Why TV is More Complicated

TV shows are more complex.  Most agree on that.  But why?  Is it because society is getting a bit more sophisticated, or are consumer/technology improvements allowing it to happen…

Look at shows like Lost and The Sopranos with their ambiguity and their multiple, interweaving plot lines and so on. Presumably, the implication seems to be, people have adapted to the conventions of television and require greater amount of complexity to hold their now-mammoth capacity for attention, for holding complicated details suspended in their minds. […]

Writers and producers don’t have to worry about incorporating inane exposition (like you see on daily soaps—the convention that most makes them seem sort of dense to non-viewers) or introducing new plot lines to hook new viewers. […]

Lost, for instance, would be unthinkable without those technologies. The audience would have necessarily dwindled as it went on (because new viewers would be hopelessly confused) or the show would have had to solve many more of its mysteries more expediently, to make space for entry points for latecomers.

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