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The serial killing-serial killer has returned Oct. 2, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier. Now that True Blood is over and The United States of Tara has been cancelled, I can’t get enough the series that actually add something awesome to my life: The idea of a prolonged want being achieved spread out over an entire season.

You know what I’m not looking forward to? The Big Bang Theory. Or Mike and Molly. Call me crazy, but I’m sick of shows that you can tune into—any episode, any season—and know what’s going on. It’s like the days of I Love Lucy or Bewitched—any of those series where you can watch an episode and, without any previous knowledge of it, understand what’s happening.

The order of the episodes is as irrelevant as getting to know the characters. I find watching the same group of friends just continually do the same hilarious things over and over again is not only tiresome, but dull. If you watch old shows designed for youth and teens, it’s often frustrating—characters conveniently forget what’s happened the last episode, and this selective memory lets screenwriters run wild the storyline. It’s annoying.

The Friends generation is over, and instead we get television shows that tell longer stories with episodes that aren’t interchangeable and acting that won’t pass for anything but stellar. These shows keep viewers because they stay invested in what’s happening next—they a become attached to characters in a way they couldn’t before.

I wonder if this is just a case of comedic-versus-dramatic television, but something tells me it isn’t. Yes, dramas work better for these kind of stories, but there’s also funny TV shows that play on the idea of a longer story. Like How I Met Your Mother—as much as I’m angry that it’s been renewed for a couple more seasons, I know I’ll tune in, because I want to know who Ted’s wife turns out to be.

Granted, I am an admitted TV junkie. I’ve written features about our obsession with voyeurism in entertainment, and a column about how my new year’s resolution was to give up my TV shows cold turkey (that lasted all of four days, by the way). And although it doesn’t help my addiction, I like the fact that shows are getting smarter. They’re playing off the fact that people are getting smarter, and even though it’s been said that our attention spans are getting smaller, we’re still willing to tune in to shows that demand you watch the next one to satisfy the answer to your questions: Who is Red John? Will Sookie choose Alcide, Eric, or Bill?  Who will be Dexter’s next victim?

These are questions I never ask myself about characters on The Big Bang Theory (will they solve that super-complicated equation? Stay tuned!). If the new trend in television is longer, drawn-out stories, I know I’ll be tuning in more.

—Charlotte Bailey