We live in a glorious period, one in which television options are abundant. During this era of peak television, there are too many great shows for any one person to be able to watch, and so we pick and choose the four or five or six shows we watch every week. More shows are being watched, but those shows have fewer viewers.
It’s put the internet in a difficult position, however, because there are only a few shows with enough viewers to generate big conversations. For all the choices, in many respects we’ve reverted to a kind of monoculture, thanks to the phenomenon in which the internet crowds around only a few shows to the detriment of all others. Right now, those two shows are The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. With the exception of the first season of True Detective and the NFL, nothing else since Breaking Bad comes close to those two shows in terms of the number of viewers, and the ability to attract an audience of that scale on the internet.
That’s going to change soon. When Preacher debuts later this month on AMC, it’s finally going to break The Walking Dead/Game of Thrones logjam, because Preacher has everything the internet loves in a show: Great and abundant source material with which we can make comparisons; mysteries we can tease out and explore; questions about faith and spirituality; an abundance of characters; compelling and original storylines; myriad influences from Westerns to Tarantino to the Bible; and sex, booze, blood and bullets.
It’s also wicked fun. If there is a God — and Preacher certainly suggests there is — this show is going to be huge.