This week, my social media interactions have been filled with friends expessing their unabashed glee at the return of several beloved TV programs after extended absence. I’m a bit jealous, to be honest, partly because my sporadic cult television pleasure is in the midst of a shaky, Mary Sue-injected season, but also because of how enjoyable it is to finally get a dose of your fave-rave show after a prolonged absence.  With comics, I’ve always found the “It takes as long as it takes” paradigm of creative operations to be fine, but find that most people have different expectations for the traditionally-seasonal world of the boob tube.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) can’t believe I used the b-word near a picture of Christina Hendricks, but has decided to leave it and see what kind of search strings show up, asking : What effect does a long hiatus have on your appreciation of a creative work?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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8 Comments

  1. SmarkingOut Adam
    April 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm — Reply

    I find something else to get interested in. Sometimes when the other thing comes back I can get back into it. Often times, the new thing I’m interested in takes up too much of my rare free time to allow it in until that new thing takes a break, so the old thing gets back burnered.

  2. April 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm — Reply

    If its something I really like then I build it up in my head, and when it returns from hiatus it often does not meet my expectations.

  3. Frank
    April 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm — Reply

    It really depends on the quality of the product. I’ve waited several years for comics *cough* The Twelve *cough* and enjoyed the final product.
    On the other hand, a TV show (Hawaii 50) can take a 3 month break, and I stop watching it because the writing was never great to begin with.

  4. Oldcomicfan
    April 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm — Reply

    If you think back to when Star Trek TNG first aired, television seasons ran from Sept. to the end of May without a break. The only break was the summer season of reruns. Because of special effects production delays, STNG began to inject a one month break around December, and then smaller breaks in the middle of each shortened season. It was very annoying to tune in to find reruns half a dozen times a year instead of only during the summer rerun season. Soon after, most other TV series began to do the same, and a season began to mean 12 or 13 episodes instead of Sept. to May. Take a look at the original Star Trek show – a season in those days was 70 some episodes long!

    This a long winded way of saying that I don’t like long haitusii in the middle of my TV show. In the old days, it was usually a symptom of problems that would ultimately doom the show. Admittedly, shows today are much higher quality so I can understand why they’d need more time to produce, but still… For something like Game of Thrones, sure, I’ll wait as long as it takes. But for something like The Wire, Lost, or the Greatest American Hero, forget it. Pity Firefly didn’t last long enough to have hiatus problems…

  5. B.V.K.
    April 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm — Reply

    whether its a video game, comic or show the longer they need to polish the product the higher my expectations are. Sometimes they are met (Ultimates, Bioshock 3, Walkng Dead) other times it seems like they just had no clue what they were doing (Episode I, Aliens: Colonial Marines).

  6. Arbor Day
    April 11, 2013 at 6:15 pm — Reply

    Cliffhangers, its agonizing.

    Preferably, each season is like a stand alone chapter. For shows with long breaks of course. Regular networks shows, doesn’t matter so much since they’re mostly popcorn series like Once Upon a Time.

  7. April 12, 2013 at 2:38 am — Reply

    Most of the time it just makes me upset that I have to wait so long and I often get in to something else in the in-between time and lose some interest. There are a few exceptions (Doctor Who, since I had all those past years to re-watch), but a very long hiatus usually tends to bring any momentum I have for the series to a dead stop.

  8. AllenBT
    April 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm — Reply

    For me it depends on the structure of the show. Many shows feature a season long story arc that unpins the individual weekly episodes. Typically its a feature element of the 1st episode and pays off in the season finale. I don’t usually mind long breaks in shows with this sort of storytelling. In my mind, its like reading volumes of a novel series. I’m less tolerant of long breaks in shows that don’t depend upon a season long plot though. With that sort of writing, I almost prefer they run 4 or so episodes, hit a re-run cycle of 4, then another 4 new episodes etc. to stretch out the season to cover a full year.

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