Many episodic series rely on Archetypal Characters who can be counted on to respond in the same way from episode to episode. This caters to the strengths of television series with a loyal audience: the ability to create friends and family on which one can rely.
The first few episodes of a series usually bring in the "Villain of the Week" (essentially a new Archetypal Antagonist each time) while the Archetypal roles are becoming established for the regular cast and the mythic lore is being outlined. This formula wears thin rather quickly as the characters fall into predictable relationships with each other. They assume standard roles from which they never vary until the series loses its ratings and is canceled.
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