The open-endedness. And how that feeds into the worst about humanity. I touched on this in a recent post, but it got me thinking what a real problem this is. There are two types of genius. One is the genius of someone like Orson Welles, who was a firebrand phenom, and a genius at nearly every facet of his medium. Writer, producer, director, actor, radio play mind-blower, nearly a century ago. A true renaissance man if there ever was one. A 'pan-genius'. Then there is the other, more common form of genius. I am going to use Greg Berlanti as the example. Sorry, Greg, my apologies for that. I have bashed him before for not being able to follow through, and for unexplainably wanting to shoehorn gay characters in stories where they actually do not need to be (as Seinfeld says, 'not that there's anything wrong with that'). But Berlanti is a true genius, and one of the most talented and prolific icons in Hollywood in this century. I have great respect for his accomplishments and his genius, as far as that goes. But it is not 'pan-genius". Instead, it is more 'idiot-savant'. More of a niche genius. His genius lies in the ability to come up with fantastic story idea concepts (rather than continuing ideas) and launch a fantastic show. Where he is not a genius is in coming up with an entire story arc that is any good, or being able to keep the quality up. He is actually pretty terrible at that. He produced 17 drama series that I am familiar with, all of which I watched and liked. Another 7 I am not familiar with. He has also been a writer on countless programs, including most of the ones he produced. He was also the showrunner for most of them. He's pretty amazing. His movies were somewhat mediocre. But of those 17 series, all of them (other than Blindspot, which I still like and am nearly a year behind on) started out with a real bang, then a year or two (or earlier) in, they got stupid or lame, and eventually fell completely off the table. All of them. You have to know when to say goodbye to a Greg Berlanti show, because you will likely have to cancel it before the network gets that chance. So Berlanti's a mogul because he can pitch a great show, and launch a great show. He gives the honchos in Hollywood exactly what they want. And they could really care less if a great show falls off the table in year two, like The Flash, or Supergirl (probably by ep 3) or in year 3, like Brothers and Sisters. Hollywood doesn't want something that will be good enough to last, just good enough to get Les Moonves's attention and a slot on the schedule. And this may not be Greg Berlanti's fault. That's the other big problem with TV and geniuses like him; pitching and launching a great show, then losing interest, phoning it in, hiring hacks to do the dirty work instead, and just cashing the checks for as long as they last, while pitching another great show that will also eventually go nowhere. Nic Pizzolato and Sam Esmail had the opposite problem, of staying too long at the party and thinking they could do it all on their own. Neither could. TV is not for genius like Tom Clancy or James Patterson, or Stephen King, or Orson Welles, all of who can tell an entire terrific story that has an incredibly great ending. It's for the Greg Berlanti's of the world. The idiot-savants who pitch, then fade in the third inning. Berlanti is perfect for this medium, which is why he's so successful, even with limited genius. He is everything they are looking for, and nothing of what we as viewers are really wishing for. This medium, as it exists, is also large enough to support the hacks, apparently. And of course the milieu of open-ended series with unknown amounts of episodes fosters that sort of niche genius, and makes folks who post on this forum wary of being burned, some to the point of them building up a cache of two seasons of a show before even beginning to watch it, hoping that this will increase the odds of it being worth their time. That is the curse of episodic television. It's a god-damned collaborative medium, and it takes more than one genius to make a good show and keep the quality up for multiple seasons, something that is exceeding rare, but would not be half so rare if people realized that and collaborated in the interests of art rather than greed.