"Runtime bloat," as Kathryn VanArendonk explains, started on HBO but spread to FX, where shows like The Shield, Nip/Tuck -- and most egregiously -- Sons of Anarchy ran over their timeslots on a regular basis. "The time has come to call out this swaggering, unselfconscious expanse," she says. "Interminable TV episodes are the manspreading of television storytelling. In precisely the same way that a man sits down on a public row of seats and happily relaxes into a pose that takes up as much real estate as physically possible, the trend of protracted TV episodes is a battle for viewer eyeballs that equates significance with bulk." She adds: "The problem is now endemic to a whole cohort of muscular, more-important-than-regular-TV TV series."
TOPICS: Westworld, FX, HBO, Nip/Tuck, The Shield, Sons of Anarchy