The way people watch television was changed forever when Netflix released the first season of its first major original series, House of Cards, all at once in 2012. Since then, dropping a whole season at once has become standard practice for streaming platforms, but Amazon Prime subscribers waking up on October 12 hoping to watch the entirety of new series The Romanoffs will be in for a shock, as only two episode of the eight-episode season will be available. Those left wondering when new episodes of The Romanoffs will premiere simply need to look back to the traditional method of debuting new television episodes for their answer.
The Romanoffs will be dropping a new episode every week, just like Hulu does with Handmaid's Tale.The Romanoffs is created be television writer Matthew Weiner and marks his return to the screen after the end of his monumental success Mad Men. Mad Men was a dense show, filled with details and coded moments that were best digested with a week between episodes so that viewers had time to ponder the episode they had just watched instead of going right to the next one.The Romanoffs release method may seem odd for a streaming platform, but it could be an attempt to re-train people to spend time with individual episodes instead of television instead of attempting to consume a whole season at once. Alternatively, it could be a safety measure for fans because, as TVGuide points out in their review of the series, each episode of The Romanoffs is a whopping hour and a half long.
If the hour-and-a-half runtime of each episode sounds shocking, but it's less surprising when you learn that The Romanoffs has no overarching plot. The show is an anthology series, loosely connected by characters that all claim to be descendants of the House of Romanov, one of Russia's former ruling dynasties. In that light, The Romanoffs is less of a television series and more a collection of eight movies. This week-by-week release method could be an intentional choice to keep viewers from trying to watch all of these episodes in relation to each other by watching them back-to-back, and instead encourage viewers to view each new episode outside of the context of other episodes.
There's really no telling why Amazon is choosing to air The Romanoffs on a week-by-week basis when it doesn't have to, but those who would like to knock out the series in a long weekend who are hoping to complete the series in a marathon-watch session can not be foiled by Amazon forever. All one needs to do is wait until the whole series has premiered and then set aside time to watch all eight episode — twelve hours — as quickly or as slowly as one would like. The success of Amazon's unique release strategy won't be known until after the series has debuted, but fans who have been looking for something to fill the Mad Men-shaped hole in their heart will likely just be happy to have a show from the same creator back on television.