What's a Westworld?
September 15, 2017 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Almost nobody watches Emmy-nominated shows: A new survey of 500 people finds that of this year's Emmy-nominated shows that don't air on broadcast TV, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” was the most-watched, viewed by 21% of respondents. Netflix’s “Master of None,” Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and FX’s “Atlanta” tied at 5% each for the least-watched of all nominees — although “Master of None” exceeded all nominees in “never heard of” responses, at 76%.
posted by Clustercuss (102 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
“Master of None” exceeded all nominees in “never heard of” responses, at 76%.

That is a damn crime.
posted by likethemagician at 2:23 PM on September 15, 2017 [47 favorites]


Loaded question, but......how many white people in the US went to see Oscar-winner "Moonlight?"
posted by kuanes at 2:29 PM on September 15, 2017 [19 favorites]


Most big network prime time shows average under a 3 these days. Only reality/variety shows, sports, and Big Bang Theory do better, so...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:34 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm part of the problem or at best irrelevant to it--I have heard about every one of the shows mentioned here, but have never seen a single episode of any of them. Of course, it's been something like a year since I watched anything but a Netflixed (etc.) prior season of The Great British Bake-Off or The Amazing Race....and even then, it was just similarly viewed seasons of Doctor Who.

I don't know what it says about me that I stay very tuned in to discussions of current TV shows and movies, but actually watch almost none of them.
posted by Four Ds at 2:34 PM on September 15, 2017 [6 favorites]


Like the poster with the bulldog and kitten in my 4th grade classroom said, just because it's popular doesn't mean it's right.

p.s. It's a goddamned crime only 5% of people have watched Atlanta.
posted by phunniemee at 2:35 PM on September 15, 2017 [15 favorites]


People! Watch Master of None! It's great!

/awaits Eys rejigging their process to get the correct result of "FOX News watched disinterestedly through a layer of dust".
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on September 15, 2017 [7 favorites]


One in twenty people isn't good?

Isn't that a lot?
posted by kyrademon at 2:43 PM on September 15, 2017 [13 favorites]


Counterpoint: For premium channels such as Showtime, buzz and critical acclaim are massively important metrics. ...Programs that have the aura of Must-See TV around them, even if not that many folks are actually seeing them right now — boost the brand of an HBO or Showtime almost as much as ones that get lots of viewers but not as much media or Emmy love.

(I've been involved in the marketing of multiple shows mentioned here, so go ahead and blame me.)
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:46 PM on September 15, 2017 [12 favorites]


I've got about 90 minutes of free time unallocated in my day to day life, so finding a show to fill it with isn't a high priority. I've heard of all of them but just haven't watched many of them. Now if you take a look at my Steam usage, that's a different priority.
posted by msbutah at 2:48 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


There's just a lot of shows right now.
posted by Artw at 2:48 PM on September 15, 2017 [44 favorites]


I don't know what it says about me that I stay very tuned in to discussions of current TV shows and movies, but actually watch almost none of them.

I do this, too. Also, somehow, because of the pattern of media I consume, I often have not heard of shows on broadcast TV, or even some of the most popular movies in any given year. This isn't a "is this a thing you'd have to have a TV to understand" humblebrag, but rather it seems to be an artifact of how many delivery services there are for filmed media. I'd actually like to be more up on what's available, but no longer know how to do that, and I guess I don't care quite enough to put the effort in to find out.
posted by Orlop at 2:50 PM on September 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I work in television. These numbers aren't dire.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:51 PM on September 15, 2017 [18 favorites]


Too many shows spread across multiple pay services requiring too much damned effort just to watch some friggin' tv. It's just tv.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:54 PM on September 15, 2017 [8 favorites]


They'll have to invent a new microscale for that new Star Trek.
posted by Artw at 2:56 PM on September 15, 2017 [5 favorites]


I couldn’t even get through the first episode of Master of None. It just seemed so dude-y.

But yeah, the fracturing across services is a real problem, I think.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:02 PM on September 15, 2017 [10 favorites]


Atlanta is amazing and just finally made it to Hulu go check it out ASAP.
posted by sibboleth at 3:03 PM on September 15, 2017 [12 favorites]


Master Of None and Atlanta are just fantastic television.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:03 PM on September 15, 2017 [4 favorites]


NB: am not dude-y
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:04 PM on September 15, 2017 [8 favorites]


Being honest, I barely watched any of those shows. Modern Family is the show I've mostly fell asleep to / tickled the ivories while watching it. Watched Stranger Things (which is good) and Westwood (which I won't be back for seconds).

I *know* most of them, but I also spend too much time watching stuff already.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:04 PM on September 15, 2017


Weirdly it's all the network shows with huge audiences I've never heard of/haven't watched/just assumed they'd been canceled years ago.
posted by Artw at 3:07 PM on September 15, 2017 [7 favorites]


"There's just a lot of shows right now."

they're good shows brond
posted by klangklangston at 3:14 PM on September 15, 2017 [37 favorites]


I tried Master of None after its recommendation here, after a good joke in the first 30 seconds it seemed pretty much to descend into the same man-baby spiel that seems so popular in US comedy in the last few years. Atlanta is still only available as a series purchase over here so haven't got to that, but tbh its not got much of a profile in the UK I think. Will probably pick up Handmaid's Tale I think, that has attracted a lot of attention and sounds very much worth seeing.
posted by biffa at 3:43 PM on September 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


Oh, biffa, Master of None goes so much deeper than you think. You're missing out.
posted by phatkitten at 3:52 PM on September 15, 2017 [26 favorites]


so dude-y

the same man-baby spiel


Woah...did we watch the same show? I'm a huge fan of Master of None and those are the literally some of the last words I would have used to describe it. I do think the first episode might skew that way a little more than others, though, perhaps?
posted by mosst at 3:55 PM on September 15, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'd recommend the episode "Indians on TV' as a standalone if nothing else.
posted by Artw at 3:55 PM on September 15, 2017 [9 favorites]


dude-y free, even
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:56 PM on September 15, 2017 [6 favorites]


I do think the first episode might skew that way a little more than others, though, perhaps?

Like I said, I only got halfway through, but the only joke in that episode seemed to be “this adult man doesn’t know how to adult.” Maybe it gets better, but I have like... maybe 3 hours a week for TV, I’m not wasting time figuring out if something is worthwhile.

Westworld I watched, I will admit. It pressed certain buttons for me.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:58 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


They'll have to invent a new microscale for that new Star Trek.


Well I'm really looking forward to Discovery - 9 days to go. Turns out its not only on Netflix UK but that its on Netflix in 188 countries! Only the US and Canada have to pay for it separately!


Oh, biffa, Master of None goes so much deeper than you think. You're missing out.


I haven't seen any mention of it recently so it may have tanked over here, but now I have someone to blame I will give it another episode if its still around on Netflix.
posted by biffa at 4:05 PM on September 15, 2017


(I also watched Better Call Saul, which I think is so, so much better than Breaking Bad. I’m shocked it was so infrequently watched.)
posted by uncleozzy at 4:06 PM on September 15, 2017 [13 favorites]


To a first approximation, Master of None is Louie with the rougher edges sanded off. That's not at a bad thing, and that's not all the show is, certainly. But I find the similarities pretty striking: Experimental silce-of-life half hour comedy that's into indie cinema tropes. Frequent cooking process sequences. Main character lives in NYC.

Different age demographic, so the slice-of-life goes from "aging single father sharing custody of his kids" to "young guy exploring dating life". Louie goes bigger and bolder on it's experiments though, and that show's absurdist side never shows up in Master of None.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 4:07 PM on September 15, 2017


I'd recommend the episode "Indians on TV' as a standalone if nothing else.

When the show is dealing with race I think Master of None is awesome. When it's dealing with with relationships... not so much.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:14 PM on September 15, 2017 [17 favorites]


I feel like these shows being pay access hurts the numbers. I bet if it were free those numbers would be way higher.
posted by corb at 4:15 PM on September 15, 2017 [4 favorites]


Master of None is a good show, but pretty much everyone who would watch and enjoy it already is doing so. The best thing about the entertainment industry today is that it enables shows with as limited a (numerical) appeal as Master of None to be made.
posted by MattD at 4:17 PM on September 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


I also watched Better Call Saul, which I think is so, so much better than Breaking Bad. I’m shocked it was so infrequently watched.

Bob Odenkirk is great in both, but I think "suburban dad becomes drug kingpin" is an easier sell than "new lawyer builds his practice."
posted by ActingTheGoat at 4:17 PM on September 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


I also watched Better Call Saul, which I think is so, so much better than Breaking Bad.

This is true.
posted by Artw at 4:17 PM on September 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


Sigh, I'm so far behind in my TV viewing that I haven't even caught up to Breaking Bad yet.
posted by octothorpe at 4:19 PM on September 15, 2017 [5 favorites]


I suspect the problem (if it's a problem) that nobody outside of a show's active viewers watches it, is not so much caused by the multiple sources, but by the lack of scheduled programming.

There is no, "I'll just flip through some channels and see what's on" that lets you arrive at Stranger Things or Handmaid's Tale. You have to decide to start watching, and you'll never accidentally catch a snippet of conversation or fascinating scene layout on your way to what you intended to watch, that would make you later go back and look for more.

There's also the paid-access-only issue, in that if you haven't paid for the service you won't even know the shows exist, and that you have to start up the service and pick what to watch. But I think those are side issues to the fact that you can't check out "whatever's on" and decide what to watch more of later.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:20 PM on September 15, 2017 [15 favorites]


We don't have cable (and never will). We've had netflix for 18 months and enjoy that, so we're seeing at least a few of these premium shows. And I sure don't miss commercials!

The industry needs better content distribution, and a way for discerning viewers with limited TV time to cherry-pick what they watch.
posted by Artful Codger at 4:28 PM on September 15, 2017


vibratory manner of working: “Different age demographic, so the slice-of-life goes from "aging single father sharing custody of his kids' to 'young guy exploring dating life'. Louie goes bigger and bolder on it's experiments though, and that show's absurdist side never shows up in Master of None.”

Does the rapey part of Louie show up in Master of None? I'd settle for a weaker version of Louie without the rapey stuff.
posted by koeselitz at 4:34 PM on September 15, 2017 [5 favorites]


To a first approximation, Master of None is Louie with the rougher edges sanded off.

Nah, Master of None is Seinfeld but nice, especially the first season which focuses more on his tight-knit group of friends. It's "what if Jerry and Co. were good people instead of petty assholes?"

When the show is dealing with race I think Master of None is awesome. When it's dealing with with relationships... not so much.

This x1000. The relationship stuff is by far the weakest part, and it sucks that it's become such a big focus of the show.
posted by Sangermaine at 4:35 PM on September 15, 2017 [9 favorites]


Does the rapey part of Louie show up in Master of None? I'd settle for a weaker version of Louie without the rapey stuff.

Nope! There's definitely plenty to complain about w/r/t Master of None's treatment of relationships, but asking you to sympathize with a rapey dude main chacarter isn't one of them.
posted by Itaxpica at 4:40 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


Westworld got me my most favourited comment on this site, so I'm pretty happy with it in general :)
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 4:46 PM on September 15, 2017


Personally, I'm glad people can make great shows that target 5% of the viewing population instead of just shows that try to appeal to everyone.
posted by mbrubeck at 4:49 PM on September 15, 2017 [16 favorites]


Not true. GoT got you 2x your favorites comparative to your best Westworld comment.66>34.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:50 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


Master of None started so, so strong for me but when the second half of season two descended into watch Dev struggle to overcome being friendzoned by a beautiful woman whose fiancé is conveniently terrible I lost interest and I dropped out half way through the penultimate episode.

I hope that the show can get back to being something that I can enjoy next season. Barring that, I would absolutely settle for a spin-off about Dev and Brian's parents having adventures together.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:50 PM on September 15, 2017 [13 favorites]


Master of None is a mix of mediocre millennial Louie and genius, but it's not evenly distributed; the first episode in particular is a lot of mmL and not a lot of genius. Season 1 episodes with extra genius: "Parents" (esp. opening), "Indians on TV", "Nashville", "Mornings"; Season 2: "The Thief", "New York, I Love You", "Thanksgiving". I think that people who are complaining about the "relationship stuff" are really complaining about the romantic relationship stuff involving the central character; there's lots of really good stuff about the relationships between Dev and Arnold, Dev and Denise, Dev and his parents, Brian and his dad, Denise and her mom and so on.

Even though it's the 6th episode of the second series, "New York, I Love You" is both particularly interesting and particularly good as a standalone episode - it has nothing to do with the overarching plot of the series and the only thing you need to know is which one Aziz Ansari is and that he's the star and creator of the show - since it revolves around the New York that isn't shown on TV.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:51 PM on September 15, 2017 [14 favorites]


The first episode of Master of None is really tonally different than the rest. I had the same reaction as many others here but was encouraged (like many other others here) to move past the first ep. Glad I did. It's not the greatest sitcom in the history of the world (that would be Spaced), but it's really enjoyable and well-made.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:52 PM on September 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


51% of respondents have access to/subscribe to OTT services.

If 49% of your respondents don't watch streamed content then ofc the majority of them aren't going to have watched/heard of these exclusively online shows.

Hell, for all we know, maybe the other 49% doesn't even own a TV. There's a lot of people going without that nowadays. Netflix is the only streaming service we have and we pretty much only use it to watch movies (a one off, doesn't require extended dedication) and cartoons (usually light and fluffy and easy on the brain), not other TV shows, because who has the time/energy to invest in that?

Also I've realized while I've heard of the majority of these shows I know next to nothing on what they're about. Limits of my knowledge: Stranger things = dead children? Westworld = robots, maybe? The Handmaid's Tale = dystopia squared by sexism. That's all I got, folks.
posted by brook horse at 5:01 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


"Good on race, bad on relationships" totally fails to get Master of None. It's not "Aziz Ansari is woke," it's "a mock-autobiographical character wants nice things for himself"* which makes his desire to be treated well despite being an Indian and yet to be free to depart from any Indian norm or tradition that doesn't suit him, and also his desire to have beautiful women fall for him to the point of wish-fulfilling excess, entirely internally consistent.

*"mock-autobiographical character wants nice things for himself" is the ur-theme of all sitcoms starring famous stand-ups; it's part of the show's accomplishment that it stays faithful to that.
posted by MattD at 5:02 PM on September 15, 2017 [11 favorites]


Honestly, these days I'm just not that interested in guy-only lead shows, especially contemporary ones. If all the leads are male and women only exist as secondary characters, you have a quite a row to hoe to get me to watch. I think Dirk Gently (US version) is the only show that I've recently finished that could be described so, and it seriously tried my patience at times even though I liked it over all. We just finished Sense8, are watching the last of Orphan Black, and have Killjoys coming up -- there's plenty to watch without that.

So I'm sure Stranger Things has its charms, but I'm just not interested in watching four boys and their princess-to-save. Master of None? Don't need any more guys moaning about how the hot girl doesn't want them. And so on.

We are planning to at least try Atlanta, it having managed to reach the threshold to get me interested.
posted by tavella at 5:10 PM on September 15, 2017 [10 favorites]


Oh hey Broad City is back.
posted by Artw at 5:12 PM on September 15, 2017 [11 favorites]


totally fails to get Master of None.

Oh I get it fine, its hardly all that subtle, I just don't find "his desire to have beautiful women fall for him to the point of wish-fulfilling excess" or "mock-autobiographical character wants nice things for himself" personally interesting. The episodes that feature and focus on his parents and his friends struggling with their own parents and/or the cultural demands upon them or the episodes with him dealing with his acting are interesting. To be clear, I like Aziz Ansari fine and I think the show is well directed (sadly a rarity with TV - Atlanta, a show I prefer, is well directed as well), I just don't care for the romantic subplot which takes over the latter half of the show because it brings nothing new to the form and is frequently tedious and irritating. YMMV.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:17 PM on September 15, 2017 [5 favorites]


What I do is regularly check MetaCritic for the top-rated shows. With very few exceptions, I agree with the critics' opinions and I end up watching almost all, and exclusively, the best shows on television.

I mean, I am amazed to find that in my middle-age, a medium which was almost universally worthless when I was young is so worthwhile now.

And the disparity between what most people are watching and what is highly-acclaimed (and prestige award nominated) is a function of the number of high-quality shows (or movies, or music, or books) produced.

The mass audience will always by definition tend toward mediocrity, so on average the acclaimed shows will be less-watched. There will be exceptions, but generally, if more producers aim at whatever is considered "high-quality" as opposed to "largest audience", then the critical consensus and, probably, awards, will favor less-watched shows.

This is a problem for awards that aim to recognize quality but, as awards (shows), are aimed to a mass audience. Ideally (for them), these awards would ignore most of the tail of the curve and concentrate on the best of what's aimed at a mass audience. You can see how, over time, these awards adjust this. There's much gnashing of teeth when most of the awards go to things that few have seen, because then the mass audience loses interest in the award. Rightly, because for a big portion of the audience the award has lost utility.

I mostly don't care about the big awards for this reason. The Emmies right now, though, haven't quite adjusted to the new landscape of television. They've adjusted some, though -- for example, one of the top three most critically acclaimed shows of the past five years, Rectify, was never nominated. I don't know how Top of the Lake got a nomination. Both these shows had/have audiences measured in the hundred-thousand range.

So, my point is that what's best for an award show is not necessarily what's best for the producers and networks. Often, the whole point for them is to make money from a relatively small-but-desirable audience -- sometimes indirectly (by adding prestige to the brand or whatever). That all these shows are being made may not be a problem for anyone -- that an award is losing relevance to its audience is a problem for the award. It's the award that needs adjusting, not the shows.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:18 PM on September 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


tavella: In Stranger Things, Winona Ryder plays the mother of the missing boy, and she is one of the main characters the narrative focuses on a lot and is quite compelling. The sister of the main boy protagonist also gets her own focused narrative. Not that you need to watch it if the plotline doesn't grab you, but I would not describe it as only having male leads!
posted by foxfirefey at 5:18 PM on September 15, 2017 [12 favorites]


Nanukthedog: Oh, wow, I hadn't checked! Now I'm a little upset, I actually put some thought into that Westworld comment and it gets drubbed by a throwaway Harry Potter/GoT joke :)
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 5:20 PM on September 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


I've just started watching The Expanse and have been pleasantly surprised how good it is (5 episodes in).

Master of None came across as too bro-ish after only one episode.

Handmaiden's Tale sounds a tad too plausible these days, so I'm noping outta that one.

Bojack Horsman has a new season out! I'll dig into that. Plus the Mindy project has its final season, that one's always good for hilarious escapism.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:20 PM on September 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: Like I said, I only got halfway through, but
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:21 PM on September 15, 2017 [10 favorites]


If you want man-baby shows check out Flaked. It is a show about an alcoholic that can't get his life together, except, the payoff is that the facts you think are facts aren't the facts and all this shit is even more sideways as to why it is the way it is than you think. So he's got some manbabymess (instead of manbabyness) to him but... well... lets just say the cards have been dealt very slowly and the cards are shit for everyone. And the man baby is less of a man baby than he he seems. Now, comparative to Master of None, Flaked is absolutely about a man baby but... well... its an interesting take...

But, Master of None? Aziz has his shit together... he's written a great show that really gives a great view into both the millennial, but also multi-generational immigrant bonds, race relations, just a bunch of WTFness of NYC and paints an interesting picture of a very changing world... like... the changing multiculturalism and the fact that the multiculturalism isn't important - except when it is, the ...yeah... Master of None is a really neat take on life... If it isn't your cup of tea - fine... I get that too, but it is definitely art and it has captured an experience that nothing else is currently getting.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:23 PM on September 15, 2017 [3 favorites]


Any love for Veep?
posted by ageispolis at 5:23 PM on September 15, 2017 [16 favorites]


There's actually an unusual number of shows that just became or will soon become available to me that I am interested in watching -- the new seasons of The Expanse, Bojack Horseman, and Stranger Things, as well as Star Trek: Discovery, The Defenders, and The Tick. However, there's only so much time in the day, so even if I end up loving all of them and watch them all the way through I likely won't get through all of those before, I dunno, the end of the year maybe? So far I've made it through about seven episodes of The Expanse season two.

But anyway, seems like a decent amount of potentially decent TV is hitting my streaming services these days.
posted by kyrademon at 5:25 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of the great existential sorrow and alienation I feel when trying to get people to watch Please Like Me, a gentle, close-played, and gorgeously rendered show that makes me less inclined to be so blanket when I grumble that I fucking hate TV. I've never seen anything quite like it—it's calm and joyous and harrowing and wonderful and HOLY SHIT DO I NEED TO CHLOROFORM YOU AND TIE YOU UP TO GET YOU TO WATCH THIS THING?

Of course, I live for podcasts, which are similarly limited in market penetration because, apparently, the concept of a magazine subscription for audio is the weirdest, most incomprehensible thing in the world.

One day, I suspect I'll find my way back to my original timeline. I hope Jack Benny will be there.
posted by sonascope at 5:30 PM on September 15, 2017 [9 favorites]


Awesome shows with women on streaming services:
Veep! (YES ageispolis!) - HBO
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Netflix
Dear White People - Netflix
Jessica Jones - Netflix
Anne with an 'E' - Netflix
The First 2 seasons of Orange is the New Black (Didn't care past that) - Netflix
Westworld - HBO
Catastrophe - Amazon Prime (2 people make a baby but, yes worth checking out)
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:36 PM on September 15, 2017 [11 favorites]


"The episodes that feature and focus on his parents and his friends struggling with their own parents and/or the cultural demands upon them or the episodes with him dealing with his acting are [interesting]."

Yep. That's exactly right. Most of the romantic stuff annoys me for the reasons already mentioned, and the small portion of the time that the romance is interesting and poignant, the show is doing something that many shows are doing better.

How can anyone not love his parents?

On the other hand, I despise Arnold and can't stand every minute he's on the screen. Even if he's satire, it's still infuriating or tiresome, or both.

BoJack Horseman is a brilliantly-written gem of a show that would get nominations if it weren't about a cartoon anthropomorphic horse.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:36 PM on September 15, 2017 [6 favorites]


How can anyone not love his parents?

Really, really hesitantly (because Master of None seems like exactly the kind of show I would be obsessed with), I will admit that his parents were a big problem for me as a viewer. Their dialogue delivery just felt so stilted that I found myself wincing whenever they came on screen. I kept wishing, quite ardently, that he had cast professional actors in those roles.

I might as well admit that I also found a lot of the dialogue in the first few episodes to be incredibly stilted -- which contributes to my general opinion of the show: amazing ideas, mediocre delivery.

Pretty much all my closest friends adore the show, though. And they've got great taste, so...
posted by mylittlepoppet at 5:46 PM on September 15, 2017


Awesome shows with women on streaming services...

Better Things. One of the best shows on TV now -- created, starred-in, written, and directed by a woman, about a single mother with daughters (and sometimes her eccentric mother). The second season premiered last night and it's one of the shows I've been most excited about. Atlanta and Better Things made for a wonderful block of television last year.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:48 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


Their dialogue delivery just felt so stilted that I found myself wincing whenever they came on screen.

It bothered me at first, then I began to see it as part of their characterization and of a piece with their idiosyncratic charm.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:50 PM on September 15, 2017 [5 favorites]


This whole thing reminds me of the huge kerfuffle on Learned League when there was a New Golden Age of Television Minileague and so many people complained that they hadn't heard of enough of the shows asked about. There's just so much these days.
posted by kmz at 5:53 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


What I do is regularly check MetaCritic for the top-rated shows. With very few exceptions, I agree with the critics' opinions and I end up watching almost all, and exclusively, the best shows on television.

I'm pretty aggressive about pruning & filtering my inputs, this site is exactly what I've been looking for, a central hub for announcing, rating & reviewing popular content. Thanks so much!
posted by scalefree at 6:21 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I feel like a stick in the mud. Most of the time, I check what's trending on Netflix, and choose something that looks interesting.
posted by pjmoy at 6:53 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't know what it says about me that I stay very tuned in to discussions of current TV shows and movies, but actually watch almost none of them.

I'm in this club. I listen to a bunch of TV podcasts, but I'm kinda picky about what I actually watch. I don't like sitcoms, or sad-life-of-violent-white-man dramas, or puzzle shows (bye, Westworld), and I have superhero fatigue, and I mostly only like genre shows (sci-fi, supernatural shit, cozy police procedurals.)

So I could follow along in a conversation about the latest episode of The Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones, but I'm not watching.

Awesome shows with women on streaming services...

I'll add Wynonna Earp (my current favorite), Killjoys, Dark Matter, iZombie, Humans, The Good Place (sitcom exception), and in the not currently airing category, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:03 PM on September 15, 2017 [5 favorites]


I am very curious about the sample used for this study (and couldn't find it easily, even via the Googs). Wondering if anyone uncovered more data?
posted by hijinx at 7:05 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


There's also the paid-access-only issue, in that if you haven't paid for the service you won't even know the shows exist, and that you have to start up the service and pick what to watch.

The most miraculous thing hollywood has done in recent years is getting me to pay, per season, for ALL of the shows in that list, plus more. I never got cable because it was "too expensive" but I'll pony up 30 dollars or whatever so I can watch Twin Peaks.

also, for the record, Master of None is one of the greatest shows I have ever watched bar none. Especially the second season, oh my god.
posted by Dr. Twist at 7:33 PM on September 15, 2017 [2 favorites]




One in twenty people isn't good?

Isn't that a lot?


as someone said of the ONE PERCENT -- it doesn't sound like that much, but there's 70 fucking million of them.
posted by philip-random at 11:50 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's really unclear though, if the article is alleging that these Emmy-Nominated shows are thus
- not representative of what 'most people' watch, or
- that the low numbers represent the total fragmentation of the TV viewing audience.

Without including stats on what are actually the 'most watched' shows overall (including the non-critically acclaimed) then this is meaningless.

Because I tend to think its really a fragmentation issue. The same thing is happening in Music. Even the 'most popular' music today barely sells to any thing like a 'majority'. There will never be another "Beatles" or "Rolling Stones" because the audience is radically fragmented that nothing has mass-appeal.

I thought I read somewhere else that Modern Family (at 56%) is actually one of the most widely watched shows these days. So...
posted by mary8nne at 12:50 AM on September 16, 2017


I just got excited to hear that Star Trek Discovery might be on Korean Netflix so I ran and googled it. It will be, yay! And also I found this gem:

The writing-and-producing staff of "Discovery" includes Rod Roddenberry, son of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry.

Gene Roddenberry named his son Rod. Rod Roddenberry.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:01 AM on September 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


I just got HBO Go, and my housemate found Westworld, and I am totally engrossed. Completely my style of TV, literature as moving art is so lovely.

But I'm a pretty distinct demographic. I'm a QTPOC and a feminist humanities majors who grew up reading very dense literary works and became an English major due to my anime/video game fandom analysis history. I need long epics with tons of subtext and moving parts to keep me engrossed (i.e. American Gods, Westworld, Game of Thrones, Nirvana on Fire, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) or really beautiful anime with that hits a million buttons on writing, action, humor, and visual design (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Lupin the III: The Woman Named Fujiko Mine, Michiko to Haatchin, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Serial Experiments Lain, FMA: Brotherhood again, and more). Also, the occasional Rick and Morty and Bob's Burger to spice things up.

Or I'll just watch the latest Winnie the Pooh movie like I did tonight, because children's media is freaking brilliant and wholesome and reminds me what values I should probably actually cultivate. Pooh Bear, you take me way back to what I should aspire to be.

But Emmy-award winning shows doesn't even cross my radar anymore. I am a niche TV viewer, and way more shows should be nominated for accolades than are avaliable, in order to keep the quality up. But oh well.
posted by yueliang at 3:38 AM on September 16, 2017 [2 favorites]


"But Emmy-award winning shows doesn't even cross my radar anymore."

But Westworld is being discussed because it was nominated. I guess all the others aren't on your radar, though?

BTW, my mother and her husband, both seventysomething, "some college", middle-class great-grandparents watch three-quarters of the shows listed. But that's mostly because of my influence, I guess.

What's interesting is that some of these shows they just love and then are mystified that other people they know aren't watching them. So there's some room to enlarge the audiences for some of these shows, with more exposure.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:17 AM on September 16, 2017


It's just the "peak TV" effect.

Imagine someone who regularly watches, say, alf of these critically acclaimed shows.

How many hours a week of TV watching is that, added up? More than most people have time for.
posted by kewb at 4:24 AM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Mountain Monsters is the best show on TV. Dragons, millennial angst, robot cowboys - none of them can hold a candle to the subtle joys of Hillbilly Alan Moore falling over in the woods while hunting Bigfoot.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:56 AM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


- that the low numbers represent the total fragmentation of the TV viewing audience.

That is my thought also. Moreover, does HBO necessarily care about everyone, or just their target audience? The days of there being only three channels and vast swathes of people watching a single show at the same time are irretrievably gone (and entirely for the better, in my opinion). Success means something different now than it did then, and the metrics need to change as well.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:57 AM on September 16, 2017


HBO absolutely doesn't care about everyone, just people who will pay $10 or more per month to get HBO.

The nice thing about denominating success by revenue rather than audience size is that you rewarded for the intensity of the appeal of your product, not just a binary watch – don't watch decision, and so high quality and reasonable variety within it highly incentivized.

The really nice thing about it is that you don't have to concentrate obsessively on 25 to 49-year-olds who watch shows live or within a day or two with DVRing them -- the only people advertisers will pay top dollar to reach. Even with iTunes/Vudu/etc a la cart and subscription sales, foreign sales, and licensing to Hulu, Netflix or Amazon, and it's extremely hard for an ad-supported network to maintain a show that doesn't hit its bogey for live +3 Nielsens in the demographic.

HBO also has a conspicuous advantage that it's subscribers have a low expectations for number of shows. It has 4 or 5 scripted shows a typical quarter and isn't licensing any external serial content off network. Netflix has a 2018 English language original slate of something like 100 or more series and has a huge load of creative and commerical decision-making around licensing of hundreds of more shows originally on network. (It's important to remember that Netflix globally is even bigger in English language TV than it is in the US, for example the Star Trek is a Netflix original worldwide other than the US and Canada.). Hulu and Amazon are trending that way. At a certain point having a lot less wood to chop enables you to chop it a little finer.
posted by MattD at 6:06 AM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


I highly recommend Playing House as a fantastically funny female-led comedy. While I couldn't quite force myself to abandon Master of None in that manbaby dominant back half, I'm more wary than ever of approaching any shows fronted by dudes. Right now, that leaves only I'm Sorry for regularly watched sitcoms, but taking notes from this thread.
posted by otsebyatina at 6:34 AM on September 16, 2017


Imagine someone who regularly watches, say, alf of these critically acclaimed shows.

I had to re-read that sentence a few times, because for a minute I thought somehow not only did an Alf reboot get made, but it was good enough to get nominated this year.

I was like, "I must be really out of the loop to miss the new Alf."
posted by FJT at 6:42 AM on September 16, 2017 [5 favorites]


I've been learning the ukulele instead.
posted by JanetLand at 6:49 AM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Americans: Bear in mind we have all your critically acclaimed shows to try and keep up with, and then our own culture's critically acclaimed shows as well.
posted by biffa at 7:01 AM on September 16, 2017


For those just catching up on Westworld, it got lots and lots of discussion over on FanFare - between 100 and 300 comments per episode.

However, that discussion includes a lot of speculation about various emerging themes in the show, much of which proved quite on the nose, so if you want to enjoy the show completely fresh you might want to read the weekly comments after you've finished. (One the other hand, if you want pointers to all the 'so what is being hinted at here?' moments, jump right in!)
posted by Major Clanger at 7:32 AM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


Americans: Bear in mind we have all your critically acclaimed shows to try and keep up with, and then our own culture's critically acclaimed shows as well.

Well, I try to watch yours, too. And sometimes Danish TV.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:39 AM on September 16, 2017


> I don't know what it says about me that I stay very tuned in to discussions of current TV shows and movies, but actually watch almost none of them.

That's me, only with sports. I don't quite understand it myself.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:51 AM on September 16, 2017


Mountain Monsters is the best show on TV. Dragons, millennial angst, robot cowboys -

Thanks, I was super excited for this show I'd never heard of that has dragons, millennial angst, and robot cowboys, and now I'm just inordinately disappointed.
posted by brook horse at 7:51 AM on September 16, 2017 [10 favorites]


Gene Roddenberry named his son Rod. Rod Roddenberry.

TBS he named him Eugene Wesley -- his own given and middle names, thus a Jr. -- so he acquired the nickname Rod at an early age.

As for TV, I'm currently watching the new season of BoJack, and it's probably the best thing on TV right now as far as I'm concerned. I see that 30 Rock is going off Netflix and I'm thinking there goes my chance to rewatch that -- the best mainstream sitcom of its era -- but I have so many new good things to watch that I'm only a little bit in a sad. The one show I didn't see mentioned here at all -- and it's a women-centered show -- is Fleabag (on Prime), a terrific black comedy centered on Phoebe Waller-Bridge (she was the barrister Abby on Broadchurch). It derives from a one-woman show she did on stage.

In the same vein, I enjoyed S1 of GLOW a lot, especially the Marc Maron character, which feels written precisely for him, and Alison Brie is similarly terrific although the first few episodes do feel a bit forced. (It's from the Orange production people, and Orange didn't get really good until S2 either.) I'm no fan of wrestling, but the characters and stories have the same approach.

And sometimes Danish TV.

Borgen! It has its soapy moments but it's one of the best dramas about politics I've ever seen. Largely because it avoids the earnest sentimentality about "good people doing their best" that makes The West Wing a touch too ripe.

Anyway, as for awards and audience, I thought it was nice of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to include a call-out like "We must be living in a golden age of television if we take a show like The Americans for granted!"
posted by dhartung at 6:08 PM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


To add to Nanukthedog's list of "Awesome shows with women on streaming services:"

GLOW (about women wrestlers) - Netflix
Unreal (about making of reality TV) - Hulu
posted by of strange foe at 9:57 PM on September 16, 2017


I had no clue Westworld was Emmy nominated, so your presumption is false! It just looked interesting, and I don't pay attention to any of the discussions.
posted by yueliang at 2:16 AM on September 17, 2017


If you don't mind a very old-fashioned sitcom, the One Day At a Time remake is another awesome show featuring women on a streaming service. I also enjoyed The Bold Type, which isn't good exactly, but it's a lot of fun to watch a show about smart, ambitious women and men being nice to and supportive of each other.

Is this where we're discussing the Emmy's?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:08 PM on September 17, 2017


The only nominated comedies I watched are Atlanta and Silicon Valley. SV should have won for its first and seconds seasons, but the recent season was a poopy mess. So I hope Atlanta wins. I feel that Glover is doing what Louie CK did with Louie, but better.
posted by riruro at 5:14 PM on September 17, 2017


Yet another "awesome show with women on streaming services" would be Netflix's Grace and Frankie. I love all of the characters on that show so much. Frankie is pretty much who I'd like to be when I grow up/older.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:35 PM on September 17, 2017


Oh wow, Lena Waithe just won an Emmy for this episode. That's super well deserved.
posted by Artw at 9:02 PM on September 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


San Junipero took one home as well so not bad. On the downside they let lying fuck Sean Spicer on stage and tried to make out that it's cute that he's a lying fuck, but that's probably outside of the sphere of this conversation.
posted by Artw at 9:04 PM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]


Another woman-centric show is "Insecure".

I really think that Better Call Saul should have won Best Drama (w. Handmaid's Tale), that Pamela Adlon from Better Things should have won Lead Actress in a Comedy (w. Julia Louis Dreyfus in Veep), Atlanta should have won Best Comedy (w. Veep), and Thandie Newton from Westworld should have won Supporting Actress in Drama (w. Ann Down for Handmaid's Tale).

But the big gap in my viewing is Handmaid's Tale, so there a few where I might think otherwise when I watch it.

I really, really don't think Veep or Dreyfus should have won this year -- those are the two which bother me the most. Veep was weak this season -- I'm okay with its past record, but this year was a disappointment. And Dreyfus is just doing the same thing every year. Atlanta and Adlon we're robbed.

The biggest certainty in my opinion was John Lithgow in The Crown. He's amazing, and that's reward-bait, anyway.

Danny Glover won lead actor and also best director in comedy -- well deserved. The above-discussed Aziz Ansari along with Lena Waithe of Master of None won best writing for episode "Thanksgiving" -- I very much agree with that. Despite other problems of the show, that was an example of its best.

I also haven't watched This is Us -- I'm skeptical of that kind of show on one of the big-three broadcast networks. I could be persuaded by someone I trust. And I really enjoyed Stranger Things, but was puzzled at all its nominations (not really, it's the fan favorite), so I'm okay with it not winning. Many nominations and no wins seems right.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:21 PM on September 17, 2017 [2 favorites]


I tried to watch This is Us a couple times (it is partially set in Pittsburgh, so I feel compelled) but holy jesus god is that the least realistic show I've seen pretty much ever. I kept getting yanked out of the story by details both large and small that are basically every breathless "This is a thing that 100% did not happen" Facebook share brought to life. I had to bail to spare myself and eyeball strain. But I have a lot of relatively woke friends who love it, so what do I know?
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:46 AM on September 18, 2017


All the ads for network shows I saw during the ad break looked like 30 Rock spoof shows, so I guess I am thoroughly spoiled by my 100% premium show diet.
posted by Artw at 6:05 AM on September 18, 2017


While Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt does have compelling female characters, it's also worth noting that it has extensively documented problems with race.
posted by zeusianfog at 11:10 AM on September 18, 2017


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