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All At Once vs Week By Week


Methods of Release  

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2 hours ago, Don Wiskerando said:

Most things are padded to fuck these days.  I'd rather a series that has 8x 1 hour  episodes be condensed into 4x 1 and a half hour movies.

This is my problem with a number of shows on Netflix, etc. 


Warrior Nun would be a good example. There was no good reason for that shit being 10 episodes. 

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2 hours ago, Darren said:

Of the binary options I picked all at once, but we tend not to binge multiple episodes at a time, unless it's a massive cliffhanger or there's only one more episode left. For most dramas we like to watch an episode a night - so you have time for the previous one to sink in and let you think about it, but it's still fresh in your mind the next night when you carry on.


Although we've enjoyed the forced weekly schedule of things like the Mandalorian, and previously Game of Thrones - it makes each episode seem like an event when everyone is talking about the same thing. So perhaps I should have voted weekly after all.


Delayed gratification FTW!


I would like to see more options than the two standard options. 


The new MCU Wanda series seems to have a mystery at the heart of it, so why not drop an episode a day and play out the story that way. 


I definitely think there are more options available than all at once or once a week. 

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2 hours ago, Clipper said:

Dead Set did one a day (not streaming it was a  C4 "event" I know) and that was a superb choice when I rewatch it I always take a few days over it as the show really suits the structure.

quoting myself but saying that I think for the dvd release and certainly for one repeat showing they stitched it all together into a "movie"


ANd for another repeat viewing they put it into 3 hour long episodes so that just goes to show - something - I guess :D


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I've found I will take a whole series of something and watch a couple of episodes each week, with the option of more if it grips me. I like having the option to do so. It's rare to find something that addictive I want to watch everything at once. Last thing like that was The first four series of Line Of Duty which I binged over four weekends. The thought of having to wait a week for a whole new episode to come out isn't something I really like in this 'boxset' era. 

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On 16/01/2021 at 13:42, Harsin said:

On watching various recent shows that's become clear to me is that if platforms do want to go back to a week by week model, they should really tailor the writing for that. For example The Mandolorian had a weekly released and it didn't bother me due to how episodic it was, each episode felt like it's own satisfying adventure with a beginning, middle and end - even there were plot threads that spanned the season.


On the other hand I felt season 3 of The Boys (which switched from an all at once model) really suffered from its new style of release. The episodes still felt like they were designed to be binged, bleeding into each other and as a result sometimes felt unsatisfying in isolation.


Somebody wrote about this nearly 9 years ago, before streaming was the source, it's all HBO's fault:



But is this a good thing? The Sopranos opened up what was possible on television. But it also limited it. It seems silly to state that the addition of ambition to the medium has somehow hindered its growth, but making HBO the gold standard against which quality programming is judged has hurt television more than it’s helped it. The A.V. Club’s TV editor Todd VanDerWerff started pointing out the change in HBO’s approach when, speaking of Game Of Thrones, he noted something that had been in the back of my mind but not fully formulated until I heard him say it: HBO isn’t in the business of producing episodes in the traditional manner. Rather, it airs equal slices of an overall story over a fixed series of weeks. If I may put words into his mouth: HBO doesn’t air episodes of television, it airs installments.




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Using The Sopranos as an example of the type of thing he's talking about is very odd to me. The Sopranos worked very well on an episode by episode basis, there were entire episodes devoted to single self-contained stories that didn't really play into the broader arc at all. I usually finished an episode feeling satisfied that the episode had a satisfying arc, whether narrative or thematic, in and of itself. Other recent examples off the top of my head that pulled this off might be Mad Men or even The Haunting of Hill House. 


Obviously this wasn't around when the author wrote his article but Stranger Things is probably the most popular example of what's he's talking about. It's just a very very long movie divided into chunks and is always trying to lure you into watching the next episode by rarely having an episode end satisfactorily on its own merits but leaving some thread dangling. There are practically no arcs or thematic elements contained within a single episode.

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I assume that was chosen as it was HBO's first massive hit, which set the benchmark against which all other TV drama came to be judged against. It's an interesting article which talks about various facets of the episode versus installment model for TV drama.


But as somebody who thinks HBO are indeed the Gold standard against which all others are judged, I'm perfectly happy that they raised the bar for what was expected of TV and the way stuff is made, they do have a disproportionate hold on the Top Ten GOAT list.

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