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Anyone else fed up of shows with a continuous storyline the whole season?

VincentMatts

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So I started watching Star Trek Discovery yesterday and of course, as with every other show on the planet these days, the first episode ended without resolution, without any satisfaction. I know that some shows have done this very well like GoT and such, but I'm at a point now that I'm just not enjoying watching anything anymore because I know that there wont be a "resolution" until the very last episode of the season. And that's if the season itseft doesn't end on a cliffhanger like The Boys season 1 did.

I just find this way of doing shows is really unsatisfying now. I'm not enjoying watching shows anymore unless I can binge them. And even then.

I miss the days where, kinda like X-files, there was a "monster of the week", and episode stories in the middle of the season ended at the hour mark. At least you have some satisfaction that way. These days theres no more satisfaction. Its one cliffhanger after another.

Anyone else feel this way or is it just me?
 
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Stouffers

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So I started watching Star Trek Discovery yesterday and of course, as with every other show on the planet these days, the first episode ended without resolution, without any satisfaction. I know that some shows have done this very well like GoT and such, but I'm at a point now that I'm just not enjoying watching anything anymore because I know that there wont be a "resolution" until the very last episode of the season. And that's if the season itseft doesn't end on a cliffhanger like The Boys season 1 did.

I just find this way of doing shows is really unsatisfying now. I'm not enjoying watching shows anymore unless I can binge them. And even then.

I miss the says where kinda like X-files, there was a "monster of the week" and episode stories in the middle of the season ended at the hour mark. At least you have some satisfaction that way. These days theres no more satisfaction. Its one cliffhanger after another.

Anyone else feel this way or is it just me?
Classic X files is a great example. There’s a constant undercurrent of a larger story, but you get a sense of satisfaction at the end of most episodes.
 

Nymphae

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I remember that being a problem with The Walking Dead in a few seasons when I watched it, you only really needed to watch the season opener/finale and the rest was filler.

Season long arcs are fine in and of themselves but you're making episodic television - the individual episodes need to be worthwhile themselves not just stepping stones to your spaced out plot points.
 

Nymphae

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I feel like this is probably more of a problem now because of binge culture. In the past your show had to impress with individual episodes that would be aired whenever syndication aired it. Season long arcs were there of course but you literally couldn't binge, so I think individual episodes took on more importance than "writing for the season arc", which was necessary but often felt secondary to coming up with a good show for the week (The X-Files? Great stuff but the conspiracy was sort of cobbled together differently in each season as they went on impressing with monster of the weeks)
 
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iconmaster

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Yeah, I've noticed this recently. "Endeavor" is a prequel series to a British detective drama, "Inspector Morse." It's pretty consistently good, but the attempts to work in a larger conspiracy arc underneath the episodic mysteries make me roll my eyes. It feels like an attempt to make a cop show into something much more significant than it has to be.
 

GreyHorace

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Yes I'm quite fed up with TV shows having long overarching storylines that you have to follow for the whole of the season. It gets tiring having to follow plot threads for multiple episodes. Give me some episodic storytelling like they used to do before binge watching became a thing.

It's one of the big problems I have with Netflix's original shows. I liked Daredevil and thought it's first season was great, but it was tiring having to follow it. Same with The Witcher, which ditched the structure of the original short stories by Andrzej Sapkowski in an effort to tie it in with the greater narrative of the novel cycle. What resulted is a confusing mess of a show that has multiple timelines that only a Witcher fan like me could follow.

A really good tv show for me would stick to an episodic structure while providing small hints of an overarching storyline.
 
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Mossybrew

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I think Lost was probably the turning point where more and more shows started going long-form afterwards. But it can be a hard formula to imitate, Lost was great at making individual episodes satisfying, and also keeping you on the edge of your seat for the next episode. Not every show gets that balance right, it's not an easy thing to do, like The Boys S2 recently, so much felt like pointless filler and individual episodes were just not satisfying.

Justified was another show that got this balance right. It had a good overall setup where there were long form plot points across the whole series, but each season told a tight story within that overall framework that wrapped up in a satisfying way each time.
 
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Fbh

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Nah it's the other way for me. I like big continuous stories and I've never been much of a fan of the "story of the week" format. I started enjoying shows like Supernatural and Person of Interest a lot more when they moved to a more serialized format (though to be fair that Supernatural episode where they are trapped in various TV shows parodies was GOAT)

I do however love anthology style shows where it's a completely different story with a different style and cast every week. Like the earlier Seasons of Black Mirror before if went to shit or Love Death and Robots.
I also really like what Fargo does where it's serialized but each season is a mostly standalone story.
 
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-Arcadia-

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Episodic and serial makes for the best TV shows (at least in certain genres). Have self-contained stories, but also long, satisfying multi-episode plots or season arcs.

I agree with you OP. It is getting a bit tiresome. TV these days is like reading a book. Which is fine — I love that. Just not all the time. There’s an art to twenty or forty minutes of great, self-contained television.
 

nkarafo

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Most self sustaimed episode shows are comedies, yes? Because drama wouldnt really work this way?
 

GloveSlap

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It depends on the show, but I do have a soft spot for shows that mix stand alone and story arc episodes. Buffy, Supernatural, Angel, X-Files, etc. all did the mix perfectly.
 

0neAnd0nly

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I can spoil most modern/ current TV shows.

Orange man bad. Done. Somehow that is what the lesson will be.

watch.
 

Krappadizzle

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I remember that being a problem with The Walking Dead in a few seasons when I watched it, you only really needed to watch the season opener/finale and the rest was filler.

Season long arcs are fine in and of themselves but you're making episodic television - the individual episodes need to be worthwhile themselves not just stepping stones to your spaced out plot points.
That second season of Walking Dead was dreadful. It's exactly as you say, you could pretty much watch the first episode and last and got the major points of the whole season.


---------------


As far as OP. I love the X-files monster of the week style as well, but I also love the long well put together storylines of shows like Breaking Bad too. So I kinda hit the middle ground. There's plenty of room for both types of shows to exist. One I watched recently that was O.K. that's like how O.P. describes is Evil. It has a "monster of the week" kinda thing and an overarching narrative too.
 
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poppabk

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You can do that - hell you need to do that - when you have 20+ episode seasons. In the shorter seasons we get now, a doo-hicky of the week episode is just annoying if it doesn't move the main plot along.
 

0neAnd0nly

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That stuff is fine. But I’m talking stuff like psych, supernatural. It’s just rinse repeat predictable nonsense
Did...

did...

you just go after Psych?!

it was a unique story every episode, and also worked in a longer arching story in later seasons.

that show was a GEM!
 
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I really started to enjoy TV so much more when they started to do longer story arcs. Not really fond of the monster of the week style for the most part. A lot of the time it doesn't feel like enough time to tell a story. Shows like the Twilight show and the Simpsons were great, but for a serious show, I'm not so sure.
 

jason10mm

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Even if you have a long serialized story, there should be a conflict with resolution WITHIN each episode. Each episode should be satisfying, not just 55 minutes hacked out of a 300 minute film.
 
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DKehoe

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I think Lost was probably the turning point where more and more shows started going long-form afterwards. But it can be a hard formula to imitate, Lost was great at making individual episodes satisfying, and also keeping you on the edge of your seat for the next episode. Not every show gets that balance right, it's not an easy thing to do, like The Boys S2 recently, so much felt like pointless filler and individual episodes were just not satisfying.

Justified was another show that got this balance right. It had a good overall setup where there were long form plot points across the whole series, but each season told a tight story within that overall framework that wrapped up in a satisfying way each time.
Lost is a good example of the turning point because the producers really had to push hard for a serialised format. Initially ABC wanted it to be based around stand alone episodes because their feeling at the time was that people wanted to be able to dip in and out of a show without worrying about having missed episodes. So the show was initially structured around that idea.
 

Hulk_Smash

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This is a “both and” situation. We need both episodic and serial tv shows. Right now it’s heavily leaning on the serial direction.
Action and suspense are very hard to pull off in serials because they’re not usually character or dialogue based. Drama based shows like the wire, better call Saul, and so on tend to fare better.

Lost was probably one of the few exceptions.
 

Tranquil

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Agreed.

I'm burnt out on tv shows with season long arcs. Lately I've been watching a lot of older shows Star Trek TNG, Outer Limits, Star Gate SG-1, ETC. I love watching an episode with a beginning middle and end.
 
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MetalAlien

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It only works on mini series IF they have enough story to support it. Full length series it's a terrible idea since there is no reason for them to end it until they are sick of it or the ratings tank... Game of Thrones for example.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Black Mirror reminded me that episodic (instead of serial) TV still works really, really well if the writers can stick to an overarching theme. I think the Philip K Dick show on Amazon is another example of attempting to do episodic again (it was so-so imo). Even something like Star Trek TNG would be acceptable. I don't need an overarching plot to keep me interested.
 

TeezzyD

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Yea every show feels like such a commitment and people so nonchalantly reccomend like ten shows to you at once and you often wonder how the hell they have all this time to watch tv.

Dont they have video game forums to shit post on? I'm a busy man

I'll stick to my Buffy DVDs thank you very much
 
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Azurro

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I hate "monster of the week" shows, they are usually vapid and lead nowhere since it's a continuous loop back to the beginning until you can't squeeze more money out of the goose. Of course, if a show doesn't know how to make their story arcs worthwhile, that's another discussion.
 

BigBooper

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Yep, I hate them generally. I watch movies mostly and avoid shows for that reason. There used to be this amazing thing called the miniseries, where they would have an overall story across 3 - 6 episodes and wrap it up.

Now shows tend to go on for seasons without anything significant happening and when they get around to wrapping it up, interest has withered and the money has dried up. So you end up with a rushed and unsatisfying conclusion.
 
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Most of you sound like you want to quick nut and that's it.

All about those flowing arcs for me (one of my main complaints for The Mandelorian for example was that is was not serial enough). It's about the journey, not the end release.
 

theclaw135

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Leave episodic to the cartoons. If I want to see meddling kids and blasting off again every episode, I'll watch that.
Deeper shows should be planting clues to build up a strong conclusion.
 

LoV

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Monster of the week episodes that do not push the story forward are filler episodes. Supernatural had a lot of these.
 
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You can have the best of both worlds. The best example I can think of is Curb Your Enthusiasm. Every single episode has a self contained story you can enjoy on its own while also building towards a bigger season long story. The problem is, that shit is hard to write and most writers in television are fuckin trashtastic

I'm with the people that are tired of every show being a massive investment. How many times does someone tell you to watch a show and that it really gets good around season 2 or 3? Or the inverse, people tell me "This show is great, the first season especially but it's still good!"

Nah

Most shows with a long winded arc end up shitting the bed well before the end. How many of these 6+ season shows end up having a satisfying ending? Breaking Bad was 5 seasons (I think?) and that is one of the only serialized shows I watched where at the end I thought it was well worth it and I would watch it again.

Stranger Things is already into the territory of overstaying it's welcome. Which is too bad - I thought it would've been a great series to have season long self contained stories like True Detective.
 
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Kayoba

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No, I hate episodic series.

I can tolerate it if it's a documentary though.
 

Barrage

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For comedies, I absolutely agree that serialization can be a hinderance to letting the story go wherever it needs to go to be as funny as possible within a 30 minute window. One of the many reasons Disenchantment is far worse than Futurama or the Simpsons (besides just not being as funny), is having more serialization elements means more of every episode is wasted on exposition and further elaboration on plot ties that are boring as fuck.

For dramas, the episodic format works when you have a rock-solid character (or cast) where the enjoyment is based on them reacting to a situation, not whether they will solve it (Justified's been mentioned). Shows that start episodic and gradually become more serialized (BTVS), tend to have a lot to play with in terms of lore not related to the main characters journey, from having all of these episodes expanding the scope. You also see this in anime (Cowboy Bebop).