Even though it was split into two eight-episode halves that aired almost 13 months apart, everyone involved with the fifth season of Breaking Bad — AMC, Vince Gilligan, the cast, reporters, fans, etc. — has referred to it as just that: the fifth season. As in, one single, unified season of television. This is the gist of a class-action lawsuit filed in California on Friday, which claims that Apple owes $14.99 (or $22.99 for HD) to viewers who purchased the iTunes Season Pass for the first eight episodes and were forced to pay again for the second eight.
The full complaint is below, but here are the two main paragraphs.
When a consumer buys a ticket to a football game, he does not have to leave at halftime. When a consumer buys an opera ticket, he does not get kicked out at intermission. When a consumer buys a “Season Pass” to a full season of television shows on iTunes, that consumer should get access to the full season. [...]
The iTunes informational page regarding the Season Pass option explained (and still explains, as of the date of the filing of this complaint) that “[p]urchasing a Season Pass of a television show gets you every episode in that season and at a better price than if you were to purchase it one episode at a time.” (emphasis added)
Now, you may be reading this and thinking, “I mean, okay, I guess they have a point, but at the end of the day doesn’t it seem a little silly to sue someone for $15 or 23? Especially since “seasons” are rarely split into two halves like this, and, even if they win, the lawyers are going to take their cut and the individual payouts are going to end up in the $10-18 range? Quite frankly, I don’t see what the big deal is here … unless of course you just wanted to use a legal story involving Breaking Bad as an excuse to post a screencap of the breathtakingly unkempt full-forehead combover sported by the show’s own legal mastermind, Saul Goodman, in last night’s episode. Is that what’s going on here?”
Well, to answer your question, (a) if this works, it could change the way Apple markets two-part seasons of shows, which are rare, but could end up becoming a thing if Breaking Bad starts a trend; (b) $10 is still $10, Mr. Rockefeller; and (c) yeah, basically.