I had gotten a bit behind with Royal Pains this summer, since my family had been going to our cottage a lot trying to renovate it. So this weekend I caught up with it so I can enjoy the new episodes for their winter season. After watching them all, I have come to a very odd conclusion: USA Network should only have new episodes of shows in the spring/summer seasons (and the Fall only if they’re really desperate).
This may strike one as odd, but I have a fairly good reason for saying this. It has a lot to do with how their shows are structured. I have to say, USA has definitely got the plot style thing down. “Characters Welcome” serves more than one purpose, as it creates lasting relationships with characters, while rarely ever need to have strong plot arcs, since that is all done through the characters. This is like the perfect combination for appealing to new and old viewers, and it definitely shows. They aren’t the number one cable network for nothing. The writing might not be amazing, but they sure do know how to draw in a crowd.
Unfortunately, this results in a slightly odd problem. The shows are just too fun to be aired in the traditional fall-winter-spring season that we are so accustomed to. I want my gritty, award winning stuff in the fall and winter, and the light and fluffy stuff in the spring and summer. That’s just how it works. USA shows are like beach novels, except I would only read those with an ereader so no one would know that they are what I’m reading. And I only want to have my beach novels in the spring and summer when I’m basking in the sun and am enjoying my intellectual time off (at least as far as the TV is concerned). Even those in the colder states go out in the spring to bask in the sun. We might even do it more often, since even 55-60 feels incredibly warm to us after months of the frigid cold (although this winter has been surprisingly delightful in my neck of the woods). So in the midst of Alcatraz, Fringe, and Once Upon A Time, I’m catching some rays of sun in the Hamptons? Sorry Hank, but it just feels wrong.
Besides which, it’s not like their release style doesn’t suit a spring/summer release. In fact, it’s practically tailor made for this time of the year. Because they only do limited runs of around 11-14 episodes, there is a ton of room for them to not air episodes around holidays, and it isn’t too much of a commitment for the summer-fling viewers. Perfection. And leaving me less emotionally confused when I watch their shows at this time than in the winter. It’s cold, and dreary, and there’s no need for you to waive your lovely warmth at my face and taunt me.
Airing reruns/syndications of their own shows during off times wouldn’t hurt them any either. I do on occasion pine for summer frivolity. Just not too often. It’s dangerous, and results in last-minute vacations to warm places in desperation. Or jacking up the heat in your abode, resulting in the ridiculously high gas bill. Neither is good for you.