Seven Season Theory

So I have this theory that the perfect show length is 7 seasons. Personally, I watch a lot of TV, like potentially too much. It is one of my favorite ways to get a story. Also, it is the easiest way to have something in common with people. That is getting off the point! Seven seasons is the perfect length.

Seven seasons is long enough for each main and side character get an independent character arcs, whether silly or not. It gives time to explore different character relationships. Introduce new scenarios. Allow the show to ebb and flow.  It is long enough that the world can grow beyond our little initial conflict or premise of the pilot. Whether that is the main character going to college, going to another planet, or the death of the planet.

Seven seasons gives the writers time to wrap up the story not end on a cliffhanger or midway through. I feel like when a show is seven seasons it feels like a true conclusion. Not time jumped in the last episode, it doesn’t rush but unravels. It’s long and winding. It doesn’t rush through. It is a long fun and immersive viewing experience. However, it doesn’t overwhelm in terms of amount to watch.

Seven Seasons is also the longest length a TV show can do without risking going round the bend. I will admit some shows didn’t need to pass this length to do this (Heroes & Glee).  However, shows 8 seasons or longer have full off seasons or story arcs and start the conversation even in fans that the show has gone on too long. I feel that shows that are good after more than seven seasons are not the norm but a rarity.

Often after 7 seasons there are larger changes in writing staff and main cast. It does in fact affect the viewing experience when this happens. For some shows, it does happen before season 7 and it works (West Wing). But for some shows (That 70’s Show) it is detrimental at that season 7 mark. Due to the successes of a long running show there are more likely to harder negotiations between writers/actors and production.

My main point to this theory is that most of my favorite shows are 7 seasons.

Examples:

  • West Wing
  • Gilmore Girls
  • New Girl
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Rizzoli and Isles
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch

These are just a few of my personal favorite shows of all time and also shows that are 7 seasons. There are of course quite a few more.

What do you think? Is there a more ideal length than 7 seasons, if so what?

3 episode theory

I love television. If it can be considered a hobby I feel like watching TV may be one of mine (yes, very cool I understand). Truly there is some incredible television that exists and some that simply stinks. There is just so much of it to try! You could spend years of your life watching pilot episodes of television show and your whole life committing to just a few. How is one supposed to know which ones to pick? I over the years have developed a 3-episode theory that I apply to every show before I commit.

Episode 1:The pilot -The hook in. Pilots tend to be a highlight for many shows. More time is spent on them and they are made not just for the viewers but for the networks to invest in. Someone truly saw potential here! A lot of effort, a lot of promises, a lot of introductions or crazy plots that can make it hard to connect.

Episode 2: The set up – The writing staff has been finalized and a season has started. This episode sets up the main arc for every character. It’s a lot of set-up and intrigue and trying to live up to the promise of the pilot.

Episode 3: The normal – The season has started to settle in. This is your average episode, maybe a filler (if you are cynical). These are gonna be a majority of your episodes. If you like this one, if it has new jokes, characters are starting to arc, plots are starting twist, etc. continue watching. The show has grown and settled

You may ask why not just watch the pilot? Because you can’t get a full grasp of where the story is going.

You may ask why not just watch episode three and get it over with? Because that will ruin the story for you if you should like it. Commit to the three episodes and you’ll know for sure if it’s the show for you, if not you only wasted the time of a bad movie.

So if your stuck at home right now, pick a show any show and give my three episode theory at try.

Best of luck and let me know what shows you try!