Why are American television seasons so long

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The ten best series of the American television season 2005/2006: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Desperate Housewives, Rome, Lost, Big Love, Over There, The Office, Everybody Hates Chris, The Simpsons, Veronica Mars


"Well, then you wait! You wait!" These are Larry David's last words in season five. After a kidney transplant and a dreamy short visit to heaven, he has recovered and is now leaving the hospital in a wheelchair due to the "hospital policy". On the way out, there was a stop at the handicapped toilet, from which an unhindered person is just coming out and justifying the fact that the other toilet was occupied. Larry uses the last moment in a wheelchair and expresses with relish this "Well, then you wait! You wait!" So it is again about discussions in the detailed areas of the Conditio Humana, about uncertainties in politically correct behavior, which is ultimately led to absurdity by the endless discussions. "Curb Your Enthusiasm" has been running through the entire season since the third season, and in the fifth season it is Larry's suspicion that he is actually an adopted child. And that's what he hopes obsessively, an old topos from "Seinfeld", where George Costanza wants exactly the same. The suspicion is triggered by an unclear statement from his father, who is wonderfully played by Shelley Berman as an enterprising old man. When Larry then receives evidence that he has other, moreover Christian parents ("Oh my God! I'm gentile!"), It suddenly seems to him that charity is more popular than Jewish crankiness, and he donates to his somewhat windy best friend Richard Lewis a kidney. Richard doesn't thank him and doesn't even want to lend him a certain golf putter, and later Larry's condition worsens so much that he is briefly called to heaven, where he meets Dustin Hoffmann as an angel who sends Larry back standing up because of him continues to pursue his obsessions even in heaven. As always, the scripts bring out the utmost bizarre and comedy at the intersection of the various topics, and again without any cheap stand-up jokes and background laughter. And despite the title of the last episode ("The End"), Larry David is said to be writing a new season. That would be good too, because what are "You wait!" for last words?


Bree, Bree and again Bree: She has to deal with the death of her husband Rex at the end of the first season, her relationship with the friendly and nasty pharmacist George, who went over dead bodies for her (Rex) and wants to go on (Dr. Goldfein), her complicity in George's death, then the nastiness of her son Andrew - who wants to get hold of the money his grandparents put for him before he comes of age and in an ingenious plot to accuse his mother of abusing him - then hers from all of them the resulting alcohol problem, the sessions with Alcoholics Anonymous, her relationship with her addict, who is also addicted to sex and does not want to relapse under any circumstances. And last but not least, the dentist Orson, played by Kyle MacLachlan as very mean and underhanded, begins to court her. The fact that he started a murder attack on Mike Delfino shortly beforehand will forever discredit him among the Susan fan base, but suggests interesting new subplots for the third season.


"Rome" succeeds in staging the Caesar period that cannot be praised enough. Apart from the generous equipment, the series is bursting with beautiful script ideas. The strange title of the second of a total of 12 episodes indicates this. It is "How Titus Pullo Brought Down The Republic". A delegation under the leadership of Mark Antony negotiating with Pompey on behalf of Caesar is attacked from the crowd in front of the forum, despite guaranteed safe conduct. Because in the formation there is also the simple legionnaire Titus Pullo, and an undisputed bar dispute about this attack applies only to him. However, it is interpreted as an attack on Caesar's squad of messengers and especially on Senator Mark Antony, a misunderstanding because of which the civil war is now beginning. Historical connections are re-linked here with a lot of humor, and there are dramaturgical highlights when, contrary to historical conventions, you see what Titus Pullo (instead of Caesar) does with Cleopatra, who is also played really plausibly as a spoiled brat who qua Boredom on her litter smokes the pear (episode 8). Instead of the rhetoric of Cicero, who looks a bit like Loriot and only gets away as an unspiritual, weak tactic, "Rome" relies on the pathos of Caesar's speeches and sends you (especially at the end of episode 2) icy shivers down your spine , and anyway the role with Ciarán Hinds is so well cast that Caesar thankfully didn’t use Shakespeare’s "Et tu, Brute?" when he was murdered. must bring. The expression on his face says a lot more than these three made-up words. Due to the success there will be a second season soon, most likely with the fight for the republic in the center, with Brutus and Cassius at Philippi. And maybe even until the enthronement of the young Octavian? It would be desirable, because the actors of Brutus (Tobias Menzies) and the young Octavian (Max Pirkis) have not yet fully exploited their potential in the first, Caesar-centered season.


The motto of the second season could be: "To push or not to push (the button)." Behind the hatch from season 1 there is a bunker of the "Dharma Initiative", in which this keyboard stands around, into which a code has to be entered every 108 minutes. But what actually happens if the button is not pushed, this discussion continues until the last episode. The story only apparently takes giant steps forward, because of course with every explanation found, a real cosmos of new questions opens up like a hydra. The puzzles with which the series wants to keep its suspense become more and more crude. The fact that a series that started as a Robinsonade constantly brings new characters into play is almost funny again, but that's how we get to know a mysterious Henry Gale, who contributes to the increased horror factor of the second season. In (almost) every episode there is a background story about an island character, with some of these stories interestingly linking the fates of the characters even before the plane crash. The partial stories that started in the first season are told, a few new ones are added, such as the story of Mr. Eko's past as a Nigerian child soldier and cold-blooded drug mafioso and Ana Lucia's campaign of revenge as a killer police officer, who then accidentally ensures that the annoying one on the island Shannon has to believe in it (thanks, Ana Lucia!). The "man of faith" Locke loses a little, while Sawyer takes on a lot of contour, as he reads the rinds and the manuscript ("Bad Twin") left by the plane crash with oversized ladies' glasses. The number hysteria triggered by Hurley's lottery win in the first season ("4 8 15 16 23 42") increases, the others remain somehow aloof and illogical, and nobody can understand what happened in the last episode anyway. Are horror Henry (who isn't called that at all in the end) and his crew really the so-called Others? And then this huge stone foot fragment, which should easily overshadow the Colossus of Rhodes and, strangely, only has 4 toes. What the hell is that supposed to be!


The first 12 episodes of the polygamy series, which is logically also a series about consumerism and takes place in Salt Lake City, begin with a sensational opening credits. Bill Henrickson and his three wives run into each other's arms on the ice and then apart again, get confused in a forest of veils of feelings, doubts and fear, only to end up sitting at the dinner table together. The shimmering religious substructure of the polygamistic worldview shows how much research went into the series. In relation to his problems with handling women, the housefather Henrickson has to be reminded by a polygamous colleague: "they're the path you've chosen, you gotta pray for guidance" (episode 2). This is the same colleague who happily reports that he has a new flame and would like to quickly add her to the family as the fourth woman, because the other women would be looking forward to the new addition. In addition to the everyday game of hide-and-seek about one's own lifestyle ("I hate that about this life: all of us having to hide", episode 9), the bizarre sides of polygamy are also shown, for example how wives exchange data on their menstrual cycle so that the Second wife through timely mating with the househusband (episodes 6 and 7). And we haven't heard a sentence like that of Roman Grant, the impresario of the polygamists: "I have 31 children and 178 grand-children and I love every one of them." (Episode 3) The common thread of the first season is a business fight within the polygamist scene. They fight hard, and it goes so far that one housefather blackens the other for his polygamy. The polygamy of the Henrickson family is played out, they have to fear for everything, in the end they are thrown back on their fourfoldness and the (so far) 7 children. The unhappy ending naturally reflects the legal situation in the USA, where polygamy has long been banned, but also creates space for the second season, which was waved through immediately after the great success of the first.


"For us is not to reason why" says the title song of this series about the ongoing Iraq war, and thus it is in the best war film tradition. It's about the fighting, not the causes. In contrast to Sam Mendes' "Jarhead", there are also stories to be told here, and the series tries to awaken the big cinema feeling. Like "Lost", the infantry unit accompanied in "Over There" shows a tense, but ultimately functional, multiethnic America with African Americans, Hispanics and whites, to which, for the sake of completeness, the Iraqi translator Tariq joins as a substitute for a wounded private joined. Here the Iraq war is shown from below, and apart from one lieutenant who appears only sporadically, who is somehow completely incompetent (also a war film tradition), the sergeant "Scream" represents the highest rank. The series succeeds in the rare feat of war and homecoming drama to be at the same time, because the young Private Bo Rider's lower legs are bombed away in the first episode, and the remaining episodes show the prototypical but now crippled Sunnyboy coping with the situation in the hospital and later after returning to his hometown are tried. The main scenes, which continue to deal with his unit fighting in Iraq, show being a soldier as a more or less normal occupation with a significantly higher occupational risk, which increases in Iraq with its system of signs and behavior unknown to the soldiers. But almost every second person is allowed to take a short vacation home to the American provinces during the war of terrorism when the family is in need. Despite the understanding that the series tries to address Iraqi conditions and, to a certain extent, also the insurgents, and despite the fact that it is told from the point of view of mostly apolitical simple soldiers, their point of view is an American one, and probably because of the difficult international marketing it did not become one second season planned.


For the 6 episodes of the first season, NBC relied on a solid imitation of the BBC original "The Office" with partly identical episodes, just like the French broadcaster Canal + with the recently launched "Le Bureau". For the 22 episodes shown in the second season, the US version has now opted for a mannerism of its own. The humor seems much more artificial at first than with the British counterpart or, for example, with the German offshoot "Stromberg". Steve Carrell plays his Michael Scott in the peripheral Dunder-Mifflin paper mill in godforsaken Scranton, Pennsylvania, as another boss who has made it to the top according to the Peter principle until he can fill a position entirely with his bundled incompetence . He is ambitious, but always in the wrong areas. He is a prevented comedian, singer, actor, is always involved in these fields to the point of being ridiculous and is guaranteed to be insensitive and tactless on everyone's nerves. But he's the boss, who then wants to straighten it all out with monologues in the camera of the recording crew, but in doing so he confuses himself more and more unmasking himself. With this over-presence, it is difficult for the other characters (and also their actors) to put themselves in the limelight, but almost all of them succeed in doing this through ingenious minimalism. Anyone who has ever seen fat Kevin grinning broadly into the camera doesn't need to know more about him. Incidentally, a peak of mannerism of the second season is "Dwight's Speech" (episode 16), an over-ambitious and completely unsuccessful blood-sweat-and-tears speech by the office earthly Dwight K. Schrute in front of an audience of thousands of "Salesmen of Northeastern Pennsylvania" which then applauds him in disbelief. The success that everyone talks about in the monologues in front of the camera comes here as a slip, and of course Michael plays down the success of others and rather wants to claim it for himself: "Dwight gave a great speech. That's the word on the street, anyway . And I entertained Dwight to no end with my bar stories - so I. captivated the guy who captivated a thousand guys. Can you believe that? A thousand guys."In the meantime, the NBC" Office "has successfully emancipated itself from its BBC role model, among other things because the cameras of the pseudo-documentary team often leave the office building, sometimes to the apartment of an office colleague, in a restaurant or on a ship to Booze Cruise. These transgressions loosen up the portrayal of office life significantly and the plots don't peter out like they did in the BBC "Office". Michael Scott and his team have become an important figure for NBC. Of course, it will be a momentous third season in the fall give, but it won't stop there.


Brooklyn 1982/83. The teenager Chris is moving to Brooklyn with his family and he is black and has to go to a school attended almost exclusively by whites because his mother wants him to be well educated. Fate tends to turn against Chris, and as soon as the experiences have reached a low point, the series jingle always sounds: "Ehevrybody hahates Chriiis". Apart from his school friend Greg, who is the only white kid to mess with him, nothing good happens to him at Corleone Junior High, and he is tortured with high expectations at home too. There he loses twice, because his younger brother is physically bigger and more mature than himself and yet everything always falls back on Chris as the responsible elder. In addition to Chris, the comedy series, which gets by without salmon bags, also takes a lot of time for the other characters' spleens. Chris' father Julius is the hard-working curmudgeon who has all the prices in his head and is always raging when he sees his hard-earned cents pouring down the drain. Since hobbies also cost money, apart from sleeping, he doesn't have any, and so the best present for Father's Day is a paid electricity bill (episode 22). Outwardly, Chris' mother Rochelle wants to make a normal family and in no way be considered poor. She loves her regular housewife life, and her lived impulses save her from going to work instead, and after a dismissal she always proudly sends after: "I don't need this! My man has two jobs!", One of the many running gags of the series. In addition to its characters, the series also impresses with its successful 1980s equipment (the first Walkman, leather jackets, arcade consoles, Playboy magazines, etc.), which ensures happy memories, even if the narrator's voice turned up over time by Chris Rock, who cannibalizes his autobiography in "Everybody Hates Chris" and starts to annoy a bit. But not too much.


After the rather weak seasons 15 and 16, the 17th season is worth renewed enthusiasm. For example: The "Make War Not Stamps" poster against the postage stamp museum, which is to be built right next to the Simpsons house (episode 2). - Lisa accidentally learns Italian with the textbook "Italian for Italian-Americans": "Progetto di scaricare questo corpo nell'oceano" ("I plan to dump this body in the ocean") (episode 7). - In general, the season's affinity for Italy, in episode 8 the Simpsons travel across the country where the lemons bloom. - The Christmas episode (9) with Homer's Gospel, in which Bart is born as little Jesus with a halo. - Or the "Seemingly Never-Ending Story", which vividly sets several narrative frames (episode 13). - Episode 15 by and with Ricky Gervais from the BBC "Office", which incidentally was broadcast with an opening credits (filmed by the UK Sky Network) in which real actors replace the comic characters (see YouTube). - The Sea Tales in Episode 18: Lisa's New Version of the Mayflower Crossing and Bart's Version of the Bounty Mutiny.- In episode 21, Ned Flanders happens to end up with his sons in a Darwinism exhibition, which he leaves immediately because he wants to spare his sons, but they immediately ask: "Daddy, was mommy a monkey? I can't remember. " Flanders: "No one was * ever * a monkey!" - And then of course the nicely covered pseudo-cliffhanger at the end of the last episode: An uninitiated supporting character, a player from the Springfield Isotopes, has just found out: "Bandits just kidnapped my mother!", Accompanied by a dramatic flourish.


"It just went straight off the cliff. They're all dead!" In the first episode the school bus races down the Californian cliffs for inexplicable reasons, and with the ultimately 6 dead students plus teacher plus driver, the teen series causes more deaths in one scene than the "A-Team" put together in all of its seasons. Along with the entanglements around the bus crash, the second season is so overflowing with half tracks and subplots that the 22 episodes are hardly enough for it. She wants to tell and drive away the many intricacies of the plot and sometimes throws some plausibility overboard, but just like Hitchcock, to whom François Truffaut once communicated: "A critic who tells me something about probability has no imagination." The highlight in this regard is certainly episode 13, which you should rather watch twice in order to record everything. - Introduced by the strong intro song "We Used To Be Friends" by the Dandy Warhols, Veronica continues to play the young detective, who mainly takes on her cases in the girls' bathroom. She is the not quite proverbial strong girl next door who wants to improve the bad (man) world in her own way. To a classmate who was the victim of a minor character assassination, she recommends "getting tough" as an antidote to the harassment: "You get tough, you get even." (Episode 8) Aesthetically, "Veronica Mars" has copied a lot from other series, from "Six Feet Under" for example the flashed flashbacks and the apparitions of the dead Lilly Kane and classmates who died in the bus crash, and from "Desperate Housewives" that obsessively -the-things-stand-up-whispers from the off, which, however, together with the coolness-demanding comments, are increasingly annoying. Veronica's secret great love Logan Echolls then asks her rhetorically at one point: "Can you just once save my ass without comment?" (Episode 12) In general, Logan is by far the most interesting character in the whole series, and Jason Dohring plays her with all her breaks, her longings and her illogical deeds in such a way that she is constantly gaining fascination. Incidentally, despite the sub-optimal audience ratings, there will be a third (and probably last) season.



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