I am sick and tired of TV shows being so long they’re almost movie-length.
Look, I’m gonna be real: I work a full-time job. My commute to the office takes two hours return. By the time I get home, cook dinner, eat, shower, tidy up and am ready to wind down and tiredly watch some telly, you know what I *don’t* want to do? Commit more than a fkn hour to a TV show I’m barely even invested in to begin with.
Of course, I’m looking at you, House of the Dragon. For a show that everyone is watching purely for the zeitgeist, you are bad and also too long. And as someone who is being held hostage by your unfathomably strong grip on the nation, I need you to stop.
I missed an episode of House of the Dragon a couple of weeks ago because I had a hectic weekend, though I wasn’t particularly bummed since it’s not very good anyway. I also missed the episode of Rings of Power that week too, which I was actually somewhat enjoying. My following week was also busy, so I didn’t have time to catch up until the weekend… which meant I then had two episodes from both shows to catch up on.
Each episode of these respective shows is roughly an hour long, often bleeding out to be 1 hour 15 minutes. If I have to catch up on four episodes, I’m looking at spending anywhere between four and five hours just to catch up. What the fuck!
Rings of Power has gotta be the most faithful Tolkien adaptation to date because absolutely nothing has happened over five episodes.
— Michelle Law 羅敏儀 (@ms_michellelaw) September 25, 2022
Naturally, I was overwhelmed by all the TV watching I needed to do. This was meant to be something fun I do in my spare time. Then it felt like a task. So, I did what I always do in these situations: I procrastinated. And now another week has gone by, and I have about six hours worth of content to catch up on.
I miss the days when comedies remained 22 minutes and longer, more serious TV shows cut off at 45 minutes due to broadcasting rules. It forced writers and producers to create a show that was well-paced and moved along reasonably quickly because of the time constraints.
It also meant shows were more addictive because of where they cut off, which I loved. I don’t binge anything these days because just one episode can be so exhausting.
Now, I’m noticing a pattern of TV shows being long because they can. No one seems to be asking whether they should.
The fourth season of Stranger Things, for example, was way too fucking long.
Jesus, these new episodes of #StrangerThings are just too fucking long. I don’t want to commit to a movie every single night just to watch a TV show!
— Neil+ (@Sax_R) September 27, 2022
This is one of my favourite shows of all time, but the new length meant certain scenes dragged, some interactions felt pointless and certain plot points were definitely just time-fillers.
My partner only started watching Stranger Things this year and we flew through the first three seasons in just a couple of weeks. When he reached the fourth season, we hit a wall: when the fuck do we have time to watch a two hour episode of literally anything?
TV shows, for me, are downtime — they’re fun and, more importantly, they’re supposed to be easier and more accessible than watching a movie. An in-between if you will, for when I want to watch something but don’t want to commit a long amount of time. Which is especially good for evenings after work, when I only have an hour or less to spare between all the other things I have to do.
Some shows, like Game of Thrones, were long but it worked: they were still riveting AF and you didn’t feel the length. These more recent shows are long and for what???
I don’t want to watch a fucking movie every night. And at this point, I’m not even finishing shows I *actually like* because I just can’t make the time.
Since when did TV watching become such a chore? Because, last I checked, I’m meant to look forward to this.