What: A Google doc lists all the TV shows that aired in 2018.
Who: IndieWire writer Liz Shannon Miller.
Why we care: This should sound familiar: “What do you mean you haven’t seen [some show]?!?!” It’s probably a friend saying it, but in this moment, they are not your friend; they’re an agent of chaos, burdening you with the possibility that you are missing out on the next Very Good Show Everyone is Talking About. The only problem is that you’re probably not finished with the last one of those shows, and the one before that turned out to be lethally boring. It’s Peak TV in a nutshell: infinite options, infinite FOMO, same mere 24 hours in each day. Whenever Netflix announces however many new shows it has planned each year, it scans as more of a threat than a promise. If it seems sometimes like we are drowning in a sea of Adequate Content, one TV critic has just drawn out a topographic map of that sea to put it in perspective.
Just in time for Best of the Year roundup season, IndieWire writer Liz Shannon Miller recently released a Google Doc chronicling every single show that aired in 2018, whatever “airing” even means anymore. The list of 545 (!) titles comprises only those shows that are awards-eligible and excludes most children’s shows and reality TV programming. (For comparison’s sake, about 357 shows aired in 2008.)
This doc isn’t just helpful for anyone putting together a Top 10, though. It’s also therapeutic. Looking at the list, which spans so very many seemingly interchangeable titles, provides a visual representation of just how overwhelming our options are today, allowing you to process how the odds are stacked against you catching up on everything everyone declares a Must-See.
Have a scroll through the enormous doc here and experience simultaneous horror and relief.