“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. Times‘ Josh 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.