Angst and the Repetitive Narrative Syndrome
In retrospect, I think the real problem in that post on the issues with unrelenting angst in various shows is that many showrunners don’t pace the plot properly, so it ends up looking haphazard rather than structured as an arc. More open-endedly, as @ivyblossom put it about Eurus in Series 4, it was ‘limited planning’. In other words, when there aren’t cohesive or diverse enough ideas, the writers may reach for the same tired solutions for generating drama on the cheap. Quite aside from an overarching plot arc (ie, even in episodic shows), what works once won’t work so well the tenth or twentieth time. There’s also definitely something to the idea that too many top TV writers (and Mofftiss in particular) are lazy and self-satisfied, or conservative with their ideas in the sense of their ideas growing stale once they find a formula that works. Essentially, in @plaidadder’s opinion, the issue with many male TV showrunners is their self-indulgence, the tendency to repeatedly go for the wish-fulfillment as a priority over what the characters need. Obviously, the real problem most fans have with these male showrunners is that their 'insane wish-fulfillment’ and the attendant character or genre-based expectations differ greatly from their younger, more female-skewed audiences. I mean, I think some of the fluffy situations fandom would most enjoy or prefer would never even occur to them.
I think the *underlying* reasons for this divergence are partly to do with social differences and partly structural. In other words, it’s partly due to the way open-ended or incomplete series are differently made and produced (often haphazardly, with an eye to ratings and/or a certain kind of fan, rather than any interest in angst the way fanfic writers may 'love angst’). This structural difference in approach is pretty blatant when you compare genre shows with a series of separate but interconnected arcs (Buffy, Supernatural, Sherlock) to the rather more rare, shorter stories that have a unified, interwoven arc.
It’s not that many fans don’t get worn out by their favorite characters undergoing too much suffering; that definitely happens. But I think that’s not what really disappointed most viewers in these shows overall. Basically, I think that the real problem isn’t the constant, unbroken angst: that’s more of a symptom. The cause is the lack of a continuous arc in most action dramas on TV. Creating a source for and then resolving the new source of angst acts like a shortcut to creating a short-term arc as well as infusing emotional meaning, because the alternative is creating a long-form plot that may not be conducive to the way multiple season-long series are run, particularly on TV.