Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter Season Finale and the Cliffhanger is Back Baby

So many of my favorite shows are "taking a break." They call it a Winter Season Finale, or Mid-Season finale. All I can say is WTF. Really, I remember this in recent years, but back in the day (if you will) we watched new shows until they ran out. The shows were spaced apart so they could last the entire season, a rerun or two was added to make it until sweeps. When we got to sweeps and the networks wanted the whole world watching, that's when we would get the Season Finale. An awesome cliffhanger that keep you on the edge of your seat until the show started again, several months later.

Now things are different. I guess it's just the way network television is going. Because so many shows are available on Netflix and Amazon and Hulu, the major networks can't really afford a repeat or two. They have to have new new new, and there isn't enough to go around. So you get your 10 episodes and then a "winter break." I am a little conflicted on what I prefer.

The downside of the break; that show you have lived and breathed for 10 weeks is now gone, smack dab in the middle of the story. You are left to enjoy what you had, and do your best to remember what happened when the show comes back. Another problem, you may go somewhere else and start watching another great show. For the sake of the networks, they can only hope that other show you start watching isn't better then theirs or there is a possibility it also will take a break, just in time for your other show to come back. A viscous cycle I think.

The upside, the cliffhanger is back baby. I know you feel my need for a cliffhanger. So many shows end when the season is over, and they don't know if they are returning, so they wrap things up in a little bow. They make sure you feel satisfied, because if the show goes away and never comes back you feel ok, and you're not mad and anyone in particular. I love the cliffhanger. When a show is just taking a break, they can get you. Take you to the edge of your seat, and leave you hanging with your mouth open while you are watching the credits. Its a great feeling. I remember the days of Dallas and Falcon Crest. Those were great cliffhangers. This concept along could save the good network shows. What a great way to keep people watching.

The networks need to be careful about how long the break lasts. I am sure they talk about it in detail. We are very busy people. Many of us, medicated for some type of condition that affects are attention span. So too long of a break, just means I am forgetting what I saw and moving on. One great thing I saw recently was a show recap. ABC did a great one for the show Scandal. I have watched every season of this 3 season drama. I really like it, but this season at the beginning there was an entire show devoted to the recap. It was an hour, narrated by one of the actors. It was genius. I told several people who hadn't watched, to watch the recap, and then they could just take it from there. It allowed you to know what happened in three seasons, all in one hour. Now I know you might be thinking, how good of a show can it be, if you can summarize 3 seasons in 1 hour. I still recommend getting the previous seasons on Netflix, but if you needed the cliff notes, ABC was there for you.

This week will be the last episode for some of my shows for a while. I guess that means my DVR will have some breathing room. I guess it's perfect with the holidays. After the holidays everything comes back in full furry. I think Showtime will get Shameless, Californication and House of Lies started again. I also will be on the look out for the new Dallas on TNT, and the return of Kevin Bacon in the Following on Fox.

It's a viewers choice when it comes to television watching, so rest up and enjoy your break, because come 2014 there is going to be a whole lot of TV going on. Try to find time to make a minute.