I was also thinking of glurge programmes like Highway to Heaven. Shows where the plot revolves around making people feel a certain way. And sometimes you can feel emotionally affected by the show even while noticing what’s happening, because it mimics the norms of emotional response in such a simple way.
There’s a reason these shows are less popular now that we have more channels to choose from.
Is that really emotionally manipulative - in a negative way, that is? Presumably all dramas aim to affect your emotions.
I mean, in real life, that’s what it’s like, excepting mass terror events and the like. When terrible things are happening to you, like rape or being robbed or beaten up, there will probably be someone not that far away having a really good day. An ensemble show has the ability to show that by showing the lives of characters we (the viewers) all know.
It’s just a pretty effective way of writing drama, not outright emotional manipulation.
(FTR I haven’t seen Weeds and lost interest in OITB after season fourish.)