Monday, August 12, 2013

Half Seasons

I guess the day after the "premier" of the second half of Breaking Bad, Season Five, is as good a time as any to state my opposition to this new trend of "half seasons." It's bad enough that the "season" of a TV show, which used to last twenty-some weeks, somehow became only 13 episodes in our new golden age of TV. When I first noticed that happening I just figured that was the cost of the relatively high quality of the best TV shows these days. Fewer but better episodes seemed worth it and 13 was still a fair number to call a "season."

Then more recently, they have gone to "half seasons" of a measly eight episodes. When they first started the half season trend, it seemed like there wasn't that long of a gap between the two halves. But now the wait is effectively as long as what one would expect the wait between seasons to be. So Breaking Bad Season Five, Part One aired between July 15, 2012 and September 2, 2012. The second half did not air until last night, August 11, 2013, a year after part one. In no normal sense of the word are the two halves the same "season." The industry is just cutting the length of the season in half and then pretending that two consecutive shortened seasons are really the same season to preserve the fiction that they are still providing the show with the same quantity of episodes as they did before. Its like if a dairy cut the size of a milk container in half but still called it a "gallon" ("you get the second half of the gallon in next week's groceries!")