It still happens. Now that Loki has arrived, we see articles from Big Thinkpiece about how the old trend of ‘date viewing’ is resurfacing, as viewers can’t binge and have to watch an episode of a daytime show. of its premiere, every week.
But it’s exactly the same conversation we have for any Weekly show that is currently in the Cultural Water Fountain. This has literally happened for every big Disney Plus show so far, not just Loki, but Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and two seasons of The Mandalorian. It happened with Mare from Easttown. It’s happened with Game of Thrones for years, and it’s been going on for a decade for The Walking Dead, for its remaining fans.
While Netflix has obviously shaken up the TV landscape and seemingly created a new ‘normal’ for TV viewing, dropping entire seasons just once a year, in truth, almost not so much. all other streaming services. And the more streaming services grow, the more Netflix rivals support cultural chatter for weeks, when binged shows are lucky if they survive 48 hours of chat.
What is happening these days is that services like Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and Disney Plus are generating as much, if not more, buzz for their series despite producing a fraction of the total content than Netflix. No matter how massive a Netflix show is, there is nothing keeping up the ongoing conversation and discussion and online “takes” of a series after the first week of its release, when an Easttown mare will have a month and a half of speculation about her killer, or Loki generates a few months theorizing about its great impact on the MCU. The Witcher, Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy. Yes, these are shows watched by millions of people, but they appear a few days a year and go into hibernation for over 51 weeks almost immediately.
Certainly, I think there is room for both formats. I know a lot of people decided to skip Loki to watch it all at once when it’s over, avoiding social media spoilers all the time. I certainly understand the appeal of being able to gorge on watch series.
But from Netflix’s point of view, the weekly format of its rivals makes it seem like they are able to squeeze more value from their shows for a lot less money and volume, and this tale of the return of “TV by appointment ”is not limited to any Marvel show in any given week, it’s virtually all series that are do not on Netflix, like almost every other streaming service has realized that it’s probably in their best interests to stream episodes every week, with a few exceptions like removing the first three at a time or starting them in pairs.
Netflix seems married to this model and they can carry it on forever. But as such, we’ll always continue to see things like two months of non-stop Hawkeye chat for Disney Plus or ten weeks of Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon talk for HBO Max, while The Witcher season 2 arrives and everything except disappear after a few days no matter how good it is. It’s more than a little weird.
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