[[quoteright:200:[[Series/{{Lost}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lost_logo.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:200:[-You have been watching a Noughties Drama Series.-] ]]

These shows are all the rage in their era. They typically have a one-word-title. Like "Show". They are heavily character-driven. [[JigsawPuzzlePlot Each episode reveals only a little more of the overall plot]]. In many respects, they harken back to the style of old {{Television Serial}}s like the old ''Series/DoctorWho''... but DarkerAndEdgier, HotterAndSexier, and usually with a generous helping of MindScrew. Expect a lot of flashbacks and/or plot-twists, with most characters being connected in a way which they don't initially realize.

Not all of them are TV shows; some are movies. Many are made by Creator/JJAbrams, Tim Kring, or their ilk. ''Series/{{Lost}}'' is probably the TropeCodifier, though other shows of its ilk came before, including ''Series/TheXFiles'', ''Series/BabylonFive'' and Abrams' own ''Series/{{Alias}}''. There are many, many, ''many'' more. These shows often either are ShortRunners or, on the opposite end, instead, are LongRunners. Either way, the creator usually makes [[ShrugOfGod little effort to actually bother to ever resolve]] [[MythArc the show's central plot]].

See also OntologicalMystery.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TwentyFour''
* ''Series/{{The 100}}'': Ostensibly a character-driven sci-fi show about the morality of warfare, this series develops a mysterious myth arc.
* ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred''
* ''Series/{{Alcatraz}}''
* ''Series/{{Alias}}''
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': Primarily in its flashbacks, which gradually reveal the protagonist's complicated past while stranded on an island; somewhat de-emphasized by the third season
* ''Series/{{Awake}}'': The protagonist juggles two realities, unsure of which one is a dream. Things become increasingly weirder.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': The PilotMovie first aired in 1993, and the MythArc and its structure was first planned out in 1986.
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003''
* ''Series/{{Carnivale}}''
* ''Series/CharlieJade''
* ''Series/{{Continuum}}''
* ''Series/DarkAngel''
* ''Series/DefyingGravity''
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}''
* ''Series/{{Drive}}''
* ''Series/TheEvent'': Aliens are virtually indistinguishable from humans. They age very slowly. In the 1940s, something happened in Alaska. None of this is THE EVENT.
* ''Series/TheFlash2014'': A spinoff from ''Arrow''; it's relatively subtle in delivery, but each season mainly focuses on revealing the mystery of the BigBad's identity, which is gradually revealed over the course of the entire season (typically as a stinger for the current episode).
* ''Series/FlashForward2009''
* ''Series/{{Fringe}}''
* ''Series/{{Grimm}}''
* ''Series/{{Haven}}'': This character-driven series has a massive MythArc, most of which somehow revolves around the central character. There are characters with powers that suddenly manifest, and there the history of the town is very strange and slowly revealed.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Shortly following ''Lost'', this is the other major TropeCodifier of the genre. It focuses on powered individuals, and it has an increasingly-complex MythArc.
* ''Series/{{House}}'': An odd case, in that it started as a more or less by-the-numbers mystery show ([[RecycledINSPACE IN A HOSPITAL!]]), but eventually began developing slowly dribbled out arcs...that [[StatusQuoIsGod always managed to get sent back to square one at the end of the season]] (unless [[RealLifeWritesThePlot reality got in the way]]).
* ''Series/{{Invasion}}''
* ''Series/{{Jericho}}'': A small Kansas town tries to rebuild itself in the wake of nuclear attacks, while its residents struggle to learn why it's happening.
* ''Series/JohnDoe''
* ''Series/{{Journeyman}}''
* ''Series/{{Kings}}''
* ''Series/{{Life On Mars 2008}}'': The American version.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': TropeCodifier. Several people crash on an island. [[MindScrew Things start making much less sense.]]
* ''Series/NewAmsterdam''
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' and its [[Series/OnceUponATimeInWonderland spinoff]]
* ''Series/ThePretender''
* ''Series/ThePrisoner'': The UrExample might be this show in 1967, which is a confirmed influence on several of the shows listed here, including ''Battlestar Galactica''. It even got its own literal example in [[Series/ThePrisoner2009 the 2009 miniseries version]].
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': The power went out, everywhere on the entire planet. We have to figure out why, and the characters must survive in this new reality.
* ''Series/{{Scandal}}'': From what we saw yet.
* ''Series/SixFeetUnder'': At least after [[CerebusSyndrome character became more important]] than BlackComedy and focus [[FirstLawOfTragicomedies shifted from the quirks of running a funeral home and meditations on death to playing with everyone's love life]]. An early but self-consciously codifying example.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''
* ''Surface''
* ''Series/TerraNova'': A family escapes from its polluted and overpopulated world by traveling back in time to form a community. There are dinosaurs. Weird things happen.
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles''
* ''Series/{{Threshold}}''
* ''Series/{{Touch}}'': A mute boy somehow knows how the entire world is connected, via an incredibly long mathematical formula.
* ''Series/TwinPeaks''
* ''Series/{{V 2009}}'': The 2009 remake of ''V''.
* ''Series/WaywardPines''
* ''Vanished''
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': Its own MythArc was [[TheChrisCarterEffect made up on the fly]] rather than pre-planned, but it beat ''Babylon 5'' to air and was more popular.
* ''Series/ZeroHour''

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/TheMatrix''
* ''Film/VantagePoint''

[[/folder]]
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