Why the series every time have longer and longer episodes

The final episode of Succession, the last great series of widespread prestige and acclaim that has concluded in HBO, It lasts 90 minutes. What was long considered the standard length of a feature film, in the case of the series of Jesse Armstrong represents the culmination of a season of ten episodes, each over an hour long; the penultimate already left until 70 minutes.

ted lasso is another highly awarded series that concludes and in its final season has radically stretched the duration of its episodes. In the case of sports fiction from AppleTV+ starring jason sudeikis the difference is more noticeable since it was born as a sitcom with episodes that did not exceed half an hour to go increasing gradually in each new season: the second, around 40 minutes; the third, criminal durations of up to 70 minutes.

In Netflix, the latest episodes of Queen Charlotte, the spin off of The Bridgertons, they increase the usual 60 minutes of the series to 75 and also offer a 90-minute denouement. Even so, they are figures that pale before the barbarity of stranger things in its fourth season: episodes of more than an hour, even an hour and a half, until culminating in a season finale of 140 minutes. You still have to ask for a leave of absence to see what the Duffer in the next.

They are not episodes, they are movies.

One of the reasons behind the growth in the consumption of series during the last decades used to be sought in the lack of free time left by the rhythms of our turbocapitalist society for audiovisual leisure at the end of the day. You get home, plug in your favorite screen and consume one compact dose of entertainment without many complications or an unaffordable time commitment.

The advantage over the domestic consumption of movies was the possibility of organizing without eating many hours of sleep thanks to the standardized television length (American and British; Spanish television fiction moved in other coordinates). Depending on the time you had, you chose a sitcom (20-30 minutes) or a drama (40-60 minutes if you went with the pedigree up). First premium cable (HBO and family) and then streaming platforms they made that norm jump through the air.

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Jason Sudeikis in ‘Ted Lasso’

Now creativity would not be limited by ad blocks, they said, so each story would have enough time to develop according to its needs. It sounded good, although in practice we already know what happened: industrial amounts of filler stretching episodic narratives that concentrated their important events in just the last few minutes (do you remember the series Marvel Netflix?).

He streaming model enhances oversized durations for a very simple reason: the longer the episode lasts, the longer it keeps you glued to the screen. Despite the criticized opacity in the audience data of the platforms, they all like to show their chests with the total number of hours watched for their series, so If an episode scratches an extra handful of minutes from your bedtime, welcome be. she already said it Reed Hastings In 2017, Netflix’s biggest competitor isn’t the other platforms: it’s the hours of sleep.

Brief history of elongated TV

If you systematically need a feature length to tell your story, perhaps you should ask yourself what you are. In any case, like everything that has to do with the strategies of streaming platforms, nothing about this trend is exactly new.

Practically since the birth of television, the creators of stories have fought against duration restrictions too iron. totems like i love you lucy either MASH they experimented with longer special episodes either divided into two parts or with athletic feats such as the two-hour series finale, directed by Alan Alda; for decades, it was the most watched television fiction in history.

Filming of 'MASH'
Filming of ‘MASH’

It is easy to understand how this type of proposal they functioned thanks to their exceptionality. friends ended their seasons with a season finale double the duration; split into two episodes, but aired on the same night. The event Feeling, and commercials have always liked to throw away the house for sale with superlatives.

We have the problem now that that exception has become in the norm and what stands out is just the opposite, as has been shown Barry either Atlanta, two sublime titles and fully children of the streaming era made up of episodes lasting around half an hour. can be done Top quality series that also leave you time to live.

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Why the series every time have longer and longer episodes