Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix is a respected TV critic who loves his job. He's just not sure you can entirely trust his judgment anymore because of the crazy amount of shows out there. He pulls some stats from FX to make the point: In 2002, 28 original scripted dramas and six original comedies were on premium and basic cable; in 2007, those numbers were 42 and 17; last year, 77 and 48; this year is on pace to top last year—and mind you, that's not even including network shows.
"There's always been a certain amount of triage that comes with this job (I've more or less stopped watching reality TV altogether, for instance, just for time management purposes), but I feel my cuts are becoming more ruthless than ever," writes Sepinwall. He might watch a pilot but can't check back for subsequent episodes to chart progress or backsliding. If, for example, Buffy the Vampire Slayer came along today, he fears he might write it off because of its relatively weak start. "I'm saying this not to complain about a job I deeply love, but simply to pull back the curtain on some of the challenges that go into doing it." Click for his full column. (Read more television stories.)