TV Programmes at the Extremes

There seem to be only two types of fiction-based TV programme:

The first type of programme reflects the comforting nature of an unchanging world - viewers know it isn’t really going to change, so they don’t need to ‘worry’. Put cynically, it’s unchallenging. The second type of programme appeals to viewers who are looking for a programme that keeps them interested - it gradually evolves and so is guaranteed to be different every time. Put cynically, it’s a ploy to cover for weak plots.

So why aren’t there more programmes that are somewhere in the middle? One of the better examples I’ve seen of a programme that strikes a balance between the two is Arrested Development, but this isn’t too popular. Lost gave it a go for a while, but then began to repeat itself.

Please, TV producers, can we have some more?


Good points. Although I didn't find Armageddon that hard to pick up when I started watching it half-way through a few weeks ago :) Perhaps a film/programme being hard to pick up half-way through is a sign of a robust and tightly scripted plot?
The first approach makes it very easy to repeat episodes, of course. As for the second approach, there's something cleverer going on, too... I gave up watching soaps years ago but I find that if I ever happen to watch an episode now, it takes almost no time to pick up on what is going on. Imagine trying to pull off the same trick with a movie.