“The thing about TV series that I don’t understand and I think is hard for both of us to get our minds around is, you know, feature films have a beginning, a middle and an end. But open-ended stories have a beginning and a middle…and then they’re beaten to death until they’re exhausted and die. They don’t actually have an end. And thinking about that in the context of a story is rather alien to the way we imagine these things.” — Joel Coen in a chat with L.A. TimesJosh Rottenberg.

But limited series don’t beat their stories or characters to death. The Sopranos was never beaten to death. Mad Men didn’t feel beaten to death — to me at least. Joel is mostly referring to series that keep going and going until they can reach that magic syndication figure.