Teasers Are the New Trailers

I’m fed up with trailers. When you follow one of those huge shows, like Game of Thrones, you find out (over and over again) what that kind of promos can offer you: barely anything. Here it is the 15 second trailer of season’s four trailer:

We recognize Daenerys, John Snow, Tyrion and some other minor characters, but it doesn’t reveal us anything new about the plot or, more importantly, the mood, the atmosphere of this season. It just distresses us, prepares us to devour it, and when the first actual trailer is finally released, we don’t find many differences: a slower editing,  (although things speed up at the end), a cool song and some one-liners. That’s all:

However, thanks to the Seven Gods we also have teasers. They are usually shorter (about 30 seconds) but their best trump is that they don’t try to show us the characters, plot hints or some bold line to put on a t-shirt, they exclusively focus on the true nature of the series, their essence.

One of the shows that reinvented teasers turning them into an original piece of art was American Horror Story. Each season several brief teasers, with or without the characters that will eventually appear in the series, were released. They aimed, as I said before, to the core of the show. These are the ones from Home Invasion:

Hannah Peel’s version of Tainted Love through a number of disturbing 15 second clips (5 seconds without the credits), that’s all you need to feel the show. After seeing them all, you’ll have entered into Ryan Murphy’s perverted universe.

There are so many possibilities behind the concept of teasers. HBO’s Girls, for example, uses them to show us the production of its third season through several polaroid-like shots. If you think it over that’s exactly what Girls is about: fleeting moments of these girls’ lives and many images of Hannah.

FX’s The Americans also produced great teasers that encapsulated the suspense and fear that KGB spies experiment in their daily life. Two gorgeous examples:


The soon-to-be-released series from Damon Lindelof in HBO, the highly expected The Leftovers, also knows how to create expectation. This teaser not only unveils the show’s starting point, it will also keep you at the edge of your seat until June 29th.

BBC’s Sherlock created many expectations with the plot twist at end season 2, and the teaser for the next bunch of episodes, two years later, knew exactly how to use it. All the main characters suspect that he’s back until finally, Sherlock looks at us. He’s on our screens again.

I’d like to finish returning to the very beginning. Game of Thrones, besides empty trailers, also has interesting teasers focused on several characters. Take, for example, this teaser from the dragons’ point of view: we experience what they see, freedom, strength and power, but also the reverse-shot, Daenerys and Sir Jorah both worried and amazed in the face of their uncontrollable weapons. They are definitely a game changer.

So don’t wait for that boring (and full of unnecessary spoilers) trailer of the series you’re waiting for. Just watch the teaser.

The Homecoming Queen.

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