I'm reading Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Popular Culture Is Making Us Smarter by Steven Johnson. One of the points he makes is that modern TV differs from the TV of the past because modern TV shows make so much of their money from syndication and DVD sales rather than from their initial screening. As a result modern TV is made with the knowledge that it’s going to be watched multiple times. So you get episodes of modern TV programs that really can’t be appreciated fully the first time you see them.
Coincidentally I’ve just been re-watching the Season 4 finale Restless, which I think is a good example of this – there are so many references to things that haven’t happened yet.
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