Seven seasons of ‘True Blood’. 80 episodes, 80 hours I will never get back. Not that I want the first 20 hours back, those were well spent; but the remaining 60 would’ve been better spent watching The ‘Twilight Saga’ fan reaction videos.
Problem is: how do you know if a series will turn out terrible? How could anyone have predicted ‘Peaky Blinders’ becoming a fashion-brand music video, or ‘Prison Break’s descent into a conspiracy theorists’ training video? Even ‘Breaking Bad’ dedicated an entire episode to a fly. Unfortunately, you cannot know if a show is worth your time until after you’ve seen it, by which point the time has been wasted.
That’s where limited series soothe these betrayals: if they turn out awful, who cares when you’ve only invested a few hours? If they’re incredible, you still get the same satisfying end as you would with a full series. For me, watching ‘Chernobyl’ felt more satisfying than the entirety of ‘Weeds’ and ‘Dexter’ combined, and I didn’t have to miss out on crucial studying time or call in sick for work to finish it.
Limited series are a safer alternative to years spent being duped by cash-thirsty producers who don’t see maintaining quality writing past two seasons as cost-effective.