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Encyclopedia > Villain of the week
King Sphinx, an example of a Villain of the Week, from the Power Rangers series

"Villain of the week" (or, depending on genre, "monster of the week" or "freak of the week") is a term that describes the nature of one-use antagonists in episodic fiction, specifically ongoing American genre-based television series. As many shows of this type air episodes weekly at a rate of one or two dozen new episodes per year, there is often a new antagonist to forward the plot of each week's episode. The main characters usually confront and vanquish these characters, often leaving them never to be seen again. Some series alternate between using such antagonists and furthering the series' ongoing plotlines (as in The X-Files, where fandom is often divided over preference for one type of episode versus the other). Others use these one-time foes as pawns of the recurring adversaries (as in Power Rangers). On other occasions, these villains return reformed becoming invaluable allies. Image File history File linksMetadata Kingsphinx. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Kingsphinx. ... This is a list of fictional monsters from the Power Rangers universe, specifically those that first appeared in the television series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. ... The Saban-era logo for Power Rangers The Disney/Jetix-era logo for Power Rangers Power Rangers is a long-running American childrens television series adapted from the Japanese tokusatsu Super Sentai Series, though it is not simply an English dub of the original. ... This article refers to literary antagonists. ... A television program (US), television programme (UK) or simply television show is a segment of programming in television broadcasting. ... The X-Files is a Peabody- and Emmy Award-winning science fiction television series created by Chris Carter, which first aired on September 10, 1993, and ended on May 19, 2002. ... Fandom (from the noun fan and the affix -dom, as in kingdom, dukedom, etc. ... The Saban-era logo for Power Rangers The Disney/Jetix-era logo for Power Rangers Power Rangers is a long-running American childrens television series adapted from the Japanese tokusatsu Super Sentai Series, though it is not simply an English dub of the original. ...


Sometimes the villain will return later in the series but now having a larger role in the story.

Contents

Use of the Format

American series

There are two different uses for this plot gimmick. Some American television series (especially animated cartoons) are designed to be purely episodic so that they can be "stripped", that is, after the initial broadcasting as a network series, usually one day a week, the film or tape is leased to independent stations to be shown five or six days a week in any order. Hence, there is no plot development, although interesting villains may appear several times (e.g., Jonny Quest's Doctor Zin made four appearances in the original series). A cartoon is any of several forms of art, with varied meanings that evolved from one to another. ... Jonny Quest (often referred to as The Adventures of Jonny Quest) was a science fiction animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, and created and designed by comic book artist Doug Wildey, about the adventures of a young boy who accompanies his father on extraordinary adventures. ...


Another reason for using this format is that it is convenient for writers to supply a continuous and varied amount of challenges for the protagonists to overcome. One perceived "flaw" to continuity-based series is that, if the show is based upon a single dominating plot device (such as defeating a single reappearing adversary), then should that plot device ever be resolved, the series would supposedly "end". Conversely, if the plot device is not resolved eventually, the premise of the show may become stale. Therefore, a lack of major continuity is often thought to be a convenient solution.


However, in recent decades, many American series have shifted away from this style. A prominent example is the DC Animated Universe, which is covered from Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League Unlimited. While the former series was mostly episodic, with only moderate continuity between episodes, Unlimited is very continuity-heavy--even making continual references to past series. Other American series (both live-action and animated) have also adopted more plot-based continuity. 24, Lost, Gargoyles, and The Sopranos are shows that placed varying levels of importance of continuity while Charmed and Angel mixed both the villain of the week stories with complex, season-long storylines. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone strive for continuity in their overall story timeline, while dealing with a "villain of the week" format in the form of social issues. An image of many of the DCAU heroes. ... The animated Batman shoots his grappling gun from a rooftop in a scene from the episode, On Leather Wings. ... Justice League Unlimited (or JLU) was the name of an American animated television series that was produced by and aired on Cartoon Network. ... For other uses, see 24 (disambiguation). ... Lost is an Emmy Award and Golden Globe-winning American serial drama television series that follows the lives of plane crash survivors on a mysterious tropical island, after a passenger jet flying between Australia and the United States crashes somewhere in the South Pacific. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Sopranos was an American television drama series created by David Chase and originally broadcast on the HBO network. ... For other uses, see charm. ... Angel was the highly successful spin-off from the American television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... This article is about the TV series. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Matthew Richard Stone (born May 26, 1971) is an Emmy-winning American animator, film director, screenwriter, actor and voice actor. ...


Import editing controversy

In Japan, continuity in animated television series is used more frequently than in the United States. A significant number of series are designed to have an overall plot, even if the plot is just advanced in an initial episode and one or two concluding episodes. Sometimes, most of the intervening episodes have no plot or character advancement (e.g., the early Planet Boy Popi, called Prince Planet in America), but other shows like Mobile Suit Gundam have their plot based on a journey and use character development throughout the entire series. Prince Planet is the name given to one of the earliest of the anime, namely, Planet Boy Popi, when it was shown in America in the early 1960s. ... Mobile Suit Gundam ) is a televised anime series, created by Sunrise. ...


Sometimes, American distributors use existing footage from Japanese shows and use it for the "villain of the week" format. An example of this is the live action series Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger. Footage from this, mostly involving the monsters, was edited together with American-made footage in the production of the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. However, as Japanese animation has become more popular with the American public, anime has become more popular with American markets, and most imported Japanese shows are now shown with minor edits or no editing at all. KyōryÅ« Sentai Zyuranger ), translated into English as Dinosaur Squadron Zyuranger1 is a Japanese tokusatsu television series, the sixteenth entry in the long-running Super Sentai franchise of superhero programmes. ... Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (MMPR) is an American live-action television series, created for the American market based on the sixteenth installment of the Japanese Super Sentai franchise, KyōryÅ« Sentai Zyuranger. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Villain of the week - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (736 words)
"Villain of the week" (or, depending on genre, "monster of the week") is a term that describes the nature of one-use antagonists in episodic fiction, specifically ongoing American genre-based television series.
Sometimes the villain will return later in the series but now having a larger role in the story (such as the character Barry the Butcher in the Japanese manga Fullmetal Alchemist).
Another reason for using this format is that it is convenient for writers to supply a continuous and varied amount of challenges for the protagonists to overcome.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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