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Why Netflix's Trolls TV Show Only Released Six Episodes For Season 1

With Trolls, Dreamworks Animation proved that even inanimate, wild-haired dolls can become ridiculously popular film franchises, and it was a no-brainer move to bring these positivity-oozing creatures to TV with Netflix's Trolls: The Beat Goes On. The recently released follow-up carries on Poppy and Branch's adventures in fine fashion, and audiences have embraced the somewhat sillier subject matter. Oddly, though, there are only six episodes for fans to dive into, and when CinemaBlend recently spoke with Trolls: The Beat Goes On executive producer Matt Beans, I asked why so few episodes were part of the initial launch.

There's plenty more coming. It was just...that's what we had ready to deliver, and we wanted to give something sooner than later. We wanted to give the fans something sooner than later. So yeah, plenty more is coming, though.

Matt Beans' answer is about the most fan-friendly and non-corporate-minded explanation possible. Rather than setting Trolls: The Beat Goes On up for a release date later in 2018, perhaps after a more traditional-for-Netflix 13-episode lineup was finalized, the producers and other execs decided that it would be more beneficial to give fans the earliest look possible by putting a smaller batch of episodes out as soon as they were completed. That makes sense, too, as the Trolls spinoff series was only announced at the end of 2017, so it was pretty surprising to see it would already be premiering when it did. Especially since the new holiday special aired not too long before that.

Plus, it's not like releasing six installments early takes away from any future releases. As the EP says, there is still a lot more Trolls: The Beat Goes On to come in the future, so nobody's expectations will be swayed. It's entirely possible Netflix will keep this plan going, with episodes released in smaller batches, but more frequently throughout the year. Getting a handful of new Trolls episodes every few months would be an interesting and potentially satisfactory alternative to how Netflix usually handles its children's shows.

While speaking with Matt Beans, I asked if he could clarify whether or not the first six Trolls: The Beat Goes On episodes officially counted as Season 1, and he not only cleared that up a bit, but he also offered some insight into how the spinoff series will handle standalone vs. serialized storytelling.

Probably the easiest way is just to refer to it the way that Netflix does. We call them drops, so we don't think of them too much as seasons. But I think Netflix would call this Season 1, its own unique thing. We tell mostly episodic stories -- occasionally we'll do a serial storyline -- but for the most part, the bread and butter of our shows seems to be: 'Here's a tightly written individual story that begins and ends all in one episode like a unique piece of candy, and then you move on.' When you start to get into serial stories, they become more complicated, a little heavier, and our show shouldn't be heavy.

Indeed, Trolls: The Beat Goes On adds some splendid splashes of irreverent humor throughout, thanks in part to Matt Beans' background on the far more adult Robot Chicken. Fans don't have to worry about seeing Poppy and Branch taking on anything nearly as dark as that show's tales, though. It sounds like even when Trolls does go the serialized route, the tone will stay as chipper and fancy-free as ever.

The first six episodes of Trolls: The Beat Goes On are available to stream right now on Netflix (opens in new tab), with more on the way in the nearish future, and everyone stay tuned for more Trolls coverage coming to CinemaBlend soon. To see everything else hitting the streaming service soon, head to our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule, and then sing and dance over to our midseason premiere schedule to prepare for all the other changes coming to primetime soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.