Over the last year, I’ve watched Ozark, The Man in the Green Castle, Bosch, Dear White People, The Keepers–just to name a few. My viewing involves a modicum of guilt. I’m enjoying myself, but I occasionally find myself watching for the purpose of seeing a season through, rather than for the esthetic pleasure of seeing a great story unfold before my eyes, or for great cinematography, or unbelievable acting. I’ve become more adept at finding plot points that will carry over from one episode to the next.
But I worry that my viewing encourages bad behavior–not on my part, of course, but on the part of studios that no longer feel the need to make taut, well-crafted stories. I haven’t seen a series (or an “original,” as they’re being called now) that wouldn’t make for a better movie. Why spend 12 hours watching something that should be boiled down to 90 minutes? What am I getting from spending the additional time? I’d like to say that the depth of characterization has improved, but I don’t think that’s the case. Is the the future of entertainment?