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SpoilerTV's Writers Round Table: 99th Edition

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Hello and welcome to a new edition of SpoilerTV's Monthly Round Table! Joining us this time is DarkUFO, Chris Chedrawi (CW), Lisa Macklem (LM), Cecile (CL), Rianne Demmers (RD), Prpleight (JH), and myself (ZF). You just have to sit back enjoy the read and join the discussion in the comment section down below.

What did you enjoy most in November?

LM: The Handmaid's Tale continues to knock it out of the park - acting, directing, writing, cinematography. There were some good moments in the last episodes of The Walking Dead and at least the show wasn't a complete zombie by the end...

RD: I enjoyed both Manifest and Wednesday this month. Especially Wednesday caught me by surprise, just couldn’t stop watching it.

ZF: I found myself quite obsessed with 1899. I didn't know it was coming out, I had never watched Dark, and I wasn't expecting it. But I do enjoy Aeurin Barnard's work, so when I saw he was in a new show, I decided to give it a shot. Still reeling... I need a S2!

With the imminent end of Twitter, many are lamenting that they are losing the main place where they talked about TV shows and found other fans. Were you a Twitter user? Where else do you find yourself discussing TV? Where do you think people will move to next, if Twitter really does disappear?

CW: I’m still grieving over Twitter. It was the first place I discovered so many people who watched and loved to discuss the same shows. I remember using it exclusively during the early Arrowverse phase and while Twitter was home for a lot of toxicity over the years (people have STRONG opinions about Olicity), it was still very important for me. As for alternatives, I’ve been toying with Hive and Mastodon, but I’m not holding my hopes up just yet.

LM: I have downloaded my Twitter archive, but I haven't really used the platform in a few years. It was getting toxic when I stopped being a regular user. I refuse to support anything Elon Musk does - he's simply reprehensible imho... I'll be trying Mastadon, but tbh, life is too chaotic for me right now anyway.

CL: I'm not ready to quit on Twitter yet, I'm hoping that through some miracle its new owner will leave and the platform will remain. Nowhere else can I find a mix of news (not the fake kind), a specific kind of internet humor, and entertainment, especially in TV and movies. I've logged into to my old Tumblr account for the first time in years but it's just not the same.

RD: I haven’t used Twitter for personal use in years. Right now I only use it for the company I work for. I usually just rant to my friends through text message about the series I watch.

JH: SpoilerTV. The only reason I have a Twitter account was because of the game that was played on SpoilerTV back in the day. Realistically speaking, if Twiter dies something will appear to fill the hole, just as sites like Twitter appeared on the scene to replace BBSs. But, I will be checking out SpoilerTV.

ZF: I was so against Twitter for so long (a true Tumblr girlie), but now, I struggle with leaving it behind. But then I found Hive, which honestly is a great alternative, and perfect for fandom. Haven't quite felt the same vibe with Mastadon. I honestly kind of hope to stick with Hive instead of Twitter; great community, app is still a bit new but seems ideal for what "Stan Twitter" is.

One thing that many find annoying with weekly releases in network is the frequent hiatuses. The thing that annoys people about streaming shows is the long breaks between seasons. Which do you find yourself disliking more? Is there a balance?

CW: Here for weekly releases all the way! When I think back to shows like WandaVision or Lost, two of many shows that were excellent BECAUSE they allowed room for people to breathe and speculate and ponder, I can’t imagine how much of that experience would have been ruined if all episodes were released instantly. Think of all the spoilers that would’ve started circulated within hours of release! I do agree that some shows (particularly sitcoms) benefit from a non-weekly streaming schedule, but I can’t imagine those experiences being ruined by a weekly release.

LM: Both are equally annoying to me! If the show is good, it's hard to have to wait so long for the next season. However, with network hiatuses, they mainly just give me a chance to catch up a bit on the DVR/PVR and the streaming releases! I actually have a much harder time finding the time to binge a season dump on streaming, so I actually do prefer when they at least do a weekly release.

CL: The weekly release shows I watch have their entire season done during one given period, so I'm not affected by the hiatuses aside from between seasons. So, compared to streaming I really enjoy the weekly releases more. It gives people time to appreciate episodes, talk about them, theorize, and anticipate the next one. It's been apparent for a while, but I think recently, Yellowjackets was a fantastic example of what weekly releases can do for a show. Of course, this only works when the shows are good enough, otherwise people will drop them (streaming access does make "filler" or weaker episodes easier to forgive, since the next one is already available). But the season dump just dilutes the whole thing, you can't distinguish one episode from the other and they all end up blending together, spoilers get incredibly hard to avoid, and after 2 days the show is almost entirely forgotten. So, even if it's very unrealistic in today's TV model, I'd say if the showrunners/network are sure of the quality of the show, release it weekly so it gains momentum. If not, well... there's always the all-episodes-at-the-same-time dump.

RD: I do prefer week by week releases. The wait for the next episode gives room for speculation, there are often lesser spoilers online within hours as well.

JH: I think my least favorite is the 1 to 2 year long breaks between seasons of a show. One thing I do prefer (or did) is that, in the olden days, if a story wasn’t working there was time for the writes to make adjustments as the season progressed. (I am not talking about ships or anything like that.) For some networks the entire season is in the can before the season starts that it’s, sometimes, difficult to remain loyal.

ZF: I have to say that I prefer weekly releases, hands down. While I am an impatient person, the binging culture is too much for me. Spoilers are everywhere immediately, there's a lot less community speculation (which is genuinely one of my favourite parts about enjoying a TV show), and it can fizzle out very quickly if it's not a huge hit. I think Disney+/Amazon Prime/Apple TV+ have the right idea. A weekly basis, but without all the weird breaks in the middle for sports, Thanksgiving, etc. I still mourn the lack of a reliable annual schedule, but you win some, you lose some.

In Hollywood, there's been a huge push for franchises. Disney is now releasing an overwhelming amount of content for Star Wars, Marvel, etc -- and other media companies are quickly falling suit. Do you believe this influx in content hurt or improve these franchises?

LM: Franchises are now out of hand. When it becomes too much of a time commitment, I'm done. I don't like being forced to watch another series to understand the one I like. The crossovers between SVU and the Chicago shows almost made me stop watching them. I refuse to pay for Disney+ and that's where most of them live - so I have no idea! LOL! However, I would also point to the change in leadership this past week at Disney and how far in the red they are - doesn't seem to really be working for them, does it?

CL: Honestly, I think Disney's monopoly in the content world (buying Fox, etc.), and the franchises themselves are already an issue. So adding even more of that kind of content is just going to stifle what little variety there is left for people to enjoy when they don't want to watch superhero / franchise fare.

RD: It might become overkill. But it is also working, otherwise they wouldn’t be pushing so much. They are really steering people in the direction of watching it all or you will be missing part of the story, which is quite annoying. I do love a crossover but rather when it is a stand alone kind of thing, so you can skip it/watch it some other time without missing anything of the original story of wondering if you have missed information.

JH: I think the influx isn’t necessarily a good thing because it seems driven more by money than the desire to tell great stories. Hollywood has a long history of flooding franchises with really bad product. I’ve seen this with a couple of the franchise entries Disney has brought to the streaming site over the last couple of years.

ZF: I think, like all things, there's a healthy balance. The issue is that many of these franchises are not balancing it. It's show after show after show, with all these movies in between, and it's becoming impossible to keep up. Just a year ago, I was one of the biggest Marvel fans out there, and now I haven't watched most of the 2022 shows. It's just too much, too quick, and not at all what I envisioned the TV space would be like. When they first announced the Disney+ shows, I thought they would just be little in-betweeners that wouldn't influence the movie plots too much. Instead, you've got hours and hours and hours of content that you have to watch to understand the next movie. It's alienating a huge portion of the population, and so many of the die-hard fans are feeling the fatigue. I think one or two movies a year, with one or two shows should be the max.

Are there any TV shows that are explicitly made for children that you enjoy? What draws you to that show? Do you like it in the child's medium that it is, or would you prefer to see a more grown up version of the story? Why?

JH: I may be driven more to teen programming than children’s programming. Loved Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, Secret of Sulphur Springs, and Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated (the first version I’ve seen in 40 years that really captured the spark that may the original so awesome) I judge all of my viewing by whether I like the characters and if I enjoy the story. It usually doesn’t matter what the target demographic is. If I enjoy it, I will watch it.

ZF: Sometimes TV made for kids is a lot more fun and carefree. It's a great watch if you want to just escape for a bit, and don't want some of the heavy themes that TV shows have. Miraculous Ladybug is one show that I really do enjoy watching, and while sometimes it is a little too childish for my tastes, it's important to acknowledge that it wasn't really made for me, but someone two decades younger.

That being said, there are some shows that really evolve beyond being just a kids show. Doctor Who started out for young children, but has adapted into something family friendly, and bringing on a lot more adult themes. I remember the days when most of the Marvel/DC adaptations were animated shows for kids (Teen Titans, X-Men, etc), and find myself still enjoying them, perhaps even more than their adult counterparts.

What are you looking forward to most in December?

DarkUFO: Only a couple of shows that I'll be checking out.
  • Slow Horses (Season 2)
  • Alice in Borderland (Season 2)
  • Three Pines (Season 1)
  • Kaleidoscope (Season 1)

CW: For December, I am mostly excited for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and to catch up on shows like 1899 and, of course, cringe holiday movies!

JH: The sad thing is…nothing. I have hidden love of Halmark/Lifetime/BET Christmas movies. Please don’t tell anyone.

ZF: The Recruit seems rather intriguing. And I'm very excited for His Dark Materials Season 3!

Have any question suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!

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

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