Always good to get validated in print – Why TV is Better Than Movies

Newsweek Entertainment Online published an article on Why TV is Better Than Movies and I think it’s worth a read  particularly with its referencing of Lost, The Sopranos, The Wire and inclusion of a pretty cool interview with Dennis Leary.

This is supposed to be Hollywood’s biggest moment of the year. It’s Oscar time, in case you forgot. But anyone who actually wants to go see a movie this week will have a choice between Paramount’s Eddie-Murphy-in-a-fat-suit comedy “Norbit” and Sony’s comic-book adaptation “Ghost Rider,” starring Nicolas Cage, which wasn’t screened for critics—industry code for a movie so lousy that the best review it can hope for is no review at all. Soon it’ll be summertime, and the annual march of the sequels will resume. “Spider-Man 3.” “Shrek 3.” The third “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The fourth “Die Hard.” The fifth “Harry Potter.”If that list excites you, there’s probably a simple explanation: you’re 12. But for everyone else, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Hollywood has lost interest in us.

A slightly harsh point of view (I’m particularly excited about Spider-Man 3) but it’s hard to argue with the fact that going to the movies today seems “same old, same old”.  That’s not to say there aren’t good movies out there but I find that the smaller movies view just as well in my home theatre on my big TV as they do going out to the theatre and these days the wait is only  about 120 days between theatre release and DVD release and at most a year until it’s on the movie channel in hi-def.

I’ve always argued that TV provides the creators with a bigger canvas to work with especially for shows that have tight continuity from week to week.  This means a bigger pay off for us viewers for making the emotional investment in the characters, story or even setting.  For me, the memory of most movies is too short-lived while the TV shows I watch continue to draw me in week after week.

I particularly like the discussion of the economics of the different businesses which has led movie making to focus on either big blockbuster franchises or cheap small movies while TV has been able to be more innovative with its storytelling because of the sheer number of channels and the new TV on DVD revenue streams.

So, I can honestly say that I won’t be watching the Oscars this week.  Truth is I couldn’t care less about the whole thing.  You can instead catch me here blogging on Sunday while I catch up on the last few episodes of Battlestar Galactica.  So say we all.


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