Severance, S1

Reservation Dogs, S2

The Resort

Paper Girls

Avenue 5, S2

Ghosts (UK), S4

The Afterparty, S1

Wolf Like Me, S1

Killing It, S1

The Righteous Gemstones, S2

Our Flag Means Death, S1

Welcome to Flatch, S1-2

White Lotus, S2

Girl5eva, S2

A League of Their Own

The Kids in the Hall, S6



Reservation Dogs, Season 1

Resident Alien, S1

Ghosts (UK), S3

We Are Lady Parts

Girl5eva, S1

Shrill, S3

White Lotus, S1

Made for Love, S1

Sweet Tooth, S1



Miracle Workers, S2

Better Call Saul, S5

Search Party, S3

What We Do in the Shadows, S2

Shrill, S2

PEN15, S2

Avenue 5, S1

Ghosts (UK), S2

Upload, S1

I May Destroy You


On Becoming a God in Central Florida

The Righteous Gemstones, S1

Ghosts (UK), S1

Good Omens, S1

Miracle Workers, S1

What We Do in the Shadows, S1

BoJack Horseman, S6

Russian Doll, S1

Shrill, S1

PEN15, S1


Lodge 49, S2

Silicon Valley, S5

Tuca & Bertie, S1

Barry, S2


Lodge 49, S1

Atlanta, S2

Search Party, S2

Barry, S1


BoJack Horseman, S5

Silicon Valley, S4

Killing Eve, S1

Wellington Paranormal, S1


The Leftovers, S3

This Country, S3

Feud: Bette and Joan

BoJack Horseman, S4

The Handmaid's Tale, S1


Detroiters, S1

It's quite likely that no one cares what I think about television. When I was more actively working as an arts-and-culture freelancer, TV was one of the few creative mediums I didn't end up writing about. Like many people, I still had the idea that TV was only very occasionally worthy of deep consideration. But, also, I'd only recently started revisiting it, so I didn't yet have much to say. Out of a lingering guilt over how much of my childhood I'd spent flipping through channels, I had largely cut myself off from most of pop culture—in particular TV—for the majority of my 20s and early 30s, so when I started working as a freelance writer I was pretty out of touch.

I still have written very little about TV and maybe never will, but I often credit the literary essay anthology Little Boxes: Twelve Writers on Television and sites like Bright Wall/Dark Room for getting me thinking about the medium in a more nuanced way. And naturally, having a partner who studies TV has helped me get over most of the remaining stigma I held onto. I can now say I love it with pride, even if what I mean by that love is fairly particular.

With all the many problems of the streaming era, it's at least created openings for a wild assortment of interesting shows that wouldn't have been made in previous eras. In recent years I’ve come to see TV as a medium that, at least along its margins, is continually trying new approaches and pushing the bounds of narrative. And I suddenly have far more to say about it than I do about new books or music—the primary art forms that I once wrote about weekly. TV will always be a medium that's more affected by commerce (network/streamer oversight, ratings, ad dollars) than other mediums, but art made with constraints is almost inherently intriguing (see: OuLiPo, constrained comics, etc) and to see how shows work within and push against those limitations is often one of the most interesting parts of the experience.

A very slim percentage of the shows made get any recognition at all. The Emmys, for example, continues to pretend we're living in a past era of television where there's only a narrow band of TV that has artistic merit. Between 500-700 scripted shows come out in the U.S. in any given (recent) year and yet the "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" category for 2024's Emmys gave its seven nominations to only two shows. Two! Both being shows with huge HBO budgets backing them. And there were only around 40 scripted shows even given nominations across 20 different categories.

This all just tells me that the way we as a culture judge the medium is flawed. Isn't it as impressive, if not more impressive, for an actor to be giving an incredible performance on a show with a small budget; to be making great art on a show where they don't have the time to do take after take? We're in an era where there are many shows that, sure, maybe aren't as dialed in as the big-budget shows, but are far more innovative and alive. Television can obviously provide a lot of different experiences and often we use it for shutting off or disengaging, which I think is fine (and, when we treat our relationship to TV with less shame, can be reframed or restructured as part of a conscious mental health or self-care routine). But I'm most interested in the shows intended to be deeply engaged with, shows that—even if silly by nature—are made with a lot of care and love by big teams of people.