The Winner for the Most Scenes in One Episode Goes to

Most scenes

The Gilded Age Episode 5! Congratulations. If the goal was to cram the most scenes into the shortest amount of time, you win. All Creatures Great and Small, which I’d recommend, has less scenes in two full series than what I just witnessed.

I’m in shock. My brain reels. Did I just get run over by a train? If soldiering and critiquing were analogous, they’d diagnose me with post-traumatic stress disorder. Luckily for me that’s not the case and I’ll surely recover.

Stopwatch

Honestly, if I didn’t think it might cause me emotional distress, I’d go back and watch that episode again with my phone’s stopwatch engaged and a pad of paper to count the scenes. Wham, bam, thank you, Tom but the Gilded Age is already out the door and onto a completely different storyline. Don’t stop, don’t think.

There had to be a dozen or more scenes that lasted less than a minute. New scene, new place, new people, stilted dialog, go! Next! Faster! Faster! We’ve no time for character development, no time for emotional attachment, no time for a story to develop. Get moving and get moving now!

Bridget and Jack, Bye Bye

Bridget and Jack’s compelling story? No time, Tom. No time! We’ve got to get on with the housekeeper and her mother. Don’t you know we can’t dwell; we can’t risk you caring about anyone in the cornucopia of plots. Bridget’s serial rape and trauma, that’s behind us now, Tom. Catch up, catch up, catch up!

The Passage of Time

Don’t worry about the passage of time. It’s later, or the same time, or before. We’re not sure. It’s a scene! People in fancy clothes. It’s virginal and chaste girls swapping spit on their first kiss. Here, there, everywhere. Don’t worry, Tom. It doesn’t matter when or why; we’ve got to get the most scenes in as quick as we can. Go, go, go!

Speak Fast

Speak as quickly as possible with as little inflection as possible. Scenes, more scenes, we need more scenes, we need the most scenes ever put together in a single episode of television!

Clothes

New outfits, quick, hurry, don’t pause, that’s what people want. If we have the most scenes, we have the most outfits. Quick, into the changing room.

Nathan Lane

Good god, Nathan! Didn’t you get the message? Why are you speaking slowly, carefully, with emotion and thought behind your words? Don’t you know what show you’re on? Off, off, get him off. He cares about acting, he understands the structure of scene. Fire him, immediately. What? He’s under contract for more episodes. Damn. Get me the writers, cut his lines!

Paragraphs

More paragraphs, yes, that will make this article compelling. More headings, more paragraphs. Quicker, Tom, quicker. No one can pay attention for more than thirty seconds, you fool.

Conclusion

My head hurts. That episode was horrific.

The End

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  1. Pingback: Talking at Each other in the Gilded Age - Tom Liberman

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