Shows like WandaVision, The Madalorian and Attack on Titan took the internet by storm. Fan theories and predictions are prevalent on social media, especially on Twitter, and one of the reasons behind the hype surrounding these shows are their release schedules.
Unlike most streaming content, these shows release one episode a week.
Reinaldo Cascante, a second-year student at St. Thomas University, said he would’ve loved to watch the entire season of WandaVision in one sitting. But he said there’s a reason studios are starting to release their episodes weekly. Cascante said it helps build more hype and fascination around the show and characters.
“They try to get ahead of the story and try to figure out what’s about to happen on next week’s episode. I think that releasing each episode weekly gives fans a chance to theorize,” said Cascante.
Cascante also believes the show’s release schedule has helped with its longevity. He said if the whole season aired all at once, the content would’ve burned out quicker and critics and fans wouldn’t have talked about the show this much by now.
Alex Gallan, a first-year STU student, said he and his brother watched all three seasons of Cobra Kai in one day. When he finished, he realized that he couldn’t watch anymore since he already saw the whole thing.
Gallan said watching the show is fun in an all-day sitting, but in the long-run, it’s better to watch it weekly.
He said he hopes more shows start going back to weekly release schedules.
“When Friends was still running, everyone would watch the episodes [as they aired] and then they’d all talk about it,” said Gallan. “It gives you something to talk about.”
Stewart Donovan, a film and Irish studies professor at STU, said that the type of show and the show’s overall quality affects its release schedule.
Donovan said while it makes sense for shorter shows to be released all at once, more expensive shows with more complex narratives and higher production value need more time to flesh things out. Because of their budgets, networks may wish to release their shows weekly to guarantee more attention for longer amounts of time.
Cascante said the phenomenon behind WandaVision isn’t an isolated one. He said fandoms have always been around.
“I think it is nice to treat WandaVision like a really good show, but not as this unique thing that is just happening right now. It has always happened and it will always happen,” said Cascante. “It just happens to be that this show is premiering after a whole year without having barely any new content.”