Who Cares? : The revival of weekly releases will save television
The final episode of the second season of “Euphoria” aired Sunday night, and even if you haven’t watched a single episode, I’m sure you still know everything that’s going on. From the talk surrounding Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) and Nate (Jacob Elordi) to every last edition of Angus Cloud, “Euphoria” has taken over the internet. For the past eight weeks, this is the world of “Euphoria” and we just live in it.
No matter your thoughts on the show, there’s no denying that “Euphoria” is the moment.
Even before the season finale, “Euphoria” amassed over 30 million tweets throughout the season, currently making it the most-tweeted show of the 2020s, according to Variety.
Its social media relevance has made “Euphoria” an unstoppable force. In a world where shows shy away from showing up on Super Bowl Sunday, “Euphoria” rose to the challenge head-on and shined brighter than ever, reaching its highest viewership yet, with 5.1 million viewers. live viewers. That was just topped by Sunday’s finale, which reached 6.6 million viewers. The high number was due to jokes on social media suggesting Maddy (Alexa Demie) and Cassie’s fight would be the real Super Bowl showdown.
The numbers for “Euphoria” are incredibly impressive considering that in 2021, 75% of the most-watched live TV programs were football, with the Super Bowl taking the win.
In the current crisis of streaming overload, “Euphoria” has its weekly release schedule to thank for its longevity. The 2010s made binge-watching the norm, but the 2020s are slowly bringing back weekly release – proven even further with the success of Disney+ hits such as “WandaVision” and “Loki”.
However, binge-watching doesn’t necessarily stop a show’s success — “Squid Game,” which dropped out of the blue on Netflix, was easily the most-tweeted show of 2021. For the month of its release, it had the same inescapable quality that “Euphoria” currently has. However, all of the tweets about the show were more general, mostly thoughts on the show as a whole or an analysis of the whole series, rather than slowly building up each episode.
A show like “Euphoria” wants to be heavily analyzed. It’s not a sight you can doze off in bed. When a program is aired at once, it becomes more difficult to do an in-depth analysis of more than 10 hours of television. The weekly release gives people time to dig into each hourly episode and an entire week to do so before a new episode is released.
Weekly posting schedules leave more room for discussion, speech, and the fun part – the predictions. Additionally, preparing an episode creates a sense of community among viewers.
Do you remember the stress of the week before the release of “Hannah Montana He Could Be the One: Part 2”? Would she choose Jake? Would she choose the absolutely superior option, Jesse? (Yes, I’m still mad about that). The playground was buzzing with anticipation.
The week leading up to Euphoria Sunday brings me back to that electric playground feeling. TikTok predictors spend their days analyzing previews trying to understand all possible scenarios.
Of course, having to wait can lead to disappointing results (for example, Hannah chooses the filthy cheater Jake over the wonderful, amazing, and perfect Jesse). Yet even then, at least the weekly broadcast schedule allows viewers to empathize with friends, rather than being immediately thrown into the next plot point.
Time is especially important for a show like “Euphoria,” which deals with dark themes like addiction and abuse. It is essential to have some time to process each episode. Although some people binge watch it, I personally appreciate being able to take a breather.
Overwatching will never go away. Sometimes that can still be the preferred method — take the reality show “The Circle.” The show only runs for two weeks, so it makes more sense to drop it all at once, rather than stretch it out. It’s the type of show to watch over a weekend, and a lot of people can get into it. In fact, a poll conducted by IGN in 2021 shows that over 732% of people prefer binge watching to weekly watching.
Excessive observation can be able to give a rush of fulfillment and elation (like learning immediately that, in the end, Hannah and Jesse luckily end up together). Yet it can never give the same satisfaction as working through the slow burn to get there. Half the fun is the work of getting to the end and going through the struggle alongside the characters. The real beauty of TV is connection, and the way to get there is through a buildup, or as Miley Cyrus would say, “It’s the climb.”
Kimberly Aguirre is a freshman who dissects the most offbeat entertainment news. His column, “Who Cares? circulates every other Wednesday.