Story arcs are great - but don't lose the single episode show

Many great TV shows have been based on single episode shows. So each week you would get a new story with a resolution at the end of the show. (Occasionally a 'to be continued' would be used to extend this to a double episode.) This didn't stop there being story arcs, where something ran in the background through a series of shows, dominating occasionally - but most individual shows still had a satisfying narrative in their own right. For me, the master of the balance between arc and individual show was Joss Whedon. (Please come back, Joss - your TV shows were far more innovative than your movies.)

Of late though - I don't know if it's the influence of Scandi Noir - there's been a tendency to let the arc dominate to the extent that each episode has no standalone narrative whatsoever. They just become chunks of a vast film. And I honestly think that, in many cases, this has been a negative step. Two good examples are Suits and Star Trek. The early seasons of Sui…

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