Blame TV for Endless Midseason Breaks - If I die, Blame TV!TV's schedules are so chaotic that they almost feel like work.
One time, back in January of this year, I made a declaration to all the internet: Netflix's division into two seasons of Ozark was a great thing. Four months later and it's clear that I was foolish. I was a reckless and childish fool. The midseason break isn't an opportunity to have a change of pace. These midseason breaks are a brutal and sinister game that our TV overlords play, and I want them to stop.
Two-part seasons were the first experiment by Netflix. I was able to understand it. Netflix was the first to release entire seasons of content at once. This strategy is great for dominating social trend for a weekend, but it's terrible for making new content last for several weeks. Money Heist, Ozark were the final seasons that allowed streaming services to have both their cake and eat it. While fans could watch new episodes in their entirety, the long delay of Parts 1 through 2 allowed these shows to remain relevant and popular. This seemed to be an elegant way of solving a problem that had been self-imposed.
Because they were unique and fulfilling, these episode drops worked. It was my desire to enjoy the last season of Ozark. I have been following Marty Byrde's (Jason Bateman), journey since 2017. Also, Money Heist's final was split into five segments, while Ozark had seven episodes. This is enough content for an enjoyable night of TV.
It's out of control. Stranger Things split its latest season in two, but it's not even the last. Even worse? Even worse? Part 2 of Part 1 will have only two episodes. Part 1 has seven episodes. Is that logic? Even though the episodes are only two, who wants to sit through weeks of waiting to see them?
Better Call Saul also used the two-parter strategy for its last season. However, it is easier to understand than some other programs. The split season was partly due to Bob Odenkirk’s health issues. Star Trek: Discovery. Rick and Morty. Big Sky. Central Park. Riverdale. Lupin. All of them have pulled the midseason hiatus card, whether they were premiering new episodes weekly or dumping them all at once.
It's hard work as someone who has to follow the TV world's bizarre happenings. My workday is now dominated by obsessively checking premiere dates and reviewing them again. This information was something I used to feel confident about a few years back. This is not a small workplace problem, but it can also be a sign of something larger. What's the problem with average viewers if my job involves keeping track of TV?
It seems like every streaming service has its own release schedule. Netflix will drop all seasons at once - unless it does not. It then releases a two-parter, or experiment with a weekly schedule. Hulu releases all episodes at once, but not every episode. Sometimes, those episodes are released weekly. Sometimes, a handful of episodes air before the weekly release schedule. Other times it is a 5-night event. FX series that are available on Hulu have the same problem. However, Hulu will not air FX originals. HBO has a weekly release schedule, but HBO Max prefers a three-two-two-two-one split (Raised By Wolves). Unless it's feeling more like a two-two-one-one-one-one episode split (The Flight Attendant Season 2). You could also do a two-two,two-two split. It can also drop all episodes in one go (Hi Close Enough! That's insane. This is only one reason why there are so many two-part seasons.
Teachers should not waste precious time researching the fate of Stranger Things, or why their new favorite show choose chaos over a consistent release schedule. Normal people are busy with their jobs and have children who need our attention. They also have social obligations. It doesn't make sense for people to spend their time researching when their favourite shows are returning. It takes energy and time to find premiere dates. How can preparing for entertainment become a mini-job? And why are these streaming services — companies that rely on audiences watching their content — making it so difficult to do just that?
A well-placed TV event can make me happy. This has become absurd, frankly. Reduce the number of parters, for the good and enjoyment of everything in this world. These are the nonsensical releases I could stomach, but these? This is becoming absurd.