Why won’t Hollywood understand the concept of miniseries?
This Sunday Big Little Lies dominated the Emmy Awards with 8 well-deserved wins, one of those being “best limited series”. We are not ones to value awards shows too highly, but with recent rumblings about a second season of Big Little Lies getting louder, we can’t help but be slightly annoyed about the trend in selling a continuing show as a miniseries.
In the past years we have seen the following shows get sold as “miniseries” or – don’t laugh “event series”: Big Little Lies, Taboo, Top of the Lake, Under The Dome, Wayward Pines, The Night Of. What do all these shows have in common? They either continued with a second season, or are having conversations about creating another one.
On a personal level, we are slightly annoyed since we’re trying to limit our time watching “peak TV” by opting for miniseries over shows without an end date. Seeing one of those get renewed for another season doesn’t make us ecstatic, instead it just makes us look at our bloated TV queue in horror.
So why does this trend continue? Easy, for studios and actors selling your show this way doesn’t just help to create an “event” type hype around your show, it also helps to win some awards. See, submitting your show in the Emmy’s limited series section makes it a lot easier to run off with an award, than competing with the rest of peak TV in the comedy or drama sections. Don’t believe us? Just have a look at what competed in the 2008.
Now have a look at 2017:
That’s right, we went from the Tin Man to shows starring actors such as Ewan McGregor, Jessica Lange, Geoffrey Rush, and John Turturro competing. Going through the list of past nominees you will find the Emmy’s has always had a problem with continuing series sneaking in there, yet never as heavily as now.
Sure, you can debate anthology shows reset every season, yet those haven’t been the rules shows such as Fargo & American Horror Story have been following, with both of them bringing back characters from earlier seasons, albeit often in minor roles.
So what’s the solution here? Simple: be upfront about what your show is, compete in the normal categories (drama & comedy) and let the audience enjoy the match between Tin Man 2 & the 99th adaptation of Great Expectations.
(Seriously guys, stop it. You’re fucking up my TV queue so bad.)