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Old February 17 2012, 01:17 AM   #431
Christopher
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
There are more really good shows on now with a serialized format vs episodic. This could be because cable = better quality and cable = serialized format rather than quality = serialized format, but the correlation is unmistakable.
I'd call it a classic example of a spurious correlation. There are more good serialized shows today because there are more serialized shows today period. Serialized shows are more commonly made today, more fashionable, so naturally there will be more good serialized shows, more bad serialized shows, and more mediocre serialized shows. So it's a useless thing to point out unless you can show that the ratio of good serialized shows to good episodic shows is high.

But I don't see how it's possible to prove that, given that it's hard to find any show that's purely serialized or purely episodic. Most of the shows that are actually on television today are a mix of episodic and serialized elements, combining weekly "client stories" with ongoing character or mythology arcs tying a given season together into an overarching tale, and having consequences carry forward serially from season to season. Indeed, the closest thing I've seen in the past decade to a pure episodic format was Law & Order -- a generally acclaimed franchise, by the way -- and even that had increasing amounts of serialization mixed in as it went on. So it's a dichotomy that doesn't really exist.
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