As technology changes so do the ways in which people consume media. Whether it be spoken word, the written word, comics, radio, film, or television, storytellers have to adapt to the pros and cons of each platform. And with the rise of social media and the internet, a new type has emerged. In this new, fast paced age, stories are being told in short clips. Other forms of content obviously still exist, of course. People still watch television and movies, but now scenes from these stories are being isolated and posted online in the form of these short clips. And when scenes and stories are shown in snippets, it helps to have context. A great example of how a premise can help the situation are programs like The Office and Schitt’s Creek.
The Office’s premise can pretty much be derived from its name. It’s meant to depict a common office environment. That’s it. Being able to figure out the show’s premise entirely from its title is important because when viewing a clip of the show, the viewer can immediately understand the context of the scene. In comparison, the premise of Schitt’s Creek requires a bit more explanation: a wealthy family loses all of their money and has to move to a very poor town to live. Now while that information isn’t 100% necessary to understand isolated scenes and clips from the show, the context certainly helps in understanding the situation.
The Office doesn’t have this handicap. Someone doesn’t need to know that the company sells paper, that it’s a regional office, or even be familiar with the various personalities of the characters. All that’s required to truly appreciate isolated moments is to know that it’s an office. That doesn’t mean people unfamiliar with Schitt’s Creek can’t also enjoy clips of the show. It just means those scenes can’t be fully appreciated unless someone has an underlying foundation of what the show is about.
Schitt’s Creek is now streaming on Netflix. The Office is now streaming on Peacock.