Are 23 episodes too much ? Are Arrow seasons too long ?

Discussion in 'Arrow' started by Batmannerism, Mar 10, 2017.

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Are 23 episodes too much ? Are Arrow seasons too long ?

  1. Yes, trim it down to a 13 or 16 episode format

  2. No, they absolutely need 23 episodes to really tell the story

  3. I'm okay with the way it is, but they could do with less filler

  4. Undecided

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  1. Batmannerism

    Batmannerism Super-unknown

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    People, do you feel like Arrow could be 16 episodes (maybe even 13), and a bunch of what we get is filler ?

    Don't get me wrong, I love Arrow and the other CW shows, but to me 23 episodes just seems unnecessary.

    One of my all time fave shows was Justified - 13 episodes per season so things had to move along, even then there was the odd filler episode.

    I reckon 16 episodes for all the CW shows, with 2 cross over episodes per season would do the trick.

    As much as I love the characters, but it's tough hanging in there watching them fumble around for 6 episodes, when really there's only enough story to require 3 or 4 tops.
     
  2. KnightErrant

    KnightErrant Registered

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    I'm okay with the way it is, but they could do with less filler
     
  3. shabadoo25

    shabadoo25 Registered

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    It all depends on the season big bad. This is my primary criticism of the Marvel various series. Too many filler eps.

    This season of Arrow definitely feels like they didn't have enough material for 23.
     
  4. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    23 episodes is hard for any show to do without lots and lots of filler. It's also required by the networks to get their advertising dollars in. (23 nights of advertisement money is a lot more than 13).
     
  5. famicommander

    famicommander Registered

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    No, it's all about pacing.

    The Marvel Netflix shows are only 13 episodes and they feel more padded and drawn out than the Arrowverse shows at some points.
     
  6. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    Pacing requires something to pace, and creating something to pace for 23 episodes includes all the challenges of creating something to pace for 13 episodes, as well as the challenge of creating something to pace for an additional 10 episodes. Just plain math. Someone dropping the ball on pacing doesn't make what they were trying to do (were they trying to pace well in the first place?) equally as difficult as something someone else with a different level of effort and skill tried to do.
     
  7. Gallops

    Gallops Registered

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    Seasons one and two were good because the big bad wasn't really revealed in the first season until the end of episode 9. Same in season 2 with Slade Wilson.

    Season 3, the LOA was introduced early. Season 4, Damien Darhk was introduced the first episode.

    This season, we've had Vigilante the entire season as the big bad, but we don't yet know his motive and his identity was only revealed last week.

    There's going to be filler in these shows. Always will be. I'd like to see the filler still be tied to the big bad though. Have the big bad of the season be responsible for particular minor villains being a threat. Or do what Gotham has done. Split the seasons in half essentially. First half is one major threat, second half is another.
     
  8. Boy Scout

    Boy Scout Registered

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    Filler episodes could just ones that focus almost exclusively on character development. That would at least make them worth watching. That's not to say that plot heavy episodes can't have the characters experience massive growth, but I think not digging in really deep in episodes that would otherwise be pointless is a missed opportunity.
     
  9. DarthSkywalker

    DarthSkywalker May the Force Be With You

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    How is this possible when they have been padding with flashbacks for 3 seasons, and that is before we get into all the other obvious padding.
     
  10. Mike Murdock

    Mike Murdock Registered

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    Marc Guggenheim has made it clear, if he had a choice, he'd write far fewer episodes. He knows that more episodes leads to lower quality episodes. Basically, the entire season is breakneck speed to get everything done, followed by a very short break, followed by another season. I don't think they need 8 or 13, but 16 should become the new standard, imo.

    Leaving aside specific criticisms to specific seasons or uncertainties with flashbacks (which seem far more about creating a concept and later not knowing what to do with it), one of the big complaints I have with the show is they seem to introduce characters and concepts and then completely forget about them for huge chunks at a time (Isabel Rochev and Susan Williams are two examples of that).
     
  11. kguillou

    kguillou Registered

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    Yes, it's too much and it shows. The writers have to prolong the main story and bide time with filler like disposable episodes with Cupid each year. I've been saying this for a long time. You condense it to 13-16 episodes, the writers are forced to get on with it and just tell the damn story and it makes for a tighter narrative.

    Plus, with fewer episodes, you'll have more time and mroe of a budget for those fewer episodes. You can fine tune the writing, the fight scenes, the special effects.
     
  12. Batmannerism

    Batmannerism Super-unknown

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    Fair comment, maybe that's tied up with the length of each season. Who knows ? Talia Al ghul anyone ?

    Sometimes introducing a character and then letting the audience forget about them can be an effective storytelling technique, when done skilfully - although I don't think that's the case here.

    I will say one semi-contradictory thing. While in one sense The gun control episode was essentially filler as it didn't really advance any of the main plotlines - but did develop Rene's character an immense amount I don't consider it filler - as it developed a character significantly and also would have been great as a standalone episode - ( I feel the same way about for episodes which centre on developing one particular character - hell I reckon a Quentin Lance episode could be fun.

    To me a filler episode is one that feels totally unnecessary, this is distinct from good standalone (or a really good monster of the week episodes - something Flash has too many of, while dragging its feet with the main story, if anything Flash could use less episodes too).
    A filler episode is one we watch and wondered why we bothered afterwards - usually, in Arrow it's an episode where things go bad, get worse, get even worse and just when they're about to get slightly better they go right back to where we started when the episode began. ugh !
     
  13. Slade W

    Slade W "Who Is Slade?"

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    At the moment, I feel they would be better with around 15 or 16 episodes. It is clear to me they do not have as many ideas as they had in seasons 1 and 2. The main story is still good, and so are some of the smaller supporting ones, but more of the smaller stories are weaker and less interesting than they were in the earlier seasons, so I feel the show would benefit from cutting them out.

    Maybe having more than one big villain would be better for 23 episodes. They had two big villains this season, in Church and Prometheus, and it has worked well, as Church was a good villain, and Prometheus has been used very well too. Vigilante hasn't had enough of a presence to be considered a big bad like them two, but more of a recurring one. Perhaps if Church was the main villain up to episode 7 or 8, with Vigilante taking his place up to episode 15 or 16, and Prometheus being the villain for the final stretch of episodes (after having a big presence and being a persistent menace throughout a lot of earlier episodes in the season, of course), there would be less episodes that seem like filler. It is easier to keep things interesting when there is a big villain to take down, as everyone knows that Prometheus, barring a late twist, will not be beaten until episode 23.
     
  14. Mike Murdock

    Mike Murdock Registered

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    In retrospect, my post probably should have had an extra sentence. I think people got my meaning anyway, but for those who didn't, I was going to suggest that having fewer episodes would make those plot threads seem less abandoned because they'd return to them sooner.
     
  15. Gallops

    Gallops Registered

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    I completely agree with this.

    Unfortunately with the CW, a 13 episode season wouldn't work for a show like this. There are too many commercial breaks to fit in everything that needs to. If there were less commercials, you could squeeze a little more into each episode. But on a network like CW, it wont happen.

    I think they could have drawn out the Tobias Church portion of the season a little longer, followed by Vigilante/throw in villains, and then go down the final 8-10 episodes where the build to the final confrontation with Prometheus.

    I think with a 23 episode season, the build to the finale needs to be gradual. Last season Damien Darhk was featured as the villain from episode 1 on, aside from those few episodes where he "laid off" Green Arrow because he saved his daughter, and the few filler episodes.
     
  16. Slade W

    Slade W "Who Is Slade?"

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    I should add that it is easier to build up villains and make them more interesting and threatening over several episodes than just one or two. If handled properly, people would be much more interested in them than most villains of the week. We have seen that this year, as other than Prometheus, Church and Vigilante were/have been the best villains, and Vigilante was not even a big bad like Church, but more of a recurring one. If he got the big bad treatment like Church, I am sure he would have been even better.
     
  17. metaphysician

    metaphysician Not a Side-Kick

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    I don't think it needs fewer episodes. Just better writers. There's plenty of stuff you could do to fill out the episode count. I hate the word "filler", because it implies any episode that doesn't advance the main plot is bad. Arrow needs "filler", it just needs *good* filler: one shot episodes with self-contained plots that serve to advance *characterization* rather than the season arc. It gives the chance for the heroes to win, while also letting you develop them as people.
     
  18. SuperBatman

    SuperBatman Registered

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    Always been thinking 23-24 is a lot of a season 13-16 should be the norm these days. That way they could actually get to the point of the matter
     
  19. Braggis

    Braggis Registered

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    Yeah, but the networks need to fill that September to May television season where they can sell shows to advertisers before the Summer season and the Winter holiday season where less people are watching TV.

    It's a business decision from the network. I'm sure the writers and producers would prefer a 13 episode season to make it a tighter and more focused season. But they are forced to do the long seasons and of course there is going to have to be filler.

    I don't mind it too much. Even a filler episode of Arrow, Flash or Legends of Tomorrow isn't the worst way to kill an hour on a weeknight.
     
  20. General Mike

    General Mike EXTERMINATE!

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    I don't expect them to go away from the 22-23 format, but I think they could go to a format where you have 2 or 3 or 4 arcs, and maybe you can do something to fit them all together or transition from arc 1 to arc 2, etc.
     
  21. Batmannerism

    Batmannerism Super-unknown

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    Yeah, rather than 3 or 4 really drawn out story threads, they could have 2 or 3 story arcs that are reasonably self contained.

    Good suggestion !:wowe:
     
  22. metaphysician

    metaphysician Not a Side-Kick

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    Agreed, it'd be a much better idea. Maybe have your overall season arc, but don't actually start it until maybe the middle of the season. Prior to that, its only presence is some hints and foreshadowing.
     
  23. Deltron3030

    Deltron3030 Registered

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    It's fine if there weren't any breaks. They get these long breaks and I forget what is going on. Takes away from the story almost.
     
  24. ZIPBAGS

    ZIPBAGS Registered

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    I wouldn't mind having 1/2 season long arcs...almost what Agents of Shield does.
     
  25. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    So, here's the deal. Make two shows. Make your 15 episode show, and then also make a second 8 episode show. Then smush them together as if they were one show all along. I think this is what made Seasons 1 and 2 work so well, because the flashbacks were a whole other show and it worked, and so they weren't forced to drag out the present stuff. Once the Flashbacks started getting dumb, they were no longer a full interesting 8-ep show on their own, and then the actual show had to drag out.

    What I would suggest instead is doing a spinoff of an Arrow character within Arrow. Really commit to it, choose well and give it all you've got for a season. If it works, they get another season, if not, oh well. It can't be worse than this horrible stretching, because then, at least, you've got a scapegoat. Having multiple episodes for villains and multiple big bads per season couldn't hurt either.
     

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