You know, I’ve always taken a “we’ll survive this” mentality when it comes to long hiatuses for Supernatural. We as fans dig in and take the long break to analyze in exhaustive detail the episodes, where the mythology is going, and over-speculate what’s going to happen to our poor boys. I mean after all, haven’t they been through enough?
Supernatural comes back tonight with eight new episodes in a row, taking us all the way to the season finale. While the idea of greatly anticipating the next eight Thursdays is appealing, these are the heaviest episodes of the season and possibly the series since they wrap up the five year mytharc that has made this series exceptional. Taking in the first ten episodes of a season in a row is different since they are balanced between standalones/comedy episodes and mytharc episodes. Now we’re getting eight mytharc heavy episodes in a row? That’s a lot harder to digest in one sitting.   
This six week break in between February and late March has been too much. It isn’t natural. Summer breaks are givens. We’re used to the sixteen to eighteen week layoff and have plenty to keep us occupied with vacations, summer fun, etc. Ditto with the break during the holidays. There’s a bit of agony after the New Year waiting those two or three weeks for the show to come back, but fans band together and get through it. 
This year, Supernatural was off for nine very long weeks over the holidays as opposed to the regular six to eight, then it came back for four episodes and has now disappeared for another six. This is just wrong.   I understand the two week break over the Olympics, for that’s a grand “must see” event that only happens every four years, but since the flames went out of the cauldrons in Vancouver my wait for this show has been senseless. Talk about a momentum killer! 
I get it. There are 52 weeks in a year and only 22 episodes of Supernatural. This is also The CW, where the scheduling options are light. However, this is a very heavy show. In terms of what we’re given each week, there’s so much to analyze, so much to consider. This “disappear for two months at a time” schedule might work for a light show like Gossip Girl, but for a deeply layered mytharc based program, it’s questionable. Considering repeats of Supernatural do very well for The CW and they use those repeats to plug their gaping holes, it’s not like there’s a special show that comes on for six weeks in place of Supernatural.
Watching these shows live was meant to be a different viewing experience than watching on DVDs. We take in these episodes one at a time, analyze and discuss, then we’re ready for the next one. When the show is shown in big blocks like this with long breaks in between, how much different is that than waiting for the DVD set to come out? At least with DVDs there are no commercials.  I wonder how many fans figure why bother with this CW show when there’s other shows in that crowded timeslot with an even schedule? How many just decide that a DVD viewing experience would be similar and choose to wait?
While the idea of bunching episodes together and taking long breaks in between for a serial show might look good to a network executive on paper, I don’t think it works for a fan. Okay, it at least doesn’t work for me. I like what was done in seasons past where other than the Christmas break the interruptions between episodes were only two or three weeks. Small breaks actually give fans to catch their breaths but doesn’t kill their enthusiasm. 
As a Lost fan though, where every episode is a myth episode, the experiment of the show coming back in January and running in total succession works for me. However, I gave up on overanalyzing Lost long ago. It makes my brain bleed. Also, their past three seasons have only been 16 episodes, which makes it far more digestible. However, there are times where I often find myself taking a week or two break and then catching up later on the DVR. It gets too heavy sometimes. 
In the last six weeks, there’s been hardly any buzz about Supernatural, something that hasn’t happened in seasons past when the season began to wind down. Except for season three. Remember when the show disappeared for eight weeks between February and April because of the writer’s strike? Remember how abysmal the ratings were once it did come back? Remember when fans said they didn’t watch because they didn’t know the show was back? When a show disappears for too long, when momentum is interrupted, people forget. It takes a while for buzz to get going again.   
No matter how weary I am over these breaks and how sick I am of diversions, I’m still thrilled Supernatural is coming back tonight. I just want my show. Sure, as a blogger, the idea of now cramming a huge chunk of the season into eight weeks of intense work is scaring the crap out of me, but at least I’ll have something new to write about again. Sure, I’m bound to miss something in the translation, but that’s what Summer Hellatus is for; a chance to re-analyze and discuss in great detail.  
So, what’s your opinion? Do you like the way season five has been scheduled (ten episodes, 9 week break, 4 episodes, six week break, 8 episodes, summer break) or do you prefer the years past when there were small breaks in between?     
     

Comments  

Catandcie
# Catandcie 2010-03-25 15:47
:mrgreen:good evening XD

well, I love Supernatural and when there is a hiatuse, I think : "well, it's hard to wait the next episode of Supernatural !".... ;-)

but today, it's thursday !... :D

kisses !
RisenShine
# RisenShine 2010-03-25 16:20
In Germany we're not used to the idea of a hiatus. Usually all episodes of a season will air one each week except for holidays or important soccer games. Once they've aired a complete season they either do older seasons as re-runs or they'll show a complete different series in that time slot - that's why commercials for a new show or season are so important here. I've hardly made it through the hellatus around Christmas and I only survived this hiatus because I indulged myself in fanart fot the upcoming conventions.
Happy Supernatural Thursday everyone! Although it will be already Friday here when the zombies come!
elle
# elle 2010-03-25 17:11
I am not a fan of the way season five has been dished out. I would have enjoyed more episodes in succession than what we've recieved here - I thought season four was done just right. That said, this particular break has kind of worked for me - last semester of university winding down with millions of things to do and only so much time to do it (which is why I've been mostly absent from the site the last several weeks - limit my distractions). I'm much better able to focus. Not to say I didn't miss Supernatural, and that I'm not thrilled by it's return tonight.

Like you, Alice, I am a Lost fan who appreciates the show running uninterrupted for half of the TV season as opposed to three weeks on, two off, etc. Not sure I could survive that with Supernatural though - finishing in May and not returning until January? Hmm. Nope, I need my Supernatural fix too much - Lost is a different animal.
I'm geared up for 8 fabulous episodes in a row now - I expect they'll be mind blowing!
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-03-25 18:08
I agree Alice. These breaks were too long at a time. I hope this is a fluke of CW and that it doesn't repeat like this next year.

Lost I gave up on long ago.

Certainly looking forward to the new eppi tonight!
melaniedesi
# melaniedesi 2010-03-25 18:55
Honestly, I haven't minded this break. The 9 week one over the winter was too long and I would have liked another eppie or two before another break, but I think a straight shot to the finale will be better.
This season the only difference really is the two weeks break for the Olympics at the beginning of the hiatus instead of the two week break for Easter. I thought last year had more of a momentum killer with the on again off again smaller breaks. Also -- the longer fandom has to worry and chew its own foot off -- the more crazy it gets.
And as I get into shows on cable like Burn Notice and Leverage, I'm really kind of liking the straight shot of multiple episodes followed by a break. To me, its easier to keep track of that way than trying to keep track of whether its a new eppie or a rerun. Of course USA & TNT seem to do a better job advertising than the CW.
Given the state of the CW -- I think our ratings will be OK even if it takes folks a bit to figure out the show is back.
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-03-25 20:51
I have not liked this long break at all. I think the reason this particular break was so difficult for many of us, including me, was because of the way the last episode ended. Dean in major turmoil and Sam back in detox. To have viewed that episode and then nothing new for 9 whole weeks has been agony. If the break could have been after a less intense episode it might not have been as hard - I don't know.

Personally, I don't care for the long breaks. I prefer shorter breaks in between episodes. But I do agree with others in that it will be nice now to have 8 straight weeks of SPN, with no breaks, given that they will all be major mytharc heavy. Oh, and I could NOT handle the January to June scenario like they do with Lost and 24. That would be pure torture.

Nonetheless, I am majorly psyched for tonight's new episode. Is it 9pm yet? Go Team Free Will!!!!!