First, the good news: Star Trek Prodigy, including its second season, will end up on Netflix. From Executive Producer Aaron J. Waltke on Mastodon:
At last we can share the news… Star Trek: Prodigy has landed!
Our show is beyond thrilled to be joining NETFLIX for the ongoing adventures of the Protostar crew.
The possibilities are endless now that the world can see all 40 episodes of Prodigy’s first and second seasons in one place…with the potential for more….
If you wish to see more…viewing the show on Netflix as soon as it drops…is unequivocally the way.
I must admit, I have mixed feelings about this.
The good side, obviously, is that Prodigy’s second season will actually be seen. And Aaron implies that there’s even a chance that, with enough viewership, they might get the option to continue on.
I just hate that this is going to end up (heck, it’s already there in Aaron’s post) being a “PLEASE WATCH IT ALL IMMEDIATELY YOU CAN’T WAIT YOU MUST BINGE IT ALL NOW BECAUSE THAT’S THE ONLY WAY NETFLIX THINKS PEOPLE WATCH ANYTHING AND THE ONLY CHANCE OF EVER GETTING ANY MORE” campaign.
I don’t like binging. I like watching an episode at a time, enjoying the story, letting it play out over time. Especially in shows I really enjoy (like the Star Trek universe), being able to think about an episode, enjoy the fanservice and callbacks, nitpick apart the retconning or mistakes, and generally geek out about it. But with full-season drops and the pressure to watch it all immediately (or, if they do decide to do weekly single-episode drops, to watch the newest episode within 24 hours of its appearance, preferably two or three times)…ugh.
And as someone who has a partner who isn’t as much of a Trek geek as I am, sometimes I don’t get a chance to watch a new episode for a few days — which by today’s standards, apparently means I’m not a real fan, and doesn’t count towards Netflix’s labyrinthine accounting of whether a show actually sticks around and gets more seasons, or suddenly disappears with the next budget cycle.
If it’s something I watch on my own, I watch when and as I can; if it’s something I want to watch with my partner, we watch it on our own schedule, and either way I resign myself to our numbers possibly not counting. Which is unfortunate, but I want to enjoy the things I enjoy, not feel like I have to rush through them faster than I like out of some weird sense of duty or obligation.
I also wonder how physical media factors into this. For instance, I’ve re-watched all of Lower Decks a couple times — but only the first watch was streamed, all re-watches were from the Blu-ray I purchased. Are home media purchases weighted higher because we’re likely to be re-watching things more, even if it’s not tallied in a database somewhere? Or, since there’s no way to tie an individual streaming account to a physical media purchase (well, in a perfect world; these days, who knows?), do they just look at my account as only having watched it once, so I must not be that interested?
Sigh. Streaming sure is convenient, but the backend business model is such trash.
So, yes, I’m happy that Prodigy will continue. I just wish Paramount had actually treated it like a full-fledged member of the Star Trek family and given it the support it should have had from the get-go.
Fingers crossed that this option goes well, though. And all grumbling aside, I really do wish Aaron and everyone else the best with this!