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Hayley Billington - Unit 1: Part D

TV Programmes that go on for far too long and disengage their audience

The issue I have chosen to talk about is narratives within TV programme which go on for far too long and disengage their audience. For one example which I have been watching for many years is Pretty Little Liars, there are many un answered questions and seasons been dragged out throughout the whole of the 7 seasons in which they have 20 episodes and are 45 minutes long each.

I feel passionate about this because I like watching multiple episodes on TV but I feel like the narration goes on and on and on. More and more series are dragging story lines on for far too long for example Pretty Little Liars and In doing so, they are taking away the true art of a good narration, by repeating the story line and making it far too predictable or making the narration very irritable by generating far too many unsolved answers in their story lines which keep the audience guessing to the point where they become disinterested.

Take Pretty Little Liars for example, I think that they should have put it into shorter seasons which would have been more intriguing for the viewers instead of repeating predictable storylines in a bid to drag each series out and keep the audience guessing on who A is. In time this became extremely irritating causing viewing figures to go down.

I am not alone in this debate. After conducting a range of research and speaking to friends and family, It is amazing how many people become irritated by television programmes which go on for far too long and drag their storylines out to try and keep their audiences guessing. Over time, this issue has irritated me and annoyed me to the point where I have become disengaged in a television programme because the narration has dragged on for far too long or has become far-fetched beyond belief.

After researching this matter, I have found that I am not alone in feeling irritated by storylines which seem to drag out for far too long.

“Imagine if PPL was condensed into 5 shorter seasons- imagine how satisfying that would be. This would make for much more clean and airtight story (no plot holes or unanswered questions). Seriously, PPL would have been FANTASTIC if it focused on the core storyline more and giving us definite answers as the series progresses”.

After speaking to some friends one friend had told me that they became disengaged in watching a season called 24, this is because after the first 3 episode, the narrative became very repetitive and she knew what was going to happen and the narrative wasn’t anything exciting or new so therefore she stopped watching it.

Another example which saw a rise in the number of viewers which became disengaged was a TV programme called Lost. After a friend started watching this they also became disengaged by it, this is because the whole point of Lost was to get of the island and when they were successful in doing so, they decided to go back on to it, which completely defeated the whole purpose of the series. They said how it was dragged out and became annoying to watch, to the point where the narration just became daft.

I believe that television programmes should focus on the art of a narration and provide their target audience with a good quality storyline which gives them the answers they seek, as opposed to dragging storylines out in a bid to make more money. This takes away the art of a god narration and completely spoils what could potentially be a great TV series.

One viewer called the narrative of Pretty Little Liars (PLL) a ridiculous nonsensical timeline because instead of focusing on the art of the narration they have dragged the storyline out to make more money off the series.

“Don’t stretch out your show and make a ridiculous nonsensical timeline so that you can try and make more money. Its blatantly obvious that you’re money grabbing and don’t truly care about the art of story-telling. Don’t get half way through a confusing-to-begin-with plot line only to drop it when we’re just getting some answers. I don’t even bother about speculating about things anymore, because in never matters in the end. Red coat? Black window? There’s just too much going on to even keep track”.

I agree with this due to how long PLL has been going on for. It started in 2010 and finally finished in 2017. 7 long years of been on edge about what’s happening next and who is ‘A’, ‘A.D’ and who is torturing the girls. The guessing game of who these mysterious characters continued to drag on leaving fans with unanswered questions and as a result people became disengaged and stopped caring.

The narration seems to lack originality and as a result of how many years it has been running for, the plots sometimes repeats themselves with how the girls seem to get attacked or tortured by A or A.D, it always seems to be in the same way or with their families and as a result of this, the narration becomes predictable and irritating. If they condensed the show and took out some of the repeated plots, I believe that the show would have been massively improved.

I am not alone in feeling that the show is massively repetitive either, after researching forums and people’s opinions about the show, some stated that; “The show is so repetitive as well. I ALWAYS EXPECT an A scene to only to ever tease us in regards to who’s under the black hoodie, And it’s always the same formula—one of the four main girls are only ever attacked in a creepy setting”.

I think the narrative sometimes ran out of ideas on what to put into the show and that’s why they repeat themselves.

“How long have we been watching, and we still have no idea who A is. I've been watching from the START, and it's so annoying how long this show is dragging. I love the characters, love it all, but it could of been written a lot better, with less seasons. We don't get to find out who A is till season 6. At this point, I have no choice but to finish. I just wish it was better written”.

Viewers getting annoyed because of how long it was going on for and when finding out who “A” is not understanding how and why it was that person.

BuzzFeed, Inc

“Don’t be surprised if you see a tremendous drop in your viewers”.

“Our children’s children’s children won’t even know who A is”.

This quotes are because of again how long the episodes went on for. The writer of Pretty Little Liars had all viewers waiting till season 6 to find out who A is and then after that, they brought out another season with somebody else named A.D torturing the girls, It just went on for so long and even after the full season finished it will still confusing and annoying with how many unanswered questions they were.

Some people may disagree with what I am saying and like how long it’s has been dragged out for and the tension of not knowing. Some people have quoted the following;

“I really enjoyed Pretty little liars a lot more than I first expected I would”

“From the first episode I was hooked. This became my new guilty pleasure, At the end of each episode I get mad! It’s like damn got to wait another week for another one. It’s so addicting”.

“Pretty Little Liars is one of those shows that is fantastic and drags you in and won't let you go until you find out what's next. There is enough mystery in the identity of A to keep you watching for more clues”.

“Six seasons in, fans still don’t know the identity of the person who hit Alison DiLaurentis in the PILOT and there are several questions still left unanswered. No matter how mad we are and say we’re never watching it again, every week we’re back, no matter what”.

These quotes show that some people disagree with what I’m saying and enjoy watching the programmes, even though they get irritated by not knowing. They are always wanting to find out more and are so intrigued in watching the show week in week out. The show is like an addiction and once they start watching, they can’t stop.

My opinion after researching is that I agree with what people are saying with how long it’s been going on for, how the writer could have shortened it down into shorter season, but I also agree with how intriguing the season was and how I watched it for so many years and not wanted to stop watching it waiting week in week out for it to come back on my TV screen. Now that it has finished completely there is a void in my life due to them not bringing out any more episodes or seasons. I did find the narration irritating at times and I hate how easy it is to become disengaged in something you have enjoyed watching because the narrators become disillusioned and completed drift from the art of the original narration, therefore destroying the viewing pleasure of a TV programme.

There are many other programmes that have gone on too long and viewers have become disengaged in watching them..

One of them was Charmed.

“Charmed had a rocky journey. The first three seasons were enormously popular, and they thrived by focusing on the emotional bond between three sisters who happened to be witches.

“Season four was outstanding, but after that the show became far too light and cheesy with glimmers and brilliance in between”.

They go on to say how it got worse and worse as the season went on with cheap special effects and lost a lot of dignity in the process.

“The show’s eighth and final season was undoubtedly one of the worst seasons of television I’ve ever seen in my life”.

They also go on to say how they should have ended it earlier “Would it really have hurt the show to stop at season seven?”.

Another TV programme that people think went on too long is Prison Break.

People have said how the writer of Prison Break should have ended after season two.

“The first season is still masterful in every way, and I’m actually quite fond of season two with our heroes on the run. Unfortunately, season three completely dropped by the ball by putting our heroes in prison AGAIN! It was a painful forced decision that robbed the show of its uniqueness and momentum. Thankfully, season for sort of rectified the situation with a whole lot of adrenaline and thrills. But all in all, i strongly believe that Prison Break should never have continued past its second season”.

I agree with this as I have watched it too, I feel like it went on for too long and how they ended up back in prison after breaking out and having to go through everything they went through to just go back in. Some people may disagree and enjoy the excitement of them having to go through it all again the feeling of been in there with them.

I believe that more and more TV programmes are focusing on how long they can keep a series running for, even if this means taking away the art of creating a fabulous story and as a result, it is ruining the viewing pleasure of what could potentially be an amazing TV show. Because of this, TV shows have been spoilt and left their viewers feeling disappointed and annoyed.



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