Streaming hasn't just changed the way television is watched — it's changed the way it's written. "You watch all these pilots now that are these cliffhangers,” says actor Pete Holmes. “And that's based on maybe a creative instinct, but it's also based on data that people binge shows that make you go like, ‘Wait, what?’ And you have to watch — where you didn't necessarily do that as pointedly with a weekly show.” One way of looking at this change is through the difference between serialized and episodic television. Serialized series typically feature overarching story lines that flow directly from one episode to the other, while episodic ones are more contained.
Class discussion: How do you watch television series – on streaming services like Netflix, episodes shown weekly on networks, or both? Can you tell the difference between serialized and episodic television content? A creator of the series "Daybreak" says he is trying to produce hybrid shows that are both serialized and episodic. Can you find examples of series that are serialized, episodic and hybrid? What category are movie series like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Hunger Games? How do they differ from a hit movie followed by a series of sequels? Have you ever read novels written in a series? What makes you most want to keep watching or reading a series – the characters or the plots?
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