In the era of Peak TV, audiences have never had shorter attention spans when it comes to new shows. For many people, there’s simply too many great TV shows available to stick with a show that struggles in its first season.

That’s a shame, because many of the greatest shows in TV history have had underwhelming debut seasons. When making traditional television, the first year of a show is almost always something of a test run, the show’s writers and actors trying to get a handle on the show’s worldview and aesthetic. Thematically ambitious shows often have the hardest time with this, as they try to marry practical, technical hardships with more creative ones.

And while modern audiences are ...

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