Illustration by Andrew B. Myers
Television felt big in 2022—not just in the number of shows that débuted (a staggering legion, no doubt) but in the spectacle on display. This was especially apparent in the I.P.-amped fantasy realm. “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” on Amazon Prime Video, earned the dubious distinction of becoming the most expensive series ever made, with a production budget reportedly topping a billion dollars. Its closest rival, HBO’s “House of the Dragon,” featured too many flying lizards to count, and threatened to resuscitate the monoculture that was eulogized alongside “Game of Thrones.” Meanwhile, the “Star Wars” series “Andor,” on Disney+, made planet-hopping akin to boarding a rocket-propelled Greyhound bus.
It’s unclear how much longer TV will stay bulky and bloated; Wall Street’s souring on streaming in the past several months portends a contraction in the entertainment industry that’s already begun, with the shelving of some films and the whittling down of on-demand