There’s no doubt that Netflix completely rewrote the game when it comes to providing entertainment content. And if there’s one aspect, in particular, that was a gamechanger, it was in how the streaming service eschewed traditional weekly TV series release models to instead debut full seasons of shows all at once, allowing for maximum bingeing. Most of Netflix’s subsequent peers have followed suit, including Amazon Prime, home to critically-acclaimed comic book series adaptation The Boys.
Following a bloody good first season (emphasis on the bloody), the hugely anticipated second season debuted on Amazon Prime this Friday past… except all we got were the first three episodes. And this coming Friday, and every Friday after that, will just yield a single episode at a time as the show switches to weekly releases. So why the change? Why not just give us all eight episodes as was done with the first season?
Speaking to Collider, showrunner Eric Kripke revealed that “Our feeling is that when it airs all eight at once, it becomes a sugar rush of a binge.”
People burn through it in a week or two. There’s an intense amount of activity and then it sort of fades… There’s so many great moments in season 2, we want to give it time to marinate so people can reflect on it and talk about it before they move on to the next thing and be in the conversation a little longer. I think a little anticipation for the fans is healthy.
We’ve seen this argument pop up recently when Disney+ decided to also launch its shows as weekly releases, including the fan-favourite The Mandalorian. Some more… pessimistic pundits suggested that this may have been Disney’s way of stretching out subscription lifespans so that customers don’t just subscribe, binge, and then leave again.
If you were thinking that the same may be happening here with Amazon Prime’s treatment of The Boys though, think again. As Kripke explained, it was actually him and the rest of the creative team that approached Amazon with the idea of a weekly schedule.
The airing schedule came actually when we were pretty close to being done – probably 3/4ths of the way through post-production. For the record, it didn’t come from Amazon. It came from the producers… we’re the ones who pitched them. A lot of people over there were actually reluctant because it was a new idea or they don’t do it that often. We really wanted it and Amazon ended up agreeing that they’d give it a try.
The debate about whether to binge a show or watch it weekly is one that happens regularly in the Critical Hit staff chat, with different people preferring different things. Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle, changing my approach depending on the show I’m watching. For The Boys though, where there are no great plot mysteries to puzzle out between episodes, I would prefer to binge all the entertaining absurdity back to back.
And now that’s a problem because that’s exactly what I did with the great first three episodes of season two this weekend past and now I have to wait for more. Bugger!
Last Updated: September 9, 2020