Poll All-season arcs or 1-2 episode stories?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by NewHeavensNewEarth, Mar 24, 2019.


Do you prefer all-season story arcs or 1-2 episode stories

  1. All-season story arc

    41 vote(s)
  2. 1-2 episode stories

    23 vote(s)
  1. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 16, 2019
    Do you prefer all-season arcs or 1-2 episode stories? All-season arcs have advantages and disadvantages.

    - potential for in-depth stories that don't need to be totally resolved within 45-60 minutes
    - a more cinematic feel
    - more room for twists & turns & cliffhangers
    - more continuity from one episode to the next

    - if you're not fond of the main story arc, it's hard to get around it
    - if the viewer doesn't buy into the ending, the whole season might be viewed as having bombed
    - possibly less rewatchability for individual episodes in the future

    It's been pointed out that all-season story arcs might be easier for some viewers to digest if they were able to binge the episodes rather than take them a week at a time, because the lack of info can be frustrating (for some folks), and they give up after coming to wrong conclusions before the loose ends are allowed to come together. Suspense is a tricky thing, and there's not even a guarantee that they will completely resolve the Red Angel arc this season. If it goes into season 3, I fear a revolt. But I'm in it for all arcs, big and small.
  2. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 7, 2011
    Aug 10, 1999
    I'm aware of the pros and cons, but I prefer season arcs. No day in real life exists in a vacuum and I like when episodes don't either. Plus I love the thrill of "What'll happen next?"
    Hythlodeus likes this.
  3. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

    Dec 19, 2011
    Where’s the poll?

    But for me, in this day and age I find that TV has become oversaturated with serial arcs, and unlike “Babylon 5” or even all the way back to Disney’s “Zoro”, where serials were special, the oversaturation has given us shows that are not as memorable, and in some cases causes a person to lose interest, especially if they miss one or two episodes. Then again some shows like “Gotham” I find stretch a story over 26 episodes, but really it’s only the first 3 and last 3 episodes that hold any meat, and the rest of the season is ho-hum.
    Rahul and Unicorn like this.
  4. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 16, 2019
    It should be there at the top.
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2001
    Escaped from Trumpistan
    Either one, as long as they are entertaining and the format fits the story. Nothing worse than having a thirteen episode arc with a ton of filler.
    ITDUDE and Jadeb like this.
  6. guyute03

    guyute03 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 27, 2003
    I'm slightly disappointed by this season's arc and at this point would probably support something like what Enterprise did in its fourth season, multiple episode stories. Mini-arcs.
    Jadeb and Turtletrekker like this.
  7. cultcross

    cultcross State the nature of the moderating emergency Moderator

    Jul 27, 2001
    I generally prefer season arcs, but those do require nailing the dismount. Season 1 blew it, I await whether season 2 can land it.
    ITDUDE, BillJ and Jadeb like this.
  8. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    Right now? All season arcs. I'm sick of the neatly-wrapped-up one or two part stories (*glances at The Orville*) and there's about 650 stand alone Trek episodes already.
  9. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 16, 2019
    I think it would be hilarious if DSC would do a season of stand-alone episodes without announcing them as such, and people would be trying to weave them together hopelessly. Like trying to weave together season 5 of TNG.... "Times Arrow" + "The Inner Light" + "The Next Phase" + "I, Borg" = .......I'm lost.....what's the connection?!?! :lol:
    Ravenswood and CommanderRaytas like this.
  10. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

    Aug 23, 2003
    Tacoma, Washington
    I won't mind seeing some plot threads that weave their way through the entire season, but they really don't have to be the focus of the season as the Red Angel has become. even the seemingly separate Section 31 plot threads have wound up being connected to the Red Angel.

    Season 1 had two arcs, the Klingon War and the Mirror Universe, with a couple of episodes at the end to wrap up the threads from both. Maybe instead of playing out the Red Angel and Section 31 stories together, they should have done separate arcs and tied them together at the very end.

    I hate to admit, but with this most recent episode I began to feel a little bit of drag on this story line. Of course, as others have pointed out and I don't necessarily disagree with, this wasn't one of the best episodes. I'm not giving up on the series of course, but I do hope that the rest of the season lives up to the build-up.
  11. Hey Missy

    Hey Missy Captain Captain

    May 15, 2016
    Season-long arcs but with standalone episodes thrown in. The nuWho format.
    Seven of Five and Uhura's Song like this.
  12. Reyman

    Reyman Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 23, 2017
    What Discovery have going on right now is really working for me. Season long arc which keeps you guessing and second guessing. Some episodic stuff worked in exploring new aliens/themes, nostalgia episodes touching on established canon, all neatly (hopefully) tied in into the season long arc.

    The big climactic ending will nearly always fail to live up to the hype however. I think it's just something we need to accept and learn to just enjoy the journey.

    Next season I wouldn't mind a 4 episode mini arc, a 2 part or standalone episode and then an 8 episode long arc. 13/14 episode arcs in general seem to either drag on or require some fillers. 8 or 9 episodes would be the sweet spot for me.
  13. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Commodore Commodore

    Nov 17, 2011
    The Great Barrier
    I don't really care, so long as the story is good
    Content is all
    Jadeb and eschaton like this.
  14. Cyrus

    Cyrus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    So basically ENT season 3 vs ENT season 4?
  15. PiotrB

    PiotrB Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 30, 2018
    Why not both. Season arcs once in A plot, once in B plot or even in C plot. Same with two,three episode arcs. Both mixed with one episode arcs. Simply put modern story telling. Why so fixation on ancient story telling?
  16. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

    Jun 15, 2009
    Hmm, With Disco, they've kept the season long arc interesting, not, first 3 episodes, and last 3 episodes, and rest filler.. A LOT of shows have been guilty of that, and in the end, quite boring ( Umbrella academy was the latest, but also most of the marvel netflix stuff)
    If you have an interesting over arching thing for a season thats good, but if you find out that you can't fill out a whole 13/22 episode season, then you need to fill it, but instead of doing crappy 1 offs, do 3-4 episode arcs, make it mini movies. either that or shorten your season, if say the red angel storyline can only go 6 episodes, go 6 episodes, then do something else, maybe do a few "Short arcs" that blend together at the end to form a comprehinsive season ender..

    I like the Babylon 5 model, you have a premise for the show, and a clear or atlease basically outline of The Whole Show, all seasons, and have the "mini arcs" of each season, and have the episode, hear or there, that doesn't pay off for.. years. plus, B5 Paid off on the arcs, they answered questions, then asked more questions. not asked a question, then not answer it for 22 episodes..
    If you want to do a serialized series, you need to plan out Seasons ( Plural) of what is going to happen, not ad hoc it along the way.
  17. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 9, 2012
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    I really think ENT season 4 finally got down to a good format. Digest stories into a series of multi-episode arcs that stand in isolation, but have room to breathe. Best of both worlds. It's kinda the old school Dr Who format from1963 to 1989. A season of serials, plural, each story being a serial within itself but also standing alone beside the other stories.

    I agree @tomswift2002 that I think the pendulum has swung too far into story arcs to the point where they've now gone from an exciting expansion of the format, to becoming the thing every TV show does which, ironically, makes them a little more limiting. Say what some might about Planet-of-the-Week type stories, at least they aren't bloated, and if you dislike one then you'll get something completely different the next week.

    Story arcs can and do backfire. Maybe another alternative is not serialization, but *continuity*. In other words, just because each story is individualized, with no over-arching plot across the season, doesn't mean each can't also be tied together by characters referencing recent events or etc. Creating the tapestry of it existing in a real, changing, evolving world without it having some big story or mystery. Again Classic Dr Who was particularly good at this (for example, the 19th season, where the first scene of each individual story references the one(s) before it, without it actually having a season long storyline arc per se, but it still gives the impression of these people living in a universe where their experiences have an impact on them and aren't just left behind ;))
    Jadeb likes this.
  18. Rahul

    Rahul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 2, 2014
    I think Star Trek really NEEDS the "plot of the weeks". Probably all of the strongest and best episodes Trek has ever produced are single-adventures that are neatly wrapped up at the end of the week. Whereas Trek has always struggled with telling a long, "big" story - let's face it, the Star Trek movies never really captured the feeling of the show, and a large, 10-13 episodes season arc feels nothing but a long, drawn out "movie", that usually falls into the same traps as Trek movies do (action, badguy with a revenge plot of the week, being generally pretty bland etc.)

    That being said, I think character arcs absolutely(!) have to be serialized in the modern era of television. You simply can't go back to the sitcom format. So even if the SF plot of the week is different, the effects on the characters not only should, but must carry over from story to story.

    Overall, I really like the amount of tying your entire season together with a bigger arc. But that arc should take up only a smaller portion of the overall episode count. It doesn't even have to be a single plot - it can easily be only a larger thematic approach (like ENT 3 was all about the Xindi-conflict and saving Earth, and S4 felt like dealing with the fallout of it, politically, character- and technology-wise, and basically entirely took place on home turf).
    Lance, eschaton and BillJ like this.
  19. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 16, 2019
    I don't think it has to be just one or the other either, it's just interesting to see people's preferences. I think we can get the best of both, and I'm sure the show will keep tinkering with that balance as it goes into season 3.
  20. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    I think Buffy did it quite well, with an overall arc but stand alone stories in between. I think if every episode is part of a whole, it does make it harder for casual viewers but character development is so much more enjoyable as part of an arc.
    Grendelsbayne and Lance like this.