Last Friday, The Boys, one of my favorite shows by Amazon Prime Video premiered its second season, and much to my dismay, I learned the show’s producer decided to release only the first 3 episodes of the season with plans to release the remaining 5 episodes on Fridays of every week. Needless to say I was disappointed to learn this because The Boys is one of the few series I’d been waiting on for a whole year. Typically, I don’t anxiously wait for a show I like to come back. My attitude is always to move on to the next best thing and get back to the last series I watch whenever it comes back. In fact, most of the time I’m no longer interested or psyched about the return of a series, so I get to it when I get to it. Except, that wasn’t the case for me and The Boys. I was excited to have The Boys back, and furthermore, I couldn’t wait to binge-watch the bloody hell out of it; only to learn that some “producer” Erik Kripke had decided that it was best for me to get a “healthy dose” of my favorite show on a week by week basis, as opposed to binge watching it however I bloody well please. Thanks, Erik but you’re not my dad!
Let’s start by clarifying this myth, binge-watching is not a new thing, nor is it a byproduct of the digitally streamable content era. Binge-watching has been around since the Pope was an altar boy. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember taking a Friday evening trip to the video rental store in the 80s and 90s to rent a bunch of movies in VHS or DVD. You’ll also remember trying to watch all of your rented movies over one weekend in order to meet a return-by deadline and avoid being penalized for missing said deadline. So, there may not have been a name for it at the time but that, my friend, was binge-watching.
When I read about why Mr. Kripke made the decision not to release all 8 episodes of The Boys season 2 at once, it sounded weirdly comical to me, but annoyingly condescending at the same time. The idea that this weekly episode method is supposed to help keep the show in the public’s conscience for a longer period of time is absurd. It’s been a year since I came across Season 1 of ‘The Boys’ and I’ve spoken about it pretty much every day. ‘The Boys’ comes up every time someone asks me “Hey Graham, what’s a good show to watch on Prime?” My point is, I find it hard to believe that a producer wouldn’t know by now that what keeps people talking about a show is the quality of its content, and not whether or not the consumer gets to binge-watch it or not. Furthermore, this is a classic case of “having your cake and eat it too,” because if Mr. Kripke wanted to have a weekly episode show, he could’ve taken his show to a regular TV network from to begin with. So why go with Prime Video and perform such an unpleasant switcheroo on the audience with season 2 of the same show Mr. Kripke had no problem releasing in full a year ago? In fact, no one would be complaining about the decision to switch ‘The Boys’ to a weekly format if the series was released by a network TV or Hulu, why? Because we all know what to expect from network TV and Hulu; which is the main reason many of us don’t watch them.
I’ve watched the 3 episodes released last weekend and I can tell Season 2 is equally as fantastic as the first season. As for the remaining 5 episodes, I’ll get to them when I get to them, and hopefully, something else worth watching hasn’t grabbed my attention because the choice to binge watch a series or not should ultimately be mine, and no one else’s.