Unpopular Opinion: Short Runs

You can never have too much of a good thing. Well, Uncle Geekly begs to differ. I haven’t done an unpopular opinion in several months and this one may sound like an idea a lot of people share, but when one breaks down what it means, it doesn’t take long to see why it’s difficult to put into practice.

Part of what makes Firefly special is the fact that it only lasted one season. It never had the opportunity to run its characters and world into the ground, or finish it’s story (I’m not so happy about that aspect), so in a round about way, I like that Fox unceremoniously dumped it after 14 episodes. To be fair, I love Firefly and wished it ended the way Breaking Bad did; tell a tight story with a defined, planned ending.

Breaking Bad knew when to call it quits and did a great job with an ending in mind years before it had a chance to lose its way. Arrow wasn’t spared this fate. The first two seasons were some of the best superhero television I’ve seen, but the next five or six seasons never could capture that magic. The only thing that stays constant for the creative process is that at some point the creative team will lose interest or run out of ideas.

It’s a balancing act of figuring out how long a television show, or other medium, this isn’t specific to just television, can remain relevant and leaving the audience wanting more, and that’s where I’ll get to some current, sacred flamingos. How many seasons does Rick and Morty have before it becomes The Simpsons or Family Guy? When will Westworld and Black Mirror lose their integrity? Have either of them already done so? Would another Souls or The Witcher video game or two cheapen the series? Okay. I believe The Witcher won’t have another entry and if it did, another one would–most likely–cheapen the series.

It’s easy to see when a series loses its way after the fact, but most Rick and Morty fans will be watching the series when it jumps the proverbial great white some time during its next eight seasons. Cartoon Network renewed Rick and Morty for eight seasons and if the show makes it that long, which I don’t think it will, there’s a greater than 86 percent chance Rick and Morty will be a shell of itself. (Note: 86 percent of all made up statistics use the number 86.) The scarcity of something can add value and the projects that know when to call it quits, or at least when to hit the pause button, can be some of the best.

What made Star Wars fans hungry for more content after Return of the Jedi was that they had to wait 16 years for The Phantom Menace. With Disney increasing the production schedule to a Star Wars movie being released every twelve to eighteen months, few people have time to anticipate the next entry of the series. The same can be said of Marvel movies. To be fair, Marvel’s production schedule is like Star Wars on steroids: three to four movies a year. Yikes! Having said all this, I wonder if I’ve done too much with this site.

Eh. Uncle Geekly isn’t that talented anyway, so there isn’t that much quality to be lost with more frequent content. What are your thoughts on this subject? The idea of short runs adding to a project, not the quality of this blog. I may pass all blog complaints to Standard Issue Star Trek Geek Jim, so he can yell at me via yodeling telegram. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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