I hate it when one of my favorite weekly TV dramas decides to forgo the “new story each week” format and go in for one of those seemingly endless “story arcs”. It usually involves a particularly sinister person or group who is out to get one of the lead characters. Subsidiary characters multiply and plots give birth to sub-plots. Complexity is fine when you watch a movie … or binge-watch a series. The you can follow the twists and turns in a condensed period of time. You don’t need to have a scorecard … or take notes.


It’s arrogant of TV producers to believe we will remember the details and subtleties of their story not just a week later, but through an entire season of weekly viewing. We have lives (or at least I assume we do).  We may actually miss a show now and then. Maybe we want to keep track of what’s going on in the world around us.

Then there are the even more annoying “to be continued” cliffhangers which assume you’ll still have a clear memory of what was going on five or six months later or whenever the show returns to the air with a new “season.”


I’m a senior now but my age is not why I can’t remember every detail from the many shows over long periods of time. When I was younger, my life was even busier and more complicated. My mind held onto gigabytes of more information I needed merely to get through the day.

I doubt I’d have had an easier time back then remembering who did what to whom — or why — after weeks or months. I would have been pausing the show to ask my husband “Who’s that guy and why is he back?”


I watch weekly dramas, movies, and series because it’s easy and fun to watch familiar characters deal with a new self-contained story every week. There aren’t too many new characters or complex interrelationships to keep track of. I can sit back and relax for the forty odd minutes of the show (minus commercials).

I don’t want to be burdened with long-term, twisting plots. Or have to remember numerous characters who pop in and out at the scriptwriter’s whim. If I want to be quizzed on irrelevant facts, I’ll watch Jeopardy.


I prefer to save what remains of my brain for really important stuff … like what my husband asked me to get him at the store today, or which mid-eastern country is Sunni versus Shiite.

Give me my a straightforward story with a plot. Characters who make sense. Leave the brain teasers for the 2-hour made-for-TV movies … or bingeable series.

Categories: Entertainment, Media, Movies, Television

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12 replies

  1. I hate when favorite TV series turn into soap operas. The Good Wife was set up that way, but plenty were not. I hated that The Mentalist turned into one big story arc in the final season and a half.


  2. I hate the end of season cliffhanger episode. So annoying when you know you will have forgotten the details in the intervening months. I recently read that Doctor Who’s showrunner is leaving and that we will have to go a whole year on nothing but a Christmas special. To say I am not impressed is putting it mildly.


  3. There is one show in England that ended with a cliff hanger after 18 years on air – and the show got axed. A lot of people were angry and confused as one of the main characters ended up being seriously injured. Bad timing.


  4. Since we have TiVO we have started to keep the shows for a 2-3 episodes and not watch them. Then watch them all at once. 😀


  5. Amen to that!


  6. I completely agree. Especially about the “end of the season cliffhanger.” You know the show is coming back next season, so you know the hero or heroine is going to survive whatever it is. It’s so fake and annoying and bogus. I also resent how good shows go downhill. How after a few years, the scripts degenerate and you get the feeling the cast is just walking through the show and no one really cares anymore. Good piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agree 110%!!


    • I actually think that many of my favorite series have avoided the mid-life crisis that destroys so many formerly great shows. Garry’s favorite, NCIS is one example, so is The Good Wife and Castle, despite a recent long term story arc that nearly did them in in my eyes. The Blacklist is relatively new but went through a very long story arc and came out the other side with me still watching. So, Bravo!


      • We watch all the same shows. Have you gotten to Scandal yet? If you do, let me know what you think. Also, both the British and American versions of House of Cards (either Netflix or Amazon, I don’t remember which … maybe both?) are seriously addictive. Kevin Spacey on the American version just got an Emmy for his work and he deserved it. I think it’s the second one for that series. I’m hoping it has one more season to come. We went into serious withdrawal when we ran out of that show.


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