Shorten future seasons?

Discussion in 'The Defenders' started by NealKenneth, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. NealKenneth

    NealKenneth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    So far, the five seasons of Netflix have been 13 episodes at about 55 mintues an episode.

    But something I've noticed about every single one is that they would be better if they were shorter. I haven't seen Iron Fist yet but ever single season I've watch so far has had at least two episodes that felt like "filler" and a few episodes that could have been at least ten minutes shorter. Daredevil Season 1 holds up the best, but even that had a finale that was overly long.

    I see that Defenders and Inhumans are planned to be eight episodes each and I really feel like this is a step in the right direction.

    With the flexibility of Netflix, I feel at least that the shows should be edited better. They all clock in at just about 55 minutes. Why can't come of the filler episodes be trimmed down to 40/45 minutes?
     
    #1
  2. Dasher10

    Dasher10 I'm like Deadpool IRL

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,226
    Likes Received:
    4
    Too bad Punisher, JJ S2, DD S2 and LC S2 are all confirmed for 13 each. If Iron Fist gets renewed, then maybe that may get a shorter season (which would be welcome since it means more money per episode).
     
    #2
  3. pixen

    pixen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    17
    I think Iron Fist should get absorbed by Luke Cage. The actor/character isn't great and really needs a guy to act off of. Plus it would toss Scott Buck off the project... hopefully.
     
    #3
  4. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8,664
    Likes Received:
    1
    They don't need shorter seasons, they just need more development time and a little bit of QA. There's nothing stopping these shows from filling 13 eps with goodness, as evidenced by DD and JJ. LC and IF simply weren't interested in their own world enough.
     
    #4
  5. Hello2016

    Hello2016 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    7
    I would hope for tighter stories and more discipline as far as pacing goes. I started to buy into the hype surrounding the possibilities for shows such as a streaming service like Netflix a couple years back (although admittedly this was only after my original perception even more years back when their streaming service started up and they weren't mail order DVD only that the available streaming library would be bottom of the barrel but upon checking it out was pretty good at one point;;; after that I thought original content would be bottom of the barrel but then the reviews some of these shows started getting seemed suggest otherwise).

    Now, my perception of content on Netflix is going back towards the negative though I admit there are lots of possibilities... I think the current situation is that Netflix stretches things a bit thin with their original content when they don't have to budget wise because they're just taking on too many projects at once.

    This past year I noticed, the streaming service (rating system no longer can search by as well as taste menu being just some features diminished or removed; ease of searching seems harder too) is starting to turn into an advertisement for Netflix original content that seems to just take up way too much of the site with diminished means to search through content. I've also noticed what seems like less quality movies and shows not original content as part of their streaming service. They don't seem to be shelling out the money as much to get shows and movies as part of their streaming service like years ago in order to devote more money to original projects but in the process stretch themselves too thin...

    They need to focus on fewer shows (not necessarily just the Marvel ones) is part of it. I'm thinking other cable companies (not talking cable channel but cable provider company) encroaching on Netflix in future years like the one a couple years ago is another facet that Netflix have to push thing out at the moment too perhaps.
     
    #5
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  6. NealKenneth

    NealKenneth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    True, if you assemble an elite production squad, there is nothing to stop all 13 episodes from being great, but I'm trying to be realistic.

    I also disagree that either DD or JJ have really suceeded in doing this. Daredevil season 2 has a big three episode lull in the middle and peaks before the it's even halfway along. Season 1 gets close enough, but still could have used some trimming, especially the finale episode. JJ was even worse than season 2 of Daredevil. But in that case it may have suffered from being a little TOO intested in it's own world. There was a whole episode or two where all that happened is Simpson got high on some combat drug that came out of nowhere, and also the scene where Jessica is literally overpowered by the Kilgrave support group (wtf?) and let's not forget when she's sleepwalking and gets hit by a vehicle...maybe others don't see it that way, but to me these were all very obvious signs that they only had 10 or 11 episodes written out and needed to pad things significantly to hit that magic 13.

    So basically what I'm saying is that only season 1 of DD has really gotten close to making 13 epsiodes work.

    But Daredevil was the original concept for Netflix, was the most popular by far of all these characters, and has a much deeper and richer lore than any of them as well...if they keep down this path I don't see myself returning after The Defenders. It just feels like a slog too often and I almost never feel like rewatching any of them already.
     
    #6
  7. metaphysician

    metaphysician Not a Side-Kick

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    11,233
    Likes Received:
    1
    I still contend that what they need isn't shorter seasons. Its more willingness to tell multiple stories. Jessica Jones only felt stretched because they were almost completely unwilling to have any non-arc episodes. Ditto for Luke Cage.

    "Filler" is not a dirty word. Non-arc episodes give you room to breath, time to allow for character development and exploration, and a chance for variety.
     
    #7
  8. Panacea

    Panacea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2017
    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    3
    They're not episodic series though, they're serials. A stand-alone episode in a thirteen episode season would feel a bit odd in my view.
     
    #8
  9. NealKenneth

    NealKenneth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, one-off/non-arc episodes are neat but they have to be good. The non-arc episodes so far have been the worst of each season in my opinion. Netflix MCU is basically the opposite of The X-Files I guess!

    For what it's worth, it has been announced today that Cloak and Dagger will only be ten episodes...maybe Marvel has noticed too.
     
    #9
  10. Panacea

    Panacea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2017
    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    3
    Do we know if Cloak and Dagger (and The Runaways) is definitely set in the MCU?
     
    #10
  11. pixen

    pixen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    17
    I don't think either have been picked up for full series yet.
     
    #11
  12. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8,664
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think elite is a strong word. There are at least a dozen shows on Netflix alone that pull off 13 episodes quite well. And while DD definitely has a bigger gallery to draw on, LC and IF aren't exactly scratching for 13 episodes of fodder in the comics, and JJ, while new is designed to siphon from the MU at large, and to replace with original characters as needed. There's plenty of fodder and plenty of talent available for these characters to have jam packed rip roaring 13 episodes.

    What strikes me as the problem is improper focus and structure. I loved Luke Cage because of the subject matter and style, but they didn't really have episodes, and that got heavy for everyone by episode 9. That's not a lack of an 'elite' team or necessary fodder for Cage's stories. There's so much from his universe that they didn't even touch on. They just had some weird focus that brought them to magic bullets that somehow didn't kill, and a brother storyline that never synced thematically with the much more interesting Club Mogul and Politics storylines. That's not the episodes, that simply a sudden shift in focus that would have been alleviated with better structure.

    Likewise, DD1 didn't need to trim the finale, they simply needed to spend the time they weren't spending tying up plotlines to underline the thematic parallel and contrast of DD and Kingpin so their alley brawl wouldn't be so anti-climactic.

    JJ didn't need fewer episodes, it simply, as you said, could have had less interest in the very small corner it drew itself into. A Purple Man who was more like the comics, less neutered for the sake of being only a weak abusive ex, would have opened up really twisted storylines that in the version we got were relegated to dialogue. They had the material, they just chose not to because of their focus.

    I can do the same for every series. What I hope they do, instead of shortening future seasons and validating and encouraging these narrow focuses on these very large characters, I hope instead they'll find people with more expansive visions, who will dive into IF instead of ignoring Danny to deep dive into Harold Meachum (like they did Simpson, iirc), people who are interested in the power struggle between Cottonmouth and Diamondback and who gets caught in the middle and not someone who just... runs out of things to do with a villain who was second to Kingpin in terms of impact, imho. It's telling that the series that got closest to earning 13 episodes is the one that simply took the time to deeply explore its hero and its villain.

    In short, I'd rather someone actually explore these characters instead of shorten their seasons so that they don't have to. Because if the issue is lack of focus and structure, then the ideal number of episodes is 0.
     
    #12
  13. NealKenneth

    NealKenneth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with what you are saying, but I think the size of the season creates structural problems that make focus exceedlingly difficult.

    At 13 episodes, doing one overarching plot gets to be exhausting (Jessica Jones, the very end of Daredevil) because it gets more and more difficult to maintain or build. In that case, the season should be 10 episodes or so. But two arcs inevitably splits the season in two and makes one half noticeably better than the other (Cottonmouth>Diamonback, Punisher>Elektra etc.). In that case, the story would be better told in two 4 to 8 episode mini-seasons.

    I'm not saying it's impossible to do 13, in fact the first season of Daredevil nearly did it, but I am saying that the number resists proper focus. Seems to me that eight to ten episodes would be that sweet spot where you can do one satisying, overarching plot with one or two standalone episodes near the middle.
     
    #13
  14. pixen

    pixen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    17
    The difference between the quality of Diamondback and Elektra is huge though. Elektra's storyline was actually pretty great and only got a little bad in the final couple of episodes where as all of the episodes with Diamondback were awful.
     
    #14
  15. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8,664
    Likes Received:
    1
    How does the size of the season create these strucural problems, *exactly*? Does it do this for all 13 episode shows? Are middling fare like Travelers doing something "exceedingly difficult" by producing a fun 12 episodes?

    Jessica Jones is especially galling because Purple Man spelled out two additional story arcs that would have kept the overarching plot from being any kind of exhausting, so we have proof that they had an overarching plot that would have lasted 13 episodes... they just chose not to do it.

    The problem that you're referring to where one part of the mini-seasons is compared favorably to the other isn't at all addressed by separating them by several months. They will be compared if they're separate. My solution would be to tie them together more tightly. Diamondback and Cottonomouth simply got taken off the table. The Punisher vs The Hand would have made things more than a little interesting. That gives you a third mini-season which you can also buoy up with a third antagonist or crossover "filler" episode and all this would be capped off with a culmination episode that can be much more epic and memorable than any 4th-8th episode could be.

    I'm not just saying it's possible, I'm saying that a solid 13 episode arc is so easy, that Brad Wright of Stargate SG-1 can make it happen for Travelers. John Fusco, whose best writing before Marco Polo was about horses. Beau Willman could come out of a political career, do Ides of March (you know, that Gosling/Clooney vehicle that lit up the world!) and then do House of Cards for four seasons. The people who have done this right aren't the best of the best. They're simply people with some talent who happened to be interested in their subject matter.

    The problem with the Marvel series is not that they have some unique structural challenge, as evidenced by the okay-ish writers who have overcome it, it's that they aren't really that into their own universe. They leave huge storyarcs on the cutting room floor before the episodes are even written, and that is the main reason these huge characters in these huge 30-year old mini-universes drag.
     
    #15
  16. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    54,712
    Likes Received:
    139
    I would say bring it down to 10 episodes per show, but it's not my call.

    Daredevil S2, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage all got flabby in the back half.

    Iron Fist was the reverse.
     
    #16
  17. pixen

    pixen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    17
    Saying Iron Fist got better as t went is a bit of a stretch. It still was pretty awful by the final episode. The only real final couple of episodes that suffered from the other series were the Luke Cage one as Diamondback was so cheesy. Jessica Jones back half was still pretty good and Elektra/Punisher tied up quite a bit. They just couldn't wrap up either plot too well as one would be explored in the Punisher series and the other had to go with The Defenders.
     
    #17
  18. Panacea

    Panacea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2017
    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    3
    They should either shorten the season or just plan for two distinct arcs. They seem to set up two parallel arcs each season but then try to end them at different points toward the back end, which I don't think works too well.
     
    #18
  19. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    54,712
    Likes Received:
    139
    Everyone has their own opinion. I'm not going to try and convince you otherwise. I feel differently about Iron Fist.

    Luke Cage dropped off after they killed Cottonmouth, clearly.

    Daredevil S2 wasn't tied up all that well in the back half. Jessica Jones suffered from way too many characters and subplots.
     
    #19
  20. psylockolussus

    psylockolussus Well-Known Mutant

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Messages:
    36,328
    Likes Received:
    115
    These Marvel shows felt like 2 to 3 movies stretched to 13 episodes.

    Each one of the series could be squeezed in a two hour film.
     
    #20
  21. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    54,712
    Likes Received:
    139
    I dunno. If you did that with first season of Daredevil, you wouldn't get all that juicy stuff with Wilson Fisk.
     
    #21
  22. Darepool

    Darepool Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2,072
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, that's kinda the point of doing it on Netflix...LC and JJ ran out of juice in the second half, but DD was strong for the most part. I think 8 -10 episodes would probably be the sweet spot though. And I agree that IF started getting some mojo going as the series went on.
     
    #22
  23. psylockolussus

    psylockolussus Well-Known Mutant

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Messages:
    36,328
    Likes Received:
    115
    I think replay value is also another issue for me. I have yet to rewatch any of these five shows. I get that some characters might not get developed in a two hour movie, but for the most part, a lot of the development feels sloggish and they really held back when it comes to action,visuals, the juicier parts, you know things that would actually cost Netflix $$$. So eh.
     
    #23
  24. pixen

    pixen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Messages:
    3,413
    Likes Received:
    17
    I do think some of the outrage over seasons feeling too drawn out is a little hyperbolic. Luke Cage could have worked if they wrote and cast an actor who could have at least matched Cottonmouth's level of power and presence but they didn't.

    I don't think Jessica Jones was too stuffed with characters. They sprinkled in things that would be addressed in the following season. I will agree, on my first watch, I found that the water tank felt like it went on for too many episodes. When I rewatched it though, it paced out rather well and never felt too drawn out.

    That's why I said they couldn't wrap it up too much with either character as one was going to be the big bad villain of the Defenders and the other was going to go further into his story in his own series. They wrapped both up enough though for Matt/Karen's sake. The first half was wrapped in the finale when the Blacksmith was taken out. The second half was taken care of when The Hand lost what they wanted (Elektra) and Nobu was killed.
     
    #24
  25. cleverusername8

    cleverusername8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd be comfortable with 8 hour-long episodes from now on. Stranger Things felt like the perfect length with that format and I'm hoping Defenders will feel the same.
     
    #25

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"