Here’s my plot of TV shows ranked by the effort it takes to watch them (keeping track of the plot, characters, etc.) and the payoff you get for your effort:
The x-axis is effort; the y-axis is payoff.
This is why I’d rather watch an episode of Law and Order than Mad Men.
A special problem I find with higher-effort, lower-payoff shows is that the lower-payoff makes it harder to pay attention and not start trying to bait celebrities over Twitter or whatever – but then that stops me from putting in the required effort, which then makes the show harder to appreciate…it’s a vicious cycle. We could call it “The Cycle of Mad Men.”