Serialized vs self-contained

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by allan, May 12, 2011.

  1. allan

    allan Just someone TCF Club

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    In the "good old days", shows were self-contained. A "series" was a bunch of one hours episodes, with an occasional two-parter thrown in. These days, many series are one big unending story. If you miss any ep, you'll soon be totally lost.

    Is serialization hurting TV? Did you like the old style of short self-contained shows better? Am I just a cranky old man ranting about bygone days? :)
     
  2. MikeMar

    MikeMar Go Pats

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    I like serialized a lot more for non-comedies. Like one big long movie. I bet it has hurt viewship overall though since like you said, miss one or a few and you are lost.

    But I bet it has increased DVD sales for those types of shows.
     
  3. Amnesia

    Amnesia The Question

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    I'm a big fan of serialization, for much the same reason that I prefer novels (or series of novels) over short stories.

    The ongoing stories lets the writers spend more time developing the characters (and the story).
     
  4. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Garden obsessed

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    Serialized is a lot easier now with all the time shifting options- TV is no longer by appointment only.
    I like the serialized shows that make me think and remember stuff.

    And even stand alone type shows build on characters backstories- it's inevitable to some degree. Running jokes or personality flaws or a nemesis or whatever.
     
  5. betts4

    betts4 I am Spartacus!

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    I like a show that can combine them. A stand alone for a few episodes and then story that flows for a couple episodes or as cearbhaill a nemesis. It is really great when the shows can strengthen the characters with a show about their life before they joined whatever it is they are in....Criminal Minds did that one with a couple of their characters and it helps make them more real.

    The Mentalist has the Red Jack story that is in the background. Bones had the evil guy that Zack fell in with (which is still the worst ever idea a show had, Zach would just not have done that.)
     
  6. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Garden obsessed

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    We Bones fans will never let that one go.
    Worst conflict resolution in television history.

    But yeah, like Red John or Monk's phobias or Elliot's issues on SUV or running jokes on Seinfeld or any number of things that provide a certain amount of continuity.

    True stand alones are like Twilight Zone where nothing is related.
     
  7. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    Serialized shows have been around for a long time. Back in the 70s during the height of the nighttime soap craze you had plenty of them. Even the old comedy Soap was serialized. This is nothing new. The difference is, today's audience has so many more choices that they are far less likely to stick with a serialized story when there is something else on that takes less commitment.

    I like both and I watch both, I have no preference really.
     
  8. cstelter

    cstelter Active Member

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    OTOH, I really do like what they wound up doing with his position. Kind of an 'Intern of the week'. Not sure I could take any of the 5 or so interns every week, but 3-4 times a season apiece keeps it somewhat fresh.

    I agree that reliable simple time shifting, DVD's, and Netflix streaming makes serialized shows much more viable. I don't think I would try to watch a currently broadcasting serialized show if I didn't own a DVR.
     
  9. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    Serialized shows are a lot harder to do well.
     
  10. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Garden obsessed

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    But I couldn't tell you any of their names.
    I like depressed guy best and black business only guy second.
    The blond is meh, and I can't recall any others- is there a factoid guy?
    If so I really like him too.


    Well, Daisy, but Lord no.
     
  11. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    The serialized shows I watch, I DO enjoy partially because of it. But one thing that it does is, if I see something about a new (or new to me) show and I have not caught it from the beginning, I generally find it overwhelming to come in in the middle so I won't end up watching the show at all. Of course, that might just be me.
     
  12. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    I was thinking about this today when making a comment in the Chuck renewed thread. I find that serialized shows are much better to watch in a marathon, because when you get to the end of one, you can't wait to see what happens in the next. I've been known to stay up all night watching shows like this if the content is compelling enough.

    On the other hand, stand alone shows don't have that effect. I can't imagine sitting down and watching a marathon of a procedural show where you're basically watching the same thing over and over and over. Give me serialized any day of the week.
     
  13. Steve_Martin

    Steve_Martin Grandminion

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    Yup, especially that show! :)
     
  14. Bob_Newhart

    Bob_Newhart My Custom User Title

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    I don't watch any serialized shows.

    When "Lost" came out I watched the first episode, liked it, and put it on a season pass. I got busy with other stuff and it built up and built up and when I went to watch it there were 10 or 11 episodes there. I knew I didn't feel like sitting and watching 8 straight hours so I ended up deleting them all.

    I like a standalone where I can watch one or two in any order I feel like. I liked "Monk" for this and also "Columbo"
     
  15. Magnolia88

    Magnolia88 She likes cheese.

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    I can't think of a single standalone type of show that would make my list of favorite dramas. All the shows I really love tend to be serialized, at least in large part. So I guess that means I prefer serialized stories.

    Some of my favorite shows combine a standalone story with serialization of other stories. Veronica Mars and The Good Wife come to mind as two good examples. But it's always the characters and the serialized part of the stories that keep me drawn in, not the "case of the week" element.
     
  16. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    I don't think there are any non-serialized dramas that I watch. I used to watch House and CSI, but I gave up on both of them, as they just weren't holding my interest. The hour-long dramas that I watch are things like Fringe, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Killing, The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, The Event, and Chuck (although Chuck is kind of a cross between a serialized show and a stand-alone procedural). I also watch Glee, but that doesn't really fall into either category and is more just about the music than the plots or characters.

    However, from a "TV Business" point of view, the standalone procedural shows are much better business. I've seen studies that show that the average fan of a given TV show only sees about a third of the episodes. For that average viewer, he needs to be able to watch the occasional episode without getting lost or behind. That's why CBS has been so much more successful over the last several years, because they air very few shows that require the viewer to know what's going on in the overall storyline.
     
  17. betts4

    betts4 I am Spartacus!

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    And they are changing them - the characters are changing I mean. The black guy is opening up and the depressed guy is going around saying he is sorry to everyone, the blond guy was cute and he did father Angie's baby, but that was about all he was worth. NONE of them match the connection that we saw/felt with Zach and Hodgins.
     
  18. jeff125va

    jeff125va New Member

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    Surprised no one has mentioned X-Files yet. Lots of stand-alone episodes interspersed with the over-arching alien conspiracy story. Many had no connection at all to the long-term plot.
     
  19. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Garden obsessed

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    :eek: That was a false positive "pregnancy." :eek:
    It was just a fling with no repercussions.

    Hodgins is Angela's baby daddy fer realz- remember they are both both carriers of Leber's Congenital Amaurosis.
     
  20. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    That's a good example of a "hybrid" type of drama.
     

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