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Comments on Thursday 13 March 2008:
Today, asked about the new Bionic Woman of which I have recently seen the first episode, I realised what it is that all these new sci-fi shows are doing that annoys me, which I have up until now been mentally referring to as "Battlestar Galacticking". It's the plot model in which there is just one plot being dragged out slowly (in the same way as a lot of anime, actually) - every episode promises that something interesting is about to happen as soon as the next episode starts, and then doesn't pay out.

I'm quite happy for shows to have an underlying plot that does that, but I like there to be a single episode plot as well. The A-Team did it that better way, Xena, Hercules, Jake 2.0, Eureka, Buffy, Angel (mostly), Firefly after the first couple of episodes, the original Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, they all did it this way. And in non-sci-fi, House is the same way.

But primarily in new things, the episode plots have been removed and we're left with just the perpetual foiled promise of jam tomorrow. New BSG, Lost, some amount of Heroes, probably Bionic Woman judging by the first episode, Alias. And all soap operas ever. Not saying there's something intrinsically wrong with this model, it's evidently quite popular which is why it's being adopted so much recently, but I find it annoying and don't like to watch any of the shows that use it. I suspect what's happening is that these are really the soap-operas for a new generation, the people who don't actually have anything to empathise with in soap-operas with a real-world setting. And I've always disliked soap-operas. [18:31]

Squander Two
DVD may be having an influence. Lots of viewers no longer wait a week between episodes. I watched the first 2 series of the new Battlestar Galactica in about a month, and never noticed the phenomenon of which you speak till just now, thinking back on it after reading this post. Long-term plotlines simply aren't so long-term any more.

Anet
I have always detested soap operas. But a show I like done in serial form doesn't bother me so much. I agree with Squander, the advent of entire series on DVD have made it less an issue.

RavenBlack
For me, only having a long-term plot, even in DVD box-set form, is still a fantastic waste of time. Yes, I realise that watching movies and such is already intrinsically a waste of time, but watching a good movie or a double-plotted show is entertainment dense. Only having a "something is going to happen soon" plot is only *anticipation* dense. Well, anticipation and disappointment.

I'd rather have entertainment than anticipation.

KnownColor
I'd been wondering along the same lines, but as I have a tendency to watch 4-6 episodes back to back Squander Two's argument makes a lot of sense as well.

I'd also like to comment on the seemingly endless plots of shows like Lost, where your thirst for answers is never satiated. The show simply brings up new 'questions' which supersede the old ones.

House gets it bang on. IMHO.
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