I was talking to my good friend and co-host of Spoiled Rotten Podcast about how weird I thought it was that we were seeing reviews of the first 6 episodes of Iron Fist already. I know it's been done for movies and shows, even for Luke Cage, however, and I hate to sound like a broken record, but, that's weird. Why would I want to know what you think of something before you've seen the final product? Then I read this article, over at the blog I want to be when I grow up, about why TV Shows shouldn't be treated as movies.
Fair point. Not all shows should be treated like they're movies. Which is to say that you should be able to enjoy and breakdown a season by its individual episodes instead of waiting till the end of the season to decide whether or not it was successful. For instance, the article dealt with Breaking Bad as its case study. That show aired on AMC and as such I agree that the overall story was laid out a certain way and paced a certain way.
My rebuttal is that Breaking Bad, and shows like Game of Thrones, The Wire, and any other show that you see as appointment viewing or as an episode per week format aren't the same as a Netflix Original where I have all the episodes to view from the jump.
If a show's primary distribution system is an episode per week then it's definitely important that the show's creators and it's fans treat each episode with respect and as an important building block in whatever story is being told.
However, with a Netflix series that debuts with all episodes at the ready, its more important to see all the episodes before forming a real opinion. It doesn't mean that you need to marathon all of the episodes at once. However, the option is there to watch the show at your speed which is probably faster than one episode a week. Therefore a season of Iron Fist or House of Cards functions better as a 12-13 hour movie better than Breaking Bad works as a movie of any kind. The individual episodes aren't meaningless but getting caught up on the minutiae of these episodes feels more like losing the forest for the trees.
I could be wrong, but I've got to imagine that someone creating a season they know will air all at once will craft episodes accordingly because there is a chance that someone like me will come along and try and finish the season before the weekend is over and before eager blogs post their reviews and "10-178 things you may have missed" type posts.
I guess what I'm saying, at the end of the day and as I feel your interest waning, is that the article I read was right about the shows it addressed and I'm right about the shows I'm talking about. If people remember the medium is the message. It'll be easy to see that it's not so much a shift to all shows being treated as extended movies, as much as making room for a new kind of show. Both shows are equally valid and don't have to take away from each other either.