Perhaps due to a relative lack of drama in my life, I’m getting all riled up over this article, which is all about how TV wins at life and film sucks hardcore. I mean, for one thing, if you believe everything they fling at film in this article, you’re seeing the wrong movies. And I’m pretty darn sure it’s not fair to compare studio crap to cable, let alone -premium- cable. Studio crap is to reality tv, maybe, what quality film is to premium cable. Of course there are exceptions, insert obligatory disclaimer, yada yada yada. But when half of your examples of how amazing tv is are coming from premium cable, I think the argument has issues. -All- of the film-to-tv comparisons “on the cutting edge” were cable programming. That’s an entirely different world next to broadcast television. Broadcast television is what a lot of us are limited to — until premium shows come out on DVD . . or download — and broadcast television in the States is crap. Why? Because that’s what the majority of people want to watch, I suppose.
(Actually, the first point is that -obviously- Hollywood is going to perpetuate the notion that film is fabulous. It’s a business, people. So’s television. Allow me to rant at you about FOX sometime. Oh, wait, did that already.)
I know I’m biased. I’ve always preferred film. The language, the beauty, the collective experience. Plus, film’s a one-off, generally. I find a lot of television overwhelming, because I’m not generally capable of mindlessly watching, of jumping into the middle of things. I’m too much of a completist for television, and I’m frustrated by the limits of broadcast tv. And! And! Just because something is current doesn’t mean that it’s -good-. I’d rather story and art be reflected upon and considered rather than “ripped from the headlines”. I’d rather be immersed in something for two hours rather than have the serial experience. I like the limits and the structure and the narrative form.