A scene from Netflix’s miniseries “Chernobyl”.
We may be living in troubled times, but if you think that means that television shows with distressing subject matter would have trouble finding an audience, think again. Programming that traffics in gloom and doom, such as HBO’s “Chernobyl,” is resonating with large numbers of people, many of whom not only watch it, but binge-watch it.
Based on actual events, “Chernobyl” is the story of a nuclear disaster that took place in Ukraine in 1986. Despite the worrying subject matter and gruesome content, HBO said that it attracted six million viewers during its five-episode run. It also currently holds the number one spot on the Internet Movie Database’s list of top-rated shows. Furthermore, travel agents who specialize in tourism to the area already report an increase in business, which they attribute directly to the show.
The program is not an outlier. Streaming services are currently full of shows that give viewers few…