Personally, I’ve only seen about 5 minutes of Game of Thrones, in total. I use my TV as nature intended, for shooting imaginary men in their imaginary faces. Judging from the fact that nobody on the entire internet can effing shut up about it, it must be a very good TV show. That’s nice. Maybe I’ll look at it when the series is finished. But probably not– I burnt out on long-running series back when X-Files started to founder. Actually, I quit that series early because I was still smarting from when David Lynch was forced to wrap up Twin Peaks. And have you seen the end of Evangelion? They had to make two movies to make sense of that, and it’s still incomprehensible.
The problem I have with these longer format stories is that I don’t like the rhythm. The writers are forced to always end with suspense to make sure their viewers come back next week, or next season. It becomes tiresome, and feels more like feeding an addiction than enjoying a story for me. Watching the episodes in chunks after they’ve first aired helps, but the over all rhythm remains unchanged. It’s even worse for shows that break for commercials, because the format requires three little suspense moments every episode. That’s why you can set your watch to an episode of House.
I’d like to see more series that run for one season only– Like Shogun. Tell a story, then stop. Unfortunately, when ratings are high, there is no ‘stop’ for studio execs. That comes when ratings droop, and they force a show to wrap things up. And I can’t think of any examples where that made a show better.