There’s a brief moment after watching the first episode of a series when you tenatively reach for the ‘play next episode’ button and contemplate whether to immediately watch another.
It’s similar to wondering whether to stay for another drink in a pub (well it used to be and I imagine it will be when I am back in pubs again).
In both staying for a drink and watching a second episode of a season you wonder how much more fun you will have. After enjoying yourself for a bit will the extra time enhance your amusement or just be a letdown?
This was the situation I found myself in years ago when I am sure I watched the pilot for Lost but never watched the show again because it didn’t grab me enough.
I started watching 24 but stopped after learning it was going to go on for much longer than 24 hours.
Now I’m in a similar position with Little Fires Everywhere.
I like Reese Witherspoon (don’t worry this isn’t going to be another Fiskal Policy just about how I fancy a blonde woman with some other words thrown in) and I like fire. And, super importantly, people have told me the book is really good so was really looking forward to seeing the first episode when it came to Amazon Prime.
(Hands up who only got Amazon Prime for the delivery service and has been disappointed there doesn’t seem to be a way of getting any money refunded even though the pre-coronavirus next day delivery seems have been turned into “it gets there when it gets there” for the same price.)
I enjoyed the first episode and thought it has a lot of potential to be a great show – characters with a lot of flaws, well thought out dialogue and great tension between Witherspoon’s character and that of Mia Warren, played by Kerry Washington.
When the end credits rolled I thought about clicking the next episode button because it was still only around 11pm ish but something stopped me from doing so.
I told myself instead I’d watch it in a similar way to as if it was on normal TV and just do an hour a week.
But now I cannot remember how long ago I watched the first episode and watching an hour the next week never came.
This leaves me wondering whether it is possible to watch a streamed show without binge watching. Or is it just the norm now to only watch one thing until it is finished and only then can someone move on and start something else?
I read an article about how there may be a second season and that told me exactly what happens in the first. Maybe that’s what has stopped me for watching another episode (even though I say I don’t mind spoilers) or maybe I should just read the book first.
I’m sure a decision has already been made on a second season by now and it will probably happen because there is one thing American TV execs like to do and that’s drag out a show to within an inch of its life.
From the article I read I know the book’s ending is one where there isn’t an obvious sequel. If there isn’t a sequel to the book then there also shouldn’t be a second season to the TV show – sequels are very rarely as good or better than the first time round (with Paddington 2 being the obvious exception to the rule).
Maybe I’ll read the book first and then make a decision about whether to see how the TV writers have dealt with all the twists and turns – or maybe I’ll just click “watch” on episode two tonight.
(You may have noticed most of the pictures this week are just from Instagram. I would have liked to have got press shots but, unlike Channel 4 and Tate Modern in previous weeks, American TV networks seem to want to make things tricky for anyone without valid press credentials.)
Stay safe for another week!