One of my DVD rentals was the TV show Firefly.
It's a good show, but while watching it, all I could think was "Damn, I feel sorry for the poor bastards that had to work on that thing".
On a TV show, you have standing sets, swing sets, and locations.
Standing sets stay the same episode after episode - once the lights are rigged they don't move around (much - unless you're the victim of an excessively cost-cutting producer who forces you to pull the lights out of one standing set and put them in another each time you move), and all we really have to do is move around the 'floor units' (lights that are on stands and not hung in the rig) each time we shoot the set.
A swing set is a set that's only there for a short time as it's only going to be used in one episode. On a TV show, every time you see a place just once, that's a swing set. Watching Firefly, I noticed that over half of each episode seems to have been swing sets (alien spaceship, ballroom, bar interior, bad guy's office, etc..).
A swing set has to built, dressed and lit before it can be shot - that requires a lot of man-hours even if there's a rigging crew, and once it's ready to go the lighting always has to be tweaked, set pieces have to be changed, etc... Needless to say quite a bit of this tweaking takes place with the producers standing there, yelling about how we're not working fast enough.
Oh, and you'd think it would take less time to build and light a really small but complex set - like the interior of a spaceship with teeny little cubbyholes everywhere, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong. Sometimes the teeny cubbyhole-laden sets are the worst.
Here are my thoughts on shooting in those little western town sets (all the backwater towns on Firefly seem to be western-themed).
The magic's been gone for a while (I know too much - so I notice things like boom mic shadows, lighting mis-matches, sound glitches and actors looking in the wrong direction on a reverse angle), but the fact that I was sitting on my couch thinking about how badly the crew must have gotten spanked instead of rooting for our intrepid heros as they escape just in time really brought it home.
I wonder if this is how magicians feel when they watch a magic show.