Time was, you could watch a TV show every now and then and not miss too much. Each episode was a stand alone story, with very little carry-over from one week to the next. Consistency was the name of the game. Rarely did one see the phrase, "To be continued…", and when it did happen it was a big deal. The notable exception was the campy 1960’s "Batman" series, which had a cliffhanger each week. However, it was resolved in the next episode, and each two-episode storyline could stand alone.
Continuing story arcs cropped up in the sitcoms of the 1970s, but didn’t really come into their own until the 90s. A cliff hanging series finale seemed mandatory, and one tuning into the middle of a season for the first time could be terrible lost. Who was that smoking man, and why is he so mysterious?
So here we are in the mid "aughts". We have missed many excellent shows and series. Partly, it’s because we simply can’t watch everything, but it’s also because it’s sometimes hard to jump into the middle of a show. I watched the season opener of "Lost", but have no clue what’s going on, having missed the first season. This season, we decided to get started with "Commander-in-Chief" and "Boston Legal" – one new show and one old one. Things look very good so far.