"We make roughly two and a half times more television now than we did in 2009; that ought to translate to two and a half times as many great shows," says Sonia Saraiya. "Yet to my eye, as a television critic routinely interrogated about what great new thing is coming around the corner, good TV is worryingly scarce. While our television technology has gotten better and better at meeting the consumer—platforms offer archived films and classic reruns, use bespoke algorithms (well, and surveillance) to tailor recommendations, and populate content on multiple devices—the average scripted show has plummeted in quality. Streaming prioritizes a bunch of conditions that bloat, dilute, and cheapen television, turning it into a chunk of hours-long content rather than a chaptered story with discrete parts. Netflix, the pioneer of the streaming show, has referred to their first seasons as the 'pilot' seasons, which expands the idea of a pilot episode into an 8- or 10- or 12-hour test balloon. This might be why Greg Daniels’s latest comedy Space Force so disappointed critics; the season had some charm, but felt so experimental and tentative that it was ultimately unfunny and toothless. Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has gotten more mind-numbing with each successive season, sacrificing characterization for several hours of commitment to a candy-colored retro vibe. And when was the last time a Ryan Murphy show sucked you into an obsessive viewing marathon? It certainly can’t have been the abominable Ratched, which had so few ideas that even the most positive reviews acknowledged that its style towered over its substance. HBO Max debuted with the bland, saccharine Anna Kendrick comedy Love Life. Showtime tried to wow with the ripped-from-the-headlines The Comey Rule, a star-studded, corny, self-serious relitigation of the 2016 election. Hulu bet big on the splashy Little Fires Everywhere, which ended up playing like an after-school special. These shows certainly aren’t all bad. But like the majority of series that have been vying for our attention over the last year or two, they’re plagued with problems: a slipshod affect that indicates a rush to the screen; too many episodes and not enough story; a cast and a mood, but no actual plot. What American TV production seems to be really good at is making mediocre filler...We live in a vast universe of mere 'content'; it’s fine, but it exists primarily to take up space. The platform’s imperative is to fill hours with a diverse array of material. The business strategy is quantity."