There's a whole lot of different directions I could go with this things at Dundee's.
First off, I'll do a negative one.
"Television" isn't really getting any better or worse than it ever was, its always had a few supergenius artist writers and directors and actors, and a whole ton of crappy ones, there's old shows that make me sit back and wonder how the hell they came up with what they came up with, and there's old shows that make me say stuff like "oh, this must've come from back in the days when nobody cared about plot" ahaha.
So there's a bit of "dude, nobody has written anything as good as Fahrenheit 451 since" in there.
As far as it evolving as a medium, though, I think it actually has evolved as a medium, in the only way a medium can really evolve, and that's sorta mechanically, like a science, or through shared techniques and technology.
I wonder if the "lack of serial entertainment qualities" thing Dundee is noticing is really more due to the fact that shows spend more of their life in a repackaged and re-released on DVD state now than they did in the days before that was an option.
So now, instead of people having to catch the show on the TV, and the writers having to worry about the audience missing a recent episode (which would make you tend to package each story in a way where it didn't matter what order you saw the shows in, if you were a writer), they actually got to worry about it in the other direction, where the show might look terrible on DVD (or at least not sell so well) if it doesn't have some ongoing plot and "evolution of the characters" and stuff.
Remember those "recap" shows they used to do that they don't gotta do anymore?
We actually used to like those, back in the day before we could record or buy and replay the shows ourselves, 'cause it let us know what we missed heh.
And the guys doing the shows liked 'em, 'cause it was a cheap show, playing back bits of other shows ahaha.
And there's that old joke about knowing that the main characters on Star Trek are never gonna die, that's tied into that too, even though that show did kill a character or two and do some character development over time junk (it was kinda minimal, but then, on the other hand, Deep Space Nine did a ton of it, and it was actually hard to follow if you missed a couple shows).
Anyways the audience has evolved a bit, too, blabbering about their favorite bits and pieces of the Sopranos and the A-Team and Night Rider and Six Feet Under at work for fifty years will tend to do that sorta thing, even the most dimwitted folks can listen in to everybody else and repeat the stuff they heard.
And that's a major factor there, that's the people the writers are thinking about when they write the show, they want folks to be talking about it the next day at work, that's what shit like Twin Peaks (which is what Desperate Housewives reminds me of, much thanks to Cooper being in there heh) and "Lost" was all about.
Not that there's just "one best way" to do that stuff, I'm not saying that, either, there's a place for stuff like Gilligan's Island, too, I know people talked about Gilligan's Island at work until they ran out of shit to talk about ahaha.
"Dude Ginger is hot."
"They are never gonna get off that island!" AHAHA.
But whatever, I guess the main thing is the evolution of a medium, and that I think its the evolution of the techniques and technologies used to make it and the exploration and understanding of the science behind it that does it, really, even in the audience, 'cause as time goes on, they understand more and more of that stuff too, and you gotta shoot a little higher to surprise 'em.
But you can't just go straight to expert, you gotta have your bunny hills running simultaneously, 'cause there's a sucker born every minute, and understanding the stuff they're teaching on the bunny hills provides you with the POV the "fresh ones" are gonna have when they come to take a peek at your work.
And the stuff that it takes a supergenius to understand ain't gonna be that popular.
And you may be cool with that, just draw a line in the sand and be an elitist prick and wait for all the smart folks in future history to recognize you long after you've become a mummy, 'cause the only opinion that really matters is an intelligent opinion and all that.
But you could teach people how to get from A to B and stuff too, y'know, while you were at it, just like somebody taught you, and then you'd be farming your own audience, tending to your flock and shit, that's probably the more appreciative and responsible way to do it.
Saying stuff like "Gilligan's Island is for mouth-breathers" might get you in good with the folks who wanna feel superior to the mouth-breathers, but who is that, really?
I don't think that somebody who ain't a mouth-breather ever has to worry about being mistaken for a mouth-breather.
Its just those "borderline mouth-breathers" that are grabbing for things that'll help them distinguish themselves from the ordinary mouth-breather.
I think that's especially true when you are grabbing for stuff that's at the ordinary mouth-breather's expense heh.
Smart folks know that's its actually advantageous to be mistaken for a mouth-breather.
Ah crap, I think I'm doing exactly what I'm complaining about while I'm complaining about it again ahaha.