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SpoilerTV's Weekly Round Table: 91st Edition

Hello and welcome to a new edition of SpoilerTV's Weekly Round Table! Joining us this week is Alison D (AD), Luana Arturi (LU), Giulia Del Buono (GB), Milo M-J (MJ), Beth Whitley (BW), KathM (KM), Zandarl (DC), Laura B (DL), Jamie Coudeville (JC), María Sol (SO), and myself (ZF). You just have to sit back enjoy the read and join the discussion in the comment section down below.

A Percy Jackson show was just announced for Disney+! What are your hopes, your worries, your dreams..? Are you confident it'll be successful after the movies?

Alison: I need this series to be so great. It’s only in the development stages, so we have miles to go, and I’m telling myself to manage my expectations, but on the inside, I’m giddy and hopeful. The movies hurt my feelings, and we can’t go through that again. I’ll always be a proud Slytherin, but if asked to hand over either my Harry Potter or Percy Jackson series, I’d throw all seven of my Harry Potter books to the ground, scream Wingardium Leviosa, and take off running while clutching the five Percy Jackson and The Olympian books. My first worry is always casting. I’m hoping they go with little known or unknown actors for the campers but bigger names for the gods and goddesses. I want so much from this series including: every episode opening with a voiceover narration from Percy because his first-person perspective was everything; each book as it’s own season, not just The Lightning Thief; and for Disney to invest in the CGI. Another smaller hope is Rachel Dare having a bigger role in the Disney+ series than she did in the books. Fans have been clamoring for this series, so this is an easy win for Disney+ as long as they stay true to the characters. If the characters ring true, I’d even be down for some deviations in the plot. TV series are the perfect vehicle for book adaptations. With a movie, you lose so much of the exposition—getting to know the characters, being immersed in the setting, seeing the catalyst that causes all the trouble, and the building of the conflict. Movies always feel rushed because they have so much ground to cover, but with TV series they have the time to really let it grow and burn.

Milo: I was never too invested in the Percy Jackson series when I was younger, but I'm hopeful the show will be able to pull off the success its fanbase deserves. I feel like this show could be a ready-made hit for Disney+, but would much rather seem them animate the series rather than opt for live-action, especially if that animation was told with the same level as investment that Disney+ put into their final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which had almost cinematic-quality level animation.

Zandarl: There are a lot of fans of the book and film series though I feel the second film wasn't as good as the first. I always said it would be better suited to TV series so I am interested in seeing what Disney will give us.

Jaime: I am beyond excited about this news. I'm confident that it'll do well because this time the author will be much more involved. He never even watched the movies. My biggest concern is casting. I really hope they go with actual kids, preferably unknown names. But for the gods it would be really great if they went with more well-known actors, someone online mentioned it would add an extra layer to the difference of power. And while I trust Rick, I'm worried Disney is going to try to take some of the diversity out. Mainly I just hope that they are not only able to do the entire original series, but also the sequels and maybe even the spin-offs? A girl can dream, right?

Zoé: I have been campaigning for a good Percy Jackson series for ten years now. I wrote spec scripts of the pilot in middle school Chemistry class. So, this happening is like a dream. I sincerely hope it turns out amazing!

With so many shows having their seasons cut short by COVID-19, some shows have taken a creative to say goodbye until new episodes begin airing in the fall (we hope). All Rise filmed their entire finale episode on Zoom (a trial, no less!). The Blacklist mixed as much of their Episode 19 footage as they had, with graphic novel-like animation filling in the gaps. One Day at a Time, who were only able to complete filming six of their 13-episode season, will be airing an animated special. Both shows had their actors record their dialog at home. Have you seen these shows or another one with a creative bent? If so, what did you think? Would you like to see more creativity in regular episodes during the season, or wouldn’t fit in? Note: The Blacklist season finale aired May 15th. The One Day at a Time special will air on June 16th.

Luana: I definitely give shows props for trying to give fans some closure in the best way they could but I can't say I'm into this as the new normal. I hope they find a better way because I've never been into animated shows and I just don't see that working for me. All Rise with the Zoom calls had some fun moments too, but also some very awkward ones, I just don't see it.

Giulia: I haven't seen the episodes mentioned, but I think it's just another example of how art can be made wherever and whenever. I love the fact that those productions took this unprecedented moment and found a way to still give their audiences something to enjoy while stuck at home. I don't know if this is the future of TV and/or cinema, but I'm glad we get to witness it first hand. I'm sure, when it comes to visuals and effects, it's not the same as seeing it on TV or up on a big screen, but the effort that has been put into the development of these episodes is really awesome.

Milo: I would love to see more regular shows try out new formats; seeing an animated Brooklyn Nine-Nine for example even though it's already finished would be really fun. I haven't watched the latest seasons of The Blacklist or One Day at a Time yet (they're on my watchlist) but I'm here for anything that allows for greater creativity.

Beth: I have seen the All Rise episode and I really liked it! The way they explained away why the characters were in different spots was realistic and they used exterior shots to make you feel like it wasn't just Zoom. The ending also incorporated the entire crew, not just the actors, and I found that very uplifting. I am not saying I want to see an entire season of that, but I am glad the show did it to finish out its first season because they moved some storylines.

Kath: The All Rise episode was great, I’d never seen the show before and oddly this was a good introduction to it. I think that it would be fun to see how some of the shows would handle something like this, I’d like to see how Brooklyn Nine-Nine would do, for example. I was thinking that a show more action-oriented could combine Zoom animation to make an interesting tale. That being said, I have absolutely no idea what happened to The Blacklist. Didn’t they have the money to use better animators? They were just awful. It really detached from the story and if they try anything like that I won’t watch again. It also seems that they forgot to use sound editors because James Spader’s voice echoed every time Redddington spoke. One benefit of the use of animation is that it gave the show a chance to create a cliffhanger. This wasn’t meant to be the last episode of the season, but I get a feeling that the writers made one from the episode that they had. By using animation they were able to end the episode as they liked and fashion the kind of finale that can slip easily into next season. But, really? Liz did not need to stand on the roof looking out over the city like Batwoman. I’m looking forward to the One Day at a Time animated episode; I love the show and think it would lend itself well to the medium. I think that shows can do something interesting now and again to keep things interesting. A Supernatural episode used animation to put themselves in their own Scooby Doo episode, which was fun. If it’s done well, I think some shows might be able to mix things up a bit. Not every season, but it would be fun.

Laura: I think these were definitely creative ways to bring either shows or seasons to an end and, while I am currently not watching any of these series to know if they really worked or not, I'm willing to bet they were better than nothing. With that being said, being a fan of things like FRINGE's special "19" episodes and/or holiday specials, I do think some shows, depending on what they are, could benefit from having special episodes filmed or created differently.

Jaime: I saw the episode of The Blacklist. While I wasn't a huge fan of the style of the animation, I did think it was a cool way to tell the story. But I've noticed that most shows just cut things short in the hopes of finishing it at the beginning of next season. But I do think it's cool that shows are adding special episodes, like One Day At A Time. This wasn't originally meant to be part of the season I think, but it is a special bonus for the fans to hold us over until we get new episodes.

María: I think these efforts are quite admirable and creative since they didn’t have much time to come up with this and I found them very interesting. Even when I’ve never seen All Rise before, I’m intrigued enough about how an episode like this could play out so I really want to check it out.

The second I heard about the ODAAT animated episode it reminded me of a Christmas animated special The Nanny had in its third season, that I liked very much (yeah, I was a kid but it was nice) so I think I’ll be checking this one when it comes out next month.

I don’t think this could work if it is overused by everyone but I think these new strategies are worth to try and other shows should definitely be open to doing stuff like this once in a while, of course only if it fits the story and the tone of the show. I think productions will have to find creative ways of working at least for the rest of the year since it’s very possible the casts and crews will have to work with reduced groups observing strict health measures.

Zoé: I just have to say, I think it'll be really interesting in a decade or two when our kids will be watching these "old" shows and wondering why seasons were cut short or one is suddenly on Zoom/animated. We'll get to tell them all about these days.

Several networks have pushed the entirety of the Fall programming to Spring 2021 as an effort to have a solid Fall plan. How do you think this will impact show ratings? Do you think that this will become the new norm or will networks opt for another longer break to wait until Fall for the following season (or even rush back-to-back seasons to make Fall 2021)?

Alison: I’m hoping this becomes a new model for television, especially broadcast television. It’s a big, impossible dream, but a year-round slate of original series would be ideal. It would certainly help minimize the number of random three-week gaps between episodes. We all hate that, right? Upfront it would cost a great deal more money, but surely with the right series the advertising and overseas sales would still make it a money-making venture. And at some point, broadcast television is going to be in a real fight with all the streaming services, even the ones within their own universe, for viewers.

Beth: I think for the logistical reasons of network TV, they will try to get back to normal in fall 2021. New episodes in the fall have been around for a long time so I don't see them trying to change that after this is (hopefully) over. The rating thing is tricky because when we get new episodes, people could jump on it because it will have been so long since the shows ended but at the same time, will people just lose interest because it took so long? That is the rub in my opinion.

Kath: I am really interested to see how this shakes out, particularly for the networks. Any animated shows like Bobs Burgers may be able to air in the fall without delay. This would give them a leg up on the shows that normally air in the fall, although they may have separate audiences. Will the shows waiting until 2021 they may run the previous season’s episodes to try and keep the viewers occupied, maybe have the actors do “special” shows where they air their favorite episodes. One thing I’d like to know is if the new fall 2020 season becomes the Jan/Feb 2021 season, will the seasons run short?

Zandarl: For some series, it might actually give them time to regroup and get things back on track but the public won't wait forever for there favorite shows to return and can quickly lose interest and move on to something else causing a loss in viewers.

Laura: While I have never had a problem with shows debuting in mid-season, it remains to be seen how mid-season shows that were supposed to launch in fall will do there. Personally, I think I would love more shows that were streamlined in both fall and spring and lower the 22 episode count format. I don't think too many networks will simply wait for next fall, but it might be hard for these mid-season shows to get renewed for another mid-season unless everyone happens to tune in regardless.

Jaime: First of all, I think the summer shows that have gotten pushed to the Fall like Pandora and The Outpost will do really well. As for the Fall shows that got pushed... I don't think it'll be great for ratings. Maybe in the beginning, because everyone will be so glad that their favorite shows are back but this also means that midseason will be packed. I think the new shows, especially, will suffer.

María: This situation I’m sure will have an impact but not necessarily bad, since many people will be eager to have their shows back, especially if the wait takes too long, so maybe that could give rise to some of the ratings.

As of how the following season will work, I think that would depend on how “normal” things are going to be next year in terms of social interaction and how the production teams are going to work, but I guess they will aim to start Fall 2021 as always or with a delay of just a few weeks (maybe October or November) and try to adjust it to the usual date in the seasons to come for the following years.

There's going to be quite the live-action TV show drought soon. How are you planning on getting through it?

Alison: Even with all the streaming I’ve been able to do while staying at and working from home, it is truly the tip of an iceberg. I plan to discover new shows, make my way through the lengthy list of recommendations sitting in my phone’s Notes, and rewatch old favorites. First up is Avatar: The Last Airbender via Netflix Party. And there is always my first love, reading.

Luana: Having to stay at home with no new TV does sound a little scary but there's a lot of old TV I never got around to watching, so now might be the time. It also might be time to take up reading again, been wanting to do that for a while. I don't think this will last forever so I do have the hope that eventually there will be a way to start productions again.

Giulia: I'm sad there won't be new shows for a while! I will sure catch up on those I haven't had the chance to see and rewatch those I can't stop watching (hello, Borgen and Studio 60!!). I will also have to work from home for a while, so there's that, but this too shall pass, so we'll have new shows sooner than we think.

Milo: Aside from the odd new Netflix show like Hollywood I haven't been watching a lot of new content anyway - I'm using this time to catch up on older shows. Towards the beginning of quarantine I started up Star Trek: The Next Generation again from where I left off last time at mid-Season 3, and I'm now into Season 5. I'm also devouring classic Doctor Who, and spending time with the Seventh Doctor and Ace has proved to be absolutely wonderful.

Beth: First I plan to get to shows that I have wanted to watch but didn't prioritize, I am already doing that by catching up with MacGyver. After that, I have made a list of shows that I want to re-watch or never properly watched. I also am not a big movie person but have decided to try some franchises I have always wanted to watch like Back to The Future and Indiana Jones.

Kath: I’ll be reading and catching up on any shows I’ve been wanting to see but haven’t had the time to check out.

Zandarl: It certainly will change the scope of TV that's for sure but you have networks still with entire series still to be released. Personally, it gives me a chance to play catch up on a few shows I have fallen behind on due to recent events. I am sure other people will be doing the same.

Laura: I watch a lot of TV and have a lot of favorites that I never mind watching over and over, so as sad as I will be to have to wait for both new shows or new seasons of shows, it's not really that big of the deal. Plus there are few shows that I meant to try out or catch up on and this gives me an opportunity to finally do that, not to mention I also have a stack of books I wouldn't mind getting to either!

Jaime: Well, I had already saved a lot of shows to watch in the summer. Problem is that I've already gone quite hard. I'll have to pace myself. I plan on catching up with a few, but I'm not planning too far ahead.

María: Between catching up with shows I have left halfway through and others that I want to check out, plus movies I have in my to-watch list and some of my shows that are coming back in the summer, I don’t think I’d be feeling very lost during this season of waiting. At least that’s what I hope.

That wraps up another round table! Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments below. See you next week!

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