29 August 2010 10:53 AM, PDT | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

We’ve heard a lot about dirty shenanigans in the financial sector over the last few years, but if you really want to know about a high-risk investment that hardly ever pays off, forget about the Ponzi scheme — look no further than the serialized television drama.

Much as we all love to snigger at the stereotype of the housewife or credulous college student weeping over her soap opera, there are good reasons that shows like General Hospital have lasted for decades, and chief among them is the unique pleasure of following characters and storylines over an extended period of time. The networks dress it up in different outfits each fall, but it’s that same enduring promise that lures viewers into new serialized series every year, and if you’re any kind of television fan, you’re well acquainted with the pain of giving yourself over to a show’s arc, »

- Jeff Giles

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