The State of Scripted Television

In: Film and Music

Submitted By lukehegeman
Words 632
Pages 3
The State of Scripted Television
The rapid growth of technology in recent years has directly affected Americans’ television viewing habits and patterns. Ratings for shows are going down, but the overall consumption of media is on the rise. Now American’s are able to watch TV without even owning a television set through mobile technology and online streaming sites such as YouTube or Netflix. This instant access TV causes people to “binge” watch, or consume large amounts of the same TV shows over a small amount of time. Because of this, scripted shows have to change and focus more on maintaining a continuous storyline from episode to episode, playing out more like a long movie instead of an individual show. To demonstrate this shift I will examine a new series that uses this technique, Breaking Bad, an old series that has changed to this technique, South Park, and a series in the older format, Blue Mountain State, that has been cancelled from television and now is being made into a movie.
Breaking Bad follows the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with lung-cancer and begins to cook methamphetamine with a former student of his in order to make money for his family before he dies. The show perfectly demonstrates the congruent storyline from episode to episode that help encourage binge watching. One episode picks up right where the other left off, and it allows the viewer to really see a shift in each character playing out like a long movie if watched back to back. This allows for characters to really be developed and changed throughout the duration of the show. In the series, Walter White starts off as the protagonist, and slowly becomes the shows antagonist as the show comes to a close. This engages viewers tremendously because it keeps them on their toes, unsure of what will happen. The viewer engagement is shown in the series…...

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