Sitting through dozens of program panels during a traditional in-person Television Critics Association tour while feigning enthusiasm for all of them can be a challenge for even the most dedicated television critic. That is also true at present, as 16 networks and services (including PBS) continue to offer TCA members (and other invited television journalists) virtual panels for established franchises and upcoming shows in the “comfort” of their own homes. Not everything is compelling. Not everything sends a jolt of energy through the room (physical or virtual). So, when a new show looks to be something special the excitement is palpable. That happened with the first panel of Netflix’s virtual lineup -- the upcoming dark drama series Ratched. (A reminder: The official TCA summer tour has been cancelled. The current experience is a substitute effort orchestrated by PBS and CTAM.)
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