We're watching Lost. I'm not crazy about the glib O. Henry-on-amphetamines approach to character development, but I'm stuck on the show anyway.
Here's an example of why: at the end of Season Four (mild spoiler) Ben Linus turns a big frozen wheel to make some majickque happen. It's a rather Dr. Whoish plot twist and could easily have been flat mystic-shmistic hoohah but for one thing: it's been established that Linus is doing this to save his beloved island, and that as a result he will be exiled from the island. As he turns the wheel actor Michael Emerson commits. We can see just how fraught this action is for him, not in the big goofy prop wheel, but in the actor's seriously strained face. I know nothing about the actor's life, but he knows how to tap into some real pain and manifest it on his wonderful puppet face. And for once the writers didn't go overboard sentimentalizing it and trying to make us fall in love with the character all over again. The actors are better at winning sympathy than the writers are.