Monday, August 15, 2005

TV is Good for Us

This is what Steven Johnson argues in his book:

"Television shows with multiple plot lines (for example, 24) and those that require the viewer to supply information deliberately left out or made obscure (Lost) also garner Johnson's praise for prodding the brain to function in a more complex manner. He provides graphs to illustrate the rising plot intricacies of TV shows, from Hill Street Blues (credited with beginning the multiple-thread trend in 1981) to The Sopranos.

Johnson says that modern TV-watchers derive pleasure from filling in the details on shows such as The West Wing and he applauds the high level of technical dialogue on the likes of ER. He discusses the "layering" of sitcoms (Seinfeld and The Simpsons), saying that their pop-culture references and crisscrossing plot lines allow these shows to "retain both a broad appeal and the edgy allure of cult classics."""

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