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After baring through the final season of Lost, having caught up through 5 seasons on DVD I began to wonder if perhaps, certain TV shows really dont work as a weekly serial on TV.
I really began to wonder this when I watched season 2 of Dexter, and I had heard from lots of people that it was the worst season. I, watching it on DVD, thought it was amazing. I went back and spoke to those who disliked it, and they had watched it live on a weekly basis. Upon hearing this, I realized that most of what I loved about the season probably would have sucked if it was drawn out for a month or 2. Like the last 6 episodes I couldnt stop watching, but if it took 6 weeks...yuck.
I also noticed, most shows I fall in love with on DVD or internet viewing have a drastic quality drop off when I start watching them from week to week.
For example, would I have liked BSG season 3 and 4 more if I had not watched them week to week?
It seems like some of the best shows on TV are ones with ongoing, gripping story arcs. But it also seems that the format is less enjoyable when forced to wait every week.
Or rather, the experience may be better waiting, because you have that anticipation and reward for your patience, BUT the view of the work will be negatively impacted. Most people hated season 2 of Lost, thinking the hatch and button pushing was lame. I personally loved it. But I recognize in retrospect, nothing much happened week to week, and watching it live would have sucked.
So I guess, the question is, is it better to watch these ongoing TV shows like Lost, Battlestar, Dexter etc as they air, or on DVD at your own pace?
I would argue that the experience is unique and possible more rewarding live. Theorizing, discussing it with friends, anticipating what happens next with no clue of where it will go, is all great times. However I will also argue that the episodes themselves will seem worse because you will feel a lot of dissapointment and lack of reward for your waiting.