The importance of 'A place to dream' within the Netflix catalog

Pregnancies in the town of Virgin River defy the laws of nature.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 September 2023 Monday 17:23
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The importance of 'A place to dream' within the Netflix catalog

Pregnancies in the town of Virgin River defy the laws of nature. Chermaine (Lauren Hammersley) became pregnant in the first season of A Place to Dream, broadcast in December 2019, and her birth is not scheduled until the broadcast of the second part of the fifth season, scheduled for November 30 of this year. anus. It will have taken the viewer four years to get to know the twins, which has his audience a little unhinged. This, however, is not the most interesting element of the series but the fact that Netflix has given the writers so much time to write both this plot and the others in motion.

If the streaming era is characterized by something, it is precisely by the brevity of the series. Traditional television came from a fictional model with seasons of more than twenty episodes that, if they had a good performance in viewership, were automatically renewed with exceptions to continue inserting ads in the commercial breaks. Instead, Netflix developed its own production philosophy where success was not the only variable.

Short seasons were filmed because it was considered that long seasons did not give more value to the titles, especially considering that Netflix broadcasts seasons all at once or in two parts and has an economical subscription model. And, as it is considered that, with some exceptions, veteran titles do not contribute to winning customers, veteran series are usually dispensed with. Taking into account that the costs escalate from the third or fourth season, this also saves paying more per episode.

With A Place to Dream, however, Netflix is ​​allowing itself an unusual whim on the platform: producing a long-running original series without it being a phenomenon of audience or social or cultural conversation. It is content with a low-cost budget and with good performance at the consumption level but, while others in its place would be preparing their farewell, the adaptation of Robyn Carr's novels has already received the green light for a sixth season when not even It has not even finished broadcasting the fifth.

Its continuous renewals seem to obey a principle that goes beyond attracting subscribers: turning A place to dream into a constant for the platform's subscribers. Furthermore, thinking about the future, the ensemble drama about the inhabitants of a remote mountain town in Northern California may become a recurring refuge for audiences.

And, as demonstrated by the success of long-running series such as Grey's Anatomy, Friends and Criminal Minds in streaming or the recent phenomenon of Suits on Netflix, the viewer loves to have series with a minimum of a hundred episodes, that are easy to watch. see and have their lives resolved. It's that feeling of coming home, hitting the play button without thinking, without having to discover a new fictional world every week, and knowing that you have material for weeks or even months.

A place to dream, with its 54 episodes produced, another ten underway and no announcement of its end, can become a dramatic experiment for the platform: the idea of ​​producing titles that build loyalty and designed to become refuges for new viewers or for those who want to relive the romantic relationship full of obstacles between Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) and Jack (Martin Henderson). It would be a way, in turn, to keep alive a television model that, due to the low audiences of linear channels, seemed in danger of extinction. And it was a paradox.

While there are fewer and fewer constants on television due to the impact mentality of streaming, the performance of series like Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy or Suits demonstrate that, in reality, there is a real interest in traditional fiction, with a recognizable episodic structure and the sense of comfort they offer.