tv show pilots

  • Parents: If you weren't constantly in that room on that phone you would be a lot happier.
  • Me: Actually, I wouldn't be. I do so much when I'm on my phone. I write, I watch nice videos, I look at things that make me happy, and I am able to constantly be in touch with my friends. When I'm on the internet I get to learn new things and see things you can't see in real life unless you have money, and we don't. I'm sorry I'm not sporty or social but just because I'm not those things does not mean I am an unhappy person. I laugh so much when I'm on the internet. I smile. The internet isn't just a place for cyberbullying. Just because all you know how to use on the internet is facebook, google, and sometimes Instagram doesn't mean that there aren't other things there. The internet is so big that eventually you will find a place that will accept you. And please, don't tell me how to be happy. I'm pretty sure I can figure that out on my own.

I sometimes wonder how media consumption habits are being influenced by endings becoming the exception rather than the rule.

Like, when I was a kid, you could be pretty well assured that any long-form media you followed would have an ending; not necessarily for the “big picture” storylines, but at least for individual arcs. Most literature came in the form of printed novels, and it was highly unusual for any television show that survived its pilot episode to receive less than two full seasons, owing to how the economics of syndication worked; that’s why a lot of shows that are considered classics today have entire first seasons that are just plain terrible - they could afford to take that much time to find their feet.

These days, a story-driven TV show can get cancelled after three or four episodes if it’s not an immediate hit, and a lot of people consume sequential art and prose fiction primarily via web serials, whose one-page/chapter-at-a-time publication cycle means they can stop at any point - and let’s be honest, most of them do; web-based serialisation has enormously lowered economic barriers to global publication, and that’s awesome, but it’s also had the side effect of letting people with essentially no project management skills tackle media projects where they simply have no idea what they’re getting into.

The upshot is that we’ve got a whole generation for whom it’s understood as a matter of course that any long-form media you consume is more likely than not to just abruptly end mid-arc, mid-scene, or occasionally even mid-sentence* rather than having any sort of proper conclusion. I mean, sure, we still have novels and big-screen movies, but seriously: does anybody under the age of 30 actually get the majority of their media consumption from novels and big-screen movies these days?

* I’m not kidding about this one; I’ve seen multiple webcomics and at least one fanfic that really do end mid-sentence because the final published chapter or page ends with a dialogue break!