Ryan McGee, fellow Boston freelancer and TV thinker, just posted an article over at the A.V. Club that asks a lot of the same questions I posed in my previous piece on unsatisfying TV. But we examined the issue from opposite sides. I was considering shows that try to establish a mythology while balancing an episodic feeling on network TV and McGee is concerned with the decline of such episodic inclinations on premium channels:
HBO has shifted its model to produce televised novels, in which chapters unfold as part and parcel of a larger whole rather than serving the individual piece itself. Here’s the problem: A television show is not a novel.
It’s a great piece. I recommend checking it out: “Did The Sopranos do more harm than good?: HBO and the decline of the episode“