Tag Archives: TV

Long-tail story arcs

A year or two ago I was analyzing the television shows I loved, attempting to discern why I liked those more than others. While there are many factors — characters, setting, themes, type of show, to name just a few — the shows that stuck with me were (and are) the ones that didn’t completely wrap up everything neatly at the end of every episode.

  • Alias
  • Bones
  • Buffy
  • Angel
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Veronica Mars
  • Chuck
  • The Office
  • NCIS
  • Monk

Obviously, there are others; Lost is quite involved, and 24 has always had season-long story arcs. (But for my purposes today, 24 isn’t the best example.) And just because a show has these more involved story lines doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll love it.

All of these shows have had story lines that last many episodes — often a full season or longer. And I postulate that this is the same reason I like to read book series. I get to spend more time with these characters, yes, and get to see them grow and change over a longer period of time and pages. But it also allows space for the characters to breath. I feel like I’m not explaining this very well; do you understand what I mean?

Note: I was inspired to write this post by My Friend Amy‘s post defending television.