No, You Don’t Have To Watch Every Episode To Enjoy Prestige TV

It’s OK to skip episodes — or entire seasons — of a prestige TV show, says New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik, a stance that Lifehacker boldly took in May. He cites fellow critic Alan Sepinwall, who’s sick of the “It Gets Good phenomenon” that plagues Peak TV. Even critics, who get paid to watch TV, don’t want to slog through bad episodes of good shows. Why should you?

Photo by schmilblick

According to Poniewozik, fans call the new Twin Peaks an “18-hour movie”. You know what else is an 18-hour movie? Andy Warhol’s Empire, played twice, then two more hours. It’s an eight-hour shot of the Empire State Building. “I believe your life will be better if you watch some Twin Peaks rather than none,” says Poniewozik, so go ahead and watch whatever parts you want, then quit without guilt.

This is also a great strategy for getting your friends into your favourite show. Don’t push the whole series on them and say “stick with it until season three” or they will never start watching. Just pick your favourite episode and recommend that. Then if they don’t like it, you’ve only wasted one hour of their time, not 18.