9 Times TV Shows Failed To Hide The Passage Of Time

Billions' Chuck Rhoades lost an impossible amount of weight between episodes.

Billions TV

While seasons of TV traditionally air over the span of several months, subsequent episodes will typically take place only a few days apart, if that.

We're generally watching an ongoing narrative, and so it makes sense that there aren't major time leaps between episodes unless there's a particular reason for doing so.

But of course, TV episodes often aren't shot mere days apart - a single episode of a big-budget, glossy HBO show can take weeks to film, not to ignore the many months of time between shooting one season's finale and the next season's premiere.

While for the most part productions have become extremely skilled at concealing the passage of time and convincing audiences that they're watching characters existing within a compressed time period, that's not always the case.

Sometimes an actor has gone through such a stark change in physical appearance that no amount of clever makeup could possibly conceal it, and fans being fans, they're all-too-quick to pick up on it.

In the age of binge TV these "sudden" transformations only become even more apparent, that despite some fair efforts to sell the illusion - and in some cases, no effort at all - it was clear that a major chasm of time had elapsed between episodes...

9. Steve Carell Made Michael Scott Buff Out Of Nowhere - The Office (U.S.)

Billions TV

If you go back and watch the first two seasons of The Office, you might be surprised by Dunder Mifflin boss Michael Scott's (Steve Carell) sudden change in appearance.

Throughout season one, Michael had a more pudgy, filled-out build, and his hair was also slicked back to resemble David Brent's (Ricky Gervais) thinning hairstyle from the original UK version of the show.

Suddenly in the season two premiere, however, Michael is markedly thinner and his hair is now styled in a different, certainly more appealing way.

The reason for this? Between filming the two seasons Carell went off to shoot the Judd Apatow film The 40-Year Old Virgin, where he decided to hit the gym and get into shape, and the actor ultimately decided to maintain that physique when he got back to set for The Office.

But given that the show's official timeline makes it clear there are only days or weeks at most between the season one finale and season two premiere, it doesn't make any sense at all that Scott's appearance would change so drastically.

And yet, the glow-up was ultimately a positive one for both Scott and Carell such that most fans were happy to roll with it.

It's certainly much easier to notice on repeat binge viewings of the show where Scott just appears to shed a ton of weight overnight.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.