The Mid-Season Finale, To Be Continued, And Irregular Programming Apocalypse

In My Humble Opinion: One of my biggest pet peeves in today’s television world is the “Mid-Season Finale.”  It seems to be a trend that more and more networks are embracing and incorporating into their respective television line-ups.  Not only does the implementation of this absurd and often frustrating marketing ploy (cause let’s be honest, that’s all it really is) piss me off, but the term itself bothers me as well.  I mean really look at the term…Mid-Season Finale….how can you have a finale of something you’re in the middle of?  You can’t, it makes no sense, just go with Mid-Season Hiatus or be completely honest networks and call it, Mid-Season We Have You By The Balls And You Will Wait On Us To Air More Shows.  Okay, that might be a little long, but surely an acronym can be made up.  I mean I remember watching Breaking Bad back in August and before the Mid-Season Finale came on there was an announcement, “Be sure to catch the last episode of 2012.”  Really!!!!  It’s friggin August man, a network that valued its viewers would have just either shortened the season or gotten off its ass, filmed the entire season and aired it all at once….so what if it overlaps with The Walking Dead?  Something else that bothers me, not nearly as much as the Mid-Season Finale, but still gets under my skin is when a series ends a season with a To Be Continued episode.  Season finale’s have notoriously ended with cliff-hangers, and that’s understandable cause you want viewers to return the following season to find out what happened, but adding to that and making the episode To Be Continued is just bad form.  Networks want us to wait however many months till next season to find out how this particular episode should end?  It’s hard enough waiting till the following week with a To Be Continued episode dammit!  This brings me to my last point, and I have to call out USA because it seems to be the most guilty of networks  when it comes to what I call “Irregular Programming.”  I don’t necessarily have TV schedules memorized, but I can generally remember when a new season of a show is coming back on, except when it keeps changing.  I swear, Psych on USA is probably the worst offender.  The show will air for a few months, go off the air for a few, come back for a few, disappear for a year, come back for two weeks, be gone for a month, then come back for its Mid-Season Finale.  The reason I put Irregular Programming last is because I guess I shouldn’t complain too much about it since I watch the majority of my shows via On Demand anyway.  However, it’s just another example of how networks feel they can hold power of their viewers and do with them what they like, and of course, given how reliant we are on television nowadays we have no choice but to submit……