Have you ever been hyped by a TV series because of their fanbase doing their thing (promoting), only to be dashed because the show didn’t live up to your expectations? The worst part? You’re in the middle of all this, and you’ve already wasted at least two weeks wondering where the main plot will take you. This is a common scenario, especially if you’re following the latest entertainment updates in the Philippines. If you’re one of these people with the same set of disappointments, we get you–we really do. So we compiled a list of things to look out for to increase your chances of running across a series that’s worth watching to the end.
Check the trailers.
Checking the trailers or even just the teasers can give you a good overview of what to expect when you’re looking to watch a series. If you’re lucky (or not), you can even come across a series that gives everything away. In that case, don’t watch the series because spoilers already abound even before you watch episode one.
Also, check the director and screenwriter of the series. Do they ring a bell (hopefully not warning bells)? Check their past works and see if these are up to par with what you’re looking for.
Assess the cast.
We agree that having a good cast does not automatically make the series a good watch. But a good character lineup can give you a hint if you can expect great lines and even better acting scenes–something that you can’t readily replicate by just getting people with no acting talent or experience.
Aside from taking note of the lineup, check the track record of the celebrities who will play the roles. Have they done a similar series to the one you’re looking to watch? If you don’t have the time to do this for everyone, just take note of the ones that the main characters have done. Hopefully, this will already give you a good idea of what to expect.
Read the plot or the premise of the story.
Usually, major websites will release information about the show as soon as official announcements are already set in place. When this happens, read what they have to say and take some notes. Compare each one if you have the time to see if they add up.
If there are articles of interviews of directors, writers, and celebrities, read those articles as well so you can have a good idea what they have to say about their final work. Of course, they will say they feel excited and all about the show–and that’s totally expected.
Have a feel of the overall theme of the show.
If it’s a show that has been released more than a month ago, a lot of people most likely will have a lot of things to say about it. Take that opportunity to explore the aspects that they nitpicked so far and see if they match your preferences and your ideals. If they do, you may opt to start watching the show and verify your findings. Otherwise, you may have to look for other related series that may catch your fancy.
Get feedback if available.
Aside from the points mentioned above, you can get your desired feedback from your friends who are currently watching the show. What do they think about the series so far? Is the show making any promising progress at the moment? What do they think will happen from here on? Or is the series even worth asking these types of questions?
Another way to gain access to series feedback is through streaming websites. A lot of these sources of online information usually have a review section somewhere. Don’t forget to check this part and see if what they say is baseless or not.
Nitpick the cinematography.
There’s nothing more off-putting than a show with a pilot episode that doesn’t give justice to the characters and scenes just because of poor cinematography. After all, it’s an art and science rolled into one. If the scenes are not shot and executed correctly from the get-go, how can you expect a better progression in the next episodes? If you think about it, you don’t even have to watch the first episode if you’re just after this aspect. You may refer to the trailer once more to see how the snippets look like. You may then add cinematography among one of the criteria to make when you’re deciding if watching a show is worth it.
See if the storyline is similar to the other shows you’ve watched.
With the repetition of scenes and storylines, we sometimes can’t help but think that there are some of them out there that are just after the revenue. Therefore, you need to see if the series is a ripoff of another show from a few years ago. From there, assess if the show in question is even worth the attention in the first place. If it is, do everyone a favor and review the show so other people who may also be interested to watch can have a reference point as well.
Watch the first episode.
If the series seemed promising when you did your preliminary assessment, give it a go–for the first episode, at least (for now). Check how the story flows, how all the events come together, and if your initial questions are answered. If you like to frequent forum sites, the other members are most likely willing to give you a piece of their minds and share what information they have about the series so far. You may have your own sets of opinions based on what they shared, and you may also share some fan theories based on what information you all have at the moment.
Take note of the dialogues and non-verbal cues.
Visuals are not enough to get the fans hooked. Therefore, you need to make the storyline solid and the lines memorable and relatable at the very least. This is possible if the writers are up to the task of nailing what is expected (or not) of them. Surprises and plot twists are also welcome, as long as they add to the overall value of the entire series.
As for the non-verbal cues, the acting team is pretty much responsible for this department. If they can properly deliver what the roles and scenes as from them, it will increase the chances of capturing the hearts of their intended audience.
Follow your gut.
If something unexplainable tells you not to watch the show, there’s a great chance that your gut is telling you something that you can’t readily see but sense. Try to investigate why this feeling persists and if your initial feelings are unfounded. Ask your peers if they are watching the same show and if they have some feedback so far. They can usually provide you with great insights and may even validate some of the feelings you can’t quite put your finger on.
Just make sure that when you decide to watch a series, you’re not doing it because you want to join the bandwagon. More importantly, you need to do this for the experience and joy it sparks when you do. After all, this is one of the most important motivators if you decide to watch a series–especially if it’s a long one. In this regard, it should be worth your time, at the very least.