August 29, 2015 at 11:41 am #359670
I think the rise of anthology TV is great. Instead of tasking storytellers to extend their worlds into multiple seasons, sometimes beyond reason, the same creative teams can take a general setting or theme and explore it in different ways in 10-13 episode bursts. I think this would be a godsend for shows and writers who have a great idea, but there’s just not that much story there to prolong for years and years and years.
For instance, “Heroes” would have been an ideal anthology (and I think something like that had been planned before the popularity of the show mandated continuity, if I’m remembering correctly). Take that same comic-book-style world, tell one story, put it away, and tell another one. You could even have characters occasionally cross over and cross-pollinate, but there would be no straining to stretch or expand one mythology beyond its breaking point. I wonder if that’s sort of what they’re thinking about with the upcoming reboot.
Another good one: “Revenge.” Started great, got bad, got better again, then slipped one more time. But the core premise was sound: modern-day “Count of Monte Cristo” as a lavish soap opera. Take one story, play it out over the course of a season, then come back and tell a brand new story of revenge and retribution in a similar style.
“24” could be a great anthology. The central conceit of the show doesn’t require the same characters and setting, and trying to keep those same characters and setting fresh every year was part of the show’s problem in its later seasons. All you need is that ticking clock and you can do any kind of action-thriller you want.August 29, 2015 at 1:06 pm #359672
Pretty Little Liars and Under the Dome I think both had great premise but in order to have more seasons the storylines became a mess bor both of them.
Also How to Get Away With Murder, I feel from now on in order to contiue they will have to kill someone at the end of every season, plus Keating four/five is supposed to change every year how are they going to keep them is a problem.
Hannibal, The Leftovers, Orange is the New Black and Rectify are some others.
August 29, 2015 at 1:25 pm #359673
24 consistently delivered for five seasons of 120 episodes. It is far from needing a retroactive reconstruction to twelve-episode seasons with only one round of Jack Bauer, Tony Almedia and company.August 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm #359674
24 consistently delivered for five seasons of 120 episodes. It is far from needing a retroactive reconstruction to twelve-episode seasons with only one round of Jack Bauer, Tony Almedia and company.
I’m not tossing the baby with the bathwater. I loved “24” for its first five seasons (though I wouldn’t argue it was completely consistent even during its best years — see: cougar). But maintaining the premise and the continuity of its main character was a strain on the show, and those last three main seasons did kinda tarnish my overall memory of the show.
After season five, they could have retired Jack Bauer and made “24” an entirely different story with new people. Wouldn’t have been likely back then since anthologies of that type weren’t really being done in those years, but in hindsight I would have loved to see that.August 29, 2015 at 3:09 pm #359675
Unlike the OP, I hate the rise of these anthology series. And these “limited event” series still have the same problem that over-extended seriealized stories have, is that there is not really enough story to keep them going. It is not hard to see that some of these “limited event” series were only intended to be one time things and instead are being over-extended in what amount to little more than a cash and ratings grab. And similar to regular serialized television, anthologies have their limits as well. While it has mostly worked for American Horror Story, the series is starting to show it’s age with repeating storylines and similar characters across seasons.
I loved the first season of Revenge but felt it took a steep decline in quality after season 1 and never truly recovered. To me that is more a problem of poor writing than format. Revenge would have been a great multiple season show with proper writting. I felt there was more than enough story to support three or so seasons of the show. Like many broadcast dramas, the show was simply left on too long. Amanda Clark was a great character and had a great story, it’s just a shame the writers botched it so bad and so soon.
Anthologies do have their time and place, but I feel the format is already starting to become over-used and tired. And similar to any regular serialized program, the show is only as strong as the cast and crew involved. Season 2 of True Detective is certainly a testament to that.August 29, 2015 at 7:55 pm #359676
A little different – what about Band of Brothers? The Pacific sort of showed us what a second season could be like if it was an anthology series. I’m sure there are many other WWII stories that could provide the basis for further seasons.