Winter hiatuses suck. I’m not quite sure what made TV execs think that having lengthy breaks between halves of seasons is a good idea, but whoever came up with the concept should be, in the immortal words of Garfield the cat, drug out into the street and shot.
I mean, I understand breaking for the holidays. I really do. No one watches any kind of regular programming when dealing with juggling all the stuff we have to during Christmastime. But once that’s over, why are our shows not back?
This year, the excuse was the Winter Olympics. Millions of people care about them more than they do new episodes of House or Stargate Universe. I get that. But the Olympics are long over, and my favorite shows are still on hiatus.
Marketing, that’s what. Profit margins. DVD sales.
As much as I adore being able to get seasons of TV on DVD, I abhor having to buy installments of a season. Take Stargate Universe for example. The series started in October, just before I got married. It hit its stride and had its “fall finale” as it was called. It’s supposed to be back on the air April 2nd to finish the first season.
Sounds all good, right? I’m excited, I’ll admit. But I’m frustrated, too, because the reason that it has taken so long for it to get back on the air is to make room for the two (yes, two!) DVD sets that have been released for the series before the first season has even ended. There is Stargate Universe 1.0 which collects the first 10 episodes of the season and Stargate Universe: Air, an extended release of the three-part premiere.
That’s just a bunch of crap, if you ask me.
I don’t want to have to shell out money for halves of seasons. When I want to own a series I love on DVD, I want to be able to go out and buy it without having to worry about which point-release it’s on.
SGU is not the first series to pull this kind of shenanigan. They did it with Glee (which I have still not seen despite my wife’s urging) and Battlestar Galactica. I know there are others, too, but they’re slipping my mind at the moment.
My point is that I want more TV now. Summer is long enough a wait with its mere handful of fun shows (thank God for Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Big Brother). Now, not only is there an extended wait during summer, but the big-guns of fall programming are being split in two. Where it seems like there is more time being spent anticipating the TV shows I love rather than watching them.
And, really, that’s poor business. Even if it artificially bumps fiscal reports and somehow inflates the way seasons look like they sell, it’s just being a jerk on the part of the DVD companies.
There’s not even an argument to be made for making the programming more widely available more quickly. With every single network offering full episodes of recent shows online, the majority of people who miss out on a show and care enough to catch up on it early have done so already.
So in short: stop it with the point-release seasons of my favorite shows and making me wait an additional 2-4 months for my favorite programming to start after an arbitrary hiatus. Get back to doing what makes me watch you in the first place: entertaining me.