Now, most of my shows have short enough seasons. HBO programs tend to be about twelve episodes per (Deadwood, The Sopranos, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire; Rome actually had twelve in the first and only ten in the second). Showtime is eleven or twelve (Weeds has eleven, Tara has twelve). Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy and Dollhouse and Justified all have/had thirteen. Firefly was a proud fourteen. The Walking Dead had a jaw-droppingly brief six. Of course, there are the odd popular shows, with super a lot; aside from its short first seasons, Buffy had twenty-two per, and Glee is the same.
But this is something I’ve figured. Having the shorter seasons? For one, it means it’s less daunting to tell friends to marathon it. Twelve, thirteen episodes? Pfft, that’s nothing. That’s a weekend if you dedicate yourself. It means the arc doesn’t drag (usually, cough cough Sons of Anarchy season three). Okay, it also means there are no wacky nonsequitorial (“Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”? “Hush”? “Once More, With Feeling?”) episodes tossed in there, or at least fewer of them. But it sort of keeps things tight. Again, usually.
And? Shorter seasons tease the hell out of you. Shorter seasons mean you get sucked in, then it kicks you harder in the ass when the season’s over so quick and you spend the next xyz months waiting impatiently for the next little hit. (True Blood, case in point.) You don’t have a chance to get worn out, at least as much.
And short seasons also mean you can cycle between awesome things better. HBO’s Sunday night lineup, as Paul Rudd told us in I Love You, Man, is without fail scintillating. Everything I love on HBO is Sunday night, and it just rotates. It was okay when True Blood was over, because then along came Boardwalk Empire, and then after a bit came Game of Thrones, and when that’s done (far too soon) we’ll get True Blood back. It’s consistently awesome.
Also, there’s the fact that I’m an emotional masochist. That makes shorter seasons appeal, too.
–your fangirl heroine