Modern TV drama have not a lot of time to be creative with visual storytelling. They are extremely dialog-heavy for exposition. In fact, I have done the second of your options, and there are lots of shows that I can follow the story just fine, just by dialog.
CSI (the original) is a prime example of how it tumbles down. The first few seasons were fairly intelligent story-telling, if formulaic. But a different formula from other procedural crime dramas, which made it fresh. Then the formula settled in, it got boring, and viewers left, so in later seasons they needed to dumb down the show to keep their viewers. It removed every single bit of visual story-telling, and moved every bit of exposition to the dialog. And. to. make. sure. everyone. gets. it. they. started. to. talk. slowly. and. repeated. everything. Repeat. everything. and. slowly. so. everyone. understands. what's. going. on.