Is Damnation the most woke US TV Drama of all time?
In the first few minutes of the opening episode of depression-era drama Damnation, one character asks another about the local farmers’ strike: ‘What are you striking against‘? The other replies: ‘The American economic system‘. As this pithy response suggests, Damnation is a mainstream US television series dramatising the struggle between capital and labour across 10 nail-biting episodes. It aired on the USA Network between November 2017 and January 2018 and is now to stream globally via Netflix. Damnation‘s viewing figures were low and a week after the season finale, the USA Network announced it would not be commissioning a second season. It’s not surprising it got cancelled after one season – what is surprising is that it got commissioned at all. So where does Damnation sit in the canon of woke US TV?