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These shows are all the rage these days. They typically have a one-word-title. Like "Show". They are heavily character-driven. Each episode reveals only a little more of the overall plot. In many respects, they harken back to the style of old Television Serials like the old Doctor Who... but Darker and Edgier, Hotter and Sexier, and usually with a generous helping of Mind Screw.

Not all of them are TV shows; some are movies. Many are made by J.J. Abrams, Tim Kring or their ilk. Lost is probably the Trope Codifier, though other shows of its ilk came before, including The X-Files, Babylon 5 and Abrams' own Alias. There are many, many, many more. These shows often either are Too Good to Last or, on the opposite end, instead, are Long Runners. Either way, the creator usually makes little effort to actually bother to ever resolve the show's central plot.

See also Ontological Mystery.


Live Action TV


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