A few years ago, I created a little side project (a.k.a. a hobby) to enjoy in my spare time (a.k.a. when I had more spare time) that eventually became a monster. I won't bore you with the details of exactly what that side project is, but it has something to do with entertainment... primarily television.
Okay... I’ll be a little more specific. It revolves around a low-budget, relatively unknown series called Game of Thrones. And whether you watch the show or not, you are probably aware from all the media attention it receives that it is about to conclude, forever.
The big question the few people that are aware of my hobby have asked me is, “Are you sad that it is going to be over?” The short answer is, “No.”
Here is the reason why. The success of a television show depends on a large number of variables, all of which need to come together from the beginning if it’s going to last longer than a few episodes. GoT excelled at most of them most of the time. The story is interesting, the acting and directing are superb, and it contains strong character development that viewers get invested in, just to name a few.
When this happens, the last thing you want to see is a series ending. And neither does the network that is producing it.
At the same time, you want the show to finish as strongly as it began, if not more so. Historically, networks have been known to stretch a story beyond capacity for the sake of viewership and ratings, essentially ruining what used to be considered a great TV show. It’s a scar that’s tough to erase.
The most current example out there (in my opinion) is The Walking Dead. AMC’s cash cow is no longer the juggernaut it once was for various reasons – but mostly because the network has attempted to stretch its longevity with no supporting storyline. TWD is a good series that had the potential to be great. But it won’t be remembered that way.
In HBO’s case, the last thing they want is a mass exodus of subscribers after GoT concludes. But I think they also recognize that they have a chance to rewrite history if they stick the landing. This will benefit them in the long run.
When it’s over, it needs to be over. Create something new that captivates, and the viewers will return.
I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.