This weekend’s The New York Times Magazine has an essay by Heather Havrilesky, ‘Clues that lead to more clues that add up to nothing’, lamenting the narrative plotting of post-Lost television drama. ‘The empty thrills, the ticking clock that never runs down, the pointless twists and turns that are neither motivated nor resolved’ are in danger, runs the rather shrill argument, of killing American television’s new ‘golden age’ (The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men et al). For a more nuanced discussion, take a look at Lost in a great story: evaluation in narrative television (and television studies), scholar Jason Mittell’s October 2007 blog post at Just TV from with his appreciation of, among other qualities, the show’s ‘twists and turns’: ‘For me and many other viewers, the ability to be pleasantly surprised by a television series violating conventions and expectations keeps us tuning in and anticipating future twists, offering a wealth of pleasures within both the show’s story content and storytelling form.’ Mittell has just posted the text of a keynote that’s also directly relevant, The qualities of complexity: aesthetic evaluation in contemporary television. It’s an essential read – and see also posts at InMediaRes about Popular seriality (one of them Mittell’s). Across the break, further links to good stuff.