How many times have you heard a TV showrunner or actor describe his or her series as a six-to-10-hour movie? That’s how Anthony Mackie billed “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (it feels like a “six or eight-hour movie,” he said), while Ewan McGregor described “Obi-Wan Kenobi” as “one big movie” that “just happens to be split up into these episodes.” Well, “The Boys” showrunner Eric Kripke says enough is enough. Speaking to Vulture, Kripke expressed frustration over streaming series being designed as elongated movies and not episodic television.
“The downside of streaming is that a lot of filmmakers who work in streaming didn’t necessarily come out of that network grind,” Kripke said. “They’re more comfortable with the idea that they could give you 10 hours, where nothing happens until the eighth hour. That drives me fucking nuts, personally.”
Kripke continued, “As a network guy who had to get you people interested for 22 fucking hours a year, I didn’t get the benefit of, ‘Oh, just hang in there and don’t worry. The critics will tell you that by episode eight, shit really hits the fan.’ Or anyone who says, ‘Well, what I’m really making is a 10-hour movie.’ Fuck you! No, you’re not! Make a TV show. You’re in the entertainment business.”
Before experiencing streaming success with “The Boys,” Kripke gained fame as the creator of the long-running broadcast TV series “Supernatural.” The showrunner did not abandon episodic storytelling when he made the jump to Prime Video with “The Boys.” Now that he’s gone streaming, Kripke says he’ll never go back to broadcast.
“I can’t see ever going back to network. It’s the ability to do two things: have most of your scripts written before you shoot a day of film, and then have all the episodes finished before you turn them over to air,” Kripke said. “There are logistical benefits that would be impossible to give up because you can tell a coherent piece in a way you simply cannot with network TV. It’s already aired; you threw it out the door. You’re locked in. It happens all the time: We’re in the middle of filming episode seven, and we realize there’s a different storyline we need. We still have time to go back and shoot it for episode one and drop it back in.”
“The Boys” recently concluded its third season and has already been renewed for Season 4.