Serialization isn't a magic bullet; like any other storytelling technique, it works when it's done well and fails when it's done badly. Too often, serialization is an excuse for lazy, unfocused storytelling with no direction in mind, or for dragging out a finite amount of story with huge amounts of padding, or for constantly baiting the audience with mysteries and questions but never giving them any satisfying answers. Format doesn't determine quality; execution does.
Agreed, a hundred percent.
But here is where we disagree. I could care less if on average episodic shows are as good as serialized shows. Because I am not watching every show on television. I only want to watch the best stuff. And episodic shows aren't even trying to be the best, they are rarely ambitious at all. Serialized shows are often disasters, but when they work, they are better than anything in the episodic format.
The comedy genre is excluded mind you that is a different beast, I'm just talking dramas.
I don't want to spend twenty hours a week watching shows that are good. I want to speed four or five hours a week watching shows that are superb.
I think it would be really hard for me to find a single friend who if pressed to list their top five TV dramas of all time would include any purely episodic shows.