Jump to content
Edmilson

Anyone else miss two-part and three-part episodes on TV shows?

Recommended Posts

Here's something that's actually nostalgic by now: the 2 part episode on TV shows.

 

Trek fans know those all too well, with classic 2 part or even 3 part episode arcs that became memorable and epic cliffhangers, like the beloved The Best of Both Worlds from TNG.

 

As for myself, I grew up with the Justice League cartoon, and all of its episodes on the first 2 seasons were two-parter or three-parter. I loved being glued to the TV as a young boy when the JL heroes got stranded in a bad situation at the end of a Part 1, and then the situation being resolved on the Part 2.

 

When I was a teen, I also loved Lost, Battlestar Galactica and The X-Files (binging the show on DVD). All of those had cool cliffhangers, 2 parters and 3 parters, that formed great story arcs.

 

But now, apparently this trope is gone.

 

I guess the shows on this era of television aren't that fond of the idea of 2 or 3 episodes story arcs. They prefer smaller seasons (from 8 to 13 episodes) composed of mini movies, on which the story (inside the longer arc of the season) begins and ends within the same episode.

 

Take a modern show like Game of Thrones, for instance. In the old days, an episode like the Battle of Blackwater, the Battle of the Bastards and the siege of Winterfell could've been a 2 part episode, with a cool cliffhanger connecting the two. These days, they prefer making longer episodes, the size of a movie (70 to 80 minutes), but with the beginning, the middle and the end of the battle.

 

Heck, Westworld's season finales so far were over 90 minutes long. And the show had some 70 minute episodes on the middle of their seasons (like the awesome The Riddle of the Sphinx).

 

And this is a little odd, because the concept of a 2 part episode sounds pretty good on a Netflix binge era.

 

But for current drama/action/sci-fi/fantasy shows, it's much more probable to find very long episodes than a story arc that goes for 2 episodes. 

 

Which is a little sad. One of the reasons I loved 2 parters in my youth was that they felt special in comparison with the other episodes. When you're watching through a season, but then you come across as an episode that is labeled "Part 1", you know things are gonna get serious and important, because this is a crucial episode for the show's long story arc. Trek fans, of course, can relate to this.

 

Of course, some shows still do two parters once in a while (The Good Place comes to mind), but now unfortunately this trope feels like a relic from a bygone era.

 

But what do you guys think? Do you miss the 2 part episodes or do you prefer the way it's been done today, with longer episodes? 

 

Resultado de imagem para to be continued star trek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always loved the Buffy mid and end-season two-parters, which of course directly influenced Russell T Davies’ series structure when he revived Doctor Who. That show just about peaked with series 9, which was almost all two-part episodes. Not to knock series 10 which I also love, but that was a great time for telly.

 

25 minutes ago, woj said:

Voyager had nothing that was pretty good. 


Scorpion is great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people clearly feel nostalgic for '80 and '90s TV, but I'm not one of them. So no, I don't miss the two or three-part episodes. I like that modern episodes are like 50 minutes movies. In the end, they form 8 parts of a 400 minute movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm confused. These 'two-parter' pilots, final episodes etc. are still very much a common thing, even if they're combined into one long episode, rather than having one half air the first week and the second next.

 

So are shows with sorta independent, multi-episode arcs, like CLONE WARS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was growing up, every series was, usually, a four-parter, or a six-parter. There were even some twelve-parters. No-one ever thought anything of it. We gathered around the telly, week in, week out, and accepted that, if we wanted to know what was going to happen, we'd just have to tune-in the next week, to find out. There were no box-sets, no binge watching, no streaming, and no digital channels with endless repeats.

I'm not bemoaning the current state of affairs, but, it seems to me, that, as with a lot of things, the sense of occasion, and shared experience, has gone from home viewing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

When I was growing up, every series was, usually, a four-parter, or a six-parter.

 

Isn't that still the usual number for British series?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

I'm not bemoaning the current state of affairs, but, it seems to me, that, as with a lot of things, the sense of occasion, and shared experience, has gone from home viewing.

 

There used to be one TV in the house, usually in the living room, and it was a magical device. Now you have TVs, computers, iPhones in every room. Today teens don't watch a lot TV, they prefer social media, Netflix or Youtube.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two-parters only really matter if a show usually resolves it’s stories in a single episode.  As time has gone by, DVD and streaming have increased access to watch quickly or rewatch, so shows have become more and more serialized.  I’m sure episodic shows (CSI type things, Supernatural type things, the Bing Bong Theory) still have two-parters, although I don’t really want to watch anything like that so I have no proof.  The premiere and finale of The Mandalorian, which was otherwise episodic, felt like two-parters even if they weren’t in name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...