The rise of streaming services has reinvented and revolutionized the way audiences consume content, and one of the most notable changes has been in the episode lengths of certain shows created exclusively for platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Previously, virtually every small screen project was specifically designed to factor in ad breaks, so they would run for either 30 minutes or an hour to easily adhere to the established programming schedule on whatever network they called home.
Watching a regular TV series back on streaming can often be a jarring experience when it cuts to black in the middle of an important scene, then, precisely where the ads would run to ensure that viewers wouldn’t dare change the channel for fear of missing anything. One of the major benefits of streaming shows, though, is that they tend to flow much better as a whole, as the editing process is more organic and not dictated by regular breaks to try and sell people a toaster.
The Mandalorian has certainly run with that idea, and no two outings have ever been the same length. The shortest runs for just 32 minutes, while the longest clocks in at close to an hour. This week’s installment was one of the briefer ones, with Robert Rodriguez’s “The Tragedy” coming in at a thrifty 33 minutes. And given the quality of the action on display, fans weren’t happy at such a short running time, as you can see below.
The latest episode of #TheMandalorian was too short. I needed at least 3 more hours of it. That's my only complaint. Holy sh!t, that's what i'm talking about!
— DaemØn (@djdaem0n) December 4, 2020
Why the hell was Chapter 14 so goddamn short!??? Needs the be 40 minutes minimum!
— Anthony (@Anthony_Cep) December 4, 2020
Chapter 14 of #Mandolarian felt way too short. Lol I was so immersed and then bam! It was over. Lol why they gotta do us like that?
— Gabbie De Los Angeles (@GabsDLA) December 4, 2020
HEY @themandalorian !! WANNA TELL ME WHY IT WAS SO SHORT FOR CHAPTER 14!? CANT LEAVE US LIKE THAT! ? poor grogu…
— Cynthia✨ (@cynthiaclam) December 4, 2020
— BradShort (@BradShort) December 4, 2020
Chapter 14 was way too short for my liking! I need me some hour long episodes of Mando but okay 45 minutes will suffice as well but 29 minutes is not enough at all! #TheMandalorian #TheChild #ThisIsTheWay
— #GoCougs (@rchrdnss) December 4, 2020
Chapter 14 was too short, but so good like last week’s. Might be my favorite #Mandalorian episode up to this point.
— S.Carter (@ThaHustleMan330) December 4, 2020
Me: How will they follow an episode with the great Ahsoka#TheMandalorian Chapter 14: Like this. In 33 minutes. ?
— Richie Yamashiroya ⛄️ (@richiety) December 4, 2020
nooooo why is chapter 14 only 33 minutes ?!? i want 2hr long episodes 🙁
— ? (@peeebrains) December 4, 2020
The Mandalorian chapter 14… That was the quickest 33 minutes I think I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime. And somehow they made the classic toys go up in value again. What a crazy ride.
— Joe Steinkamp In 5G (@RangerStation) December 4, 2020
The Mandalorian also has some of the longest credits on television, which shaves another five minutes off the clock for good measure. In total, then, there was less than 30 minutes of onscreen action this week, and when “The Tragedy” is being lauded as one of the finest episodes yet, you can understand the frustration among the fanbase.