Pre-internet, network style TV had its merits.
This may make me seem really nostalgic or old man yelling at sky, but the preponderance of content, franchise bloat and streaming glut has made me miss the style of television from before HBO created the "prestige" show. When TV was its own thing- I think HBO with Oz and the Sopranos introduced the idea that TV is just long movies delivered in pieces.
Now, I love Oz and the Sopranos and plenty of "prestige" TV. And lord knows I don't miss commercials. But the need for commercials also created a certain rhythm to the story-telling that, at its best, was really nice. And it forced brevity in genre TV.
I mean, Star Trek, right?- the best episodes work because of how they fit a good idea, with a classic dramatic structure, with the rising beats and resolutions around commercials. And now with DVDs/streaming/etc, we skip the commercials so it's best of both worlds.
I am currently watching Kindred on FX, which adapts the classic Octavia Butler novel. I'll post a review of it on the other thread when I'm done but it is clearly dragging it out to make it multiple seasons. And it is seriously weakening it for me. It's like a big mess of CONTENT, and I'm so annoyed by feeling like I'm consuming CONTENT.
I got myself some Columbo, I'm gonna watch that. I never actually watched a whole one consciously but I keep seeing references and tributes and I like the character. I can re-watch the good episodes of Trek or Twilight Zone or Babylon 5, in part because of that old-school TV rhythm, in a way I wouldn't every re-watch Mad Men or Justified even though I love those shows.
Now I know and remember all the crap from back then, I'm not romanticizing it. Just saying that it had its merits.