Netflix has found immense success with the legal drama Suits, originally aired on the USA Network.
According to Deadline, the show dominated the Nielsen streaming charts for 12 weeks, surpassing records set by Netflix Original Ozark.
The question arises: What has propelled Netflix subscribers to eagerly watch and potentially rewatch the series with such fervor?
Is it the dynamic presence of Meghan Markle, the character development of Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman), or the slow-burn romance between Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Sarah Rafferty’s Donna?
While these elements contribute to the show’s addictiveness, there’s a more profound aspect that Netflix should take note of.
Suits ran for eight seasons over eight years, yielding 134 episodes.
This extended run allowed viewers to deeply immerse themselves in the corporate world of Suits and form unparalleled connections with the characters.
Harvey, Louis, Mike, Rachel, Donna, and Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) undergo genuine and plausible growth, making them feel like real people to the audience.
The longevity of the show allows for a unique level of character understanding, a feat not easily achieved with Netflix’s original creations, which often have shorter episode runs.
Netflix faces a challenge as its characters get less screen time despite longer production periods.
Suits released 134 episodes in eight years, whereas Netflix’s frequently lauded Friends and The Office produced 236 and over 185 episodes, respectively, in comparable time frames.
While comparing sitcoms to dramas may seem incongruous, the quantity of episodes in a shorter span enhances viewer engagement.
Netflix’s tendency toward shorter seasons, often with only eight episodes, raises concerns about rewatchability and audience connection.
Shows with more extensive episode counts, like Suits, Scandal, Bones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Community, Dawson’s Creek, Arrowverse shows, and Gilmore Girls, provide audiences with richer content over time.
The question remains: Will Netflix learn from the success of Suits?
Will they recognize the value of extended character exploration and embrace longer seasons without excessive “filler”?
Or will they continue the trend of producing fewer episodes over extended periods?
While Netflix’s Originals like One Piece and Wednesday may find immediate success, the enduring appeal of shows with more episodes, character development, and shorter breaks between seasons is evident.
The hope is that Netflix, along with other major streaming platforms, will realize this sooner rather than later.