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C'mon Hollywood: Is TV kicking film's ass?

Dec. 4, 2012by: Paul Shirey

SPOILER WARNING: The show clips below may contain spoilers.  Be warned.  Also, be warned that they're awesome.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but I think it was the pilot for Lost that my perception of TV changed forever. The plane crash and resulting mindf*ck of an opener left me stunned and elated. Every frame of that pilot felt like I should’ve been watching it in a theater. I blasted through the first season faster than the smoke monster through the jungle and by the time it was over I was a slave to the show. The addiction had kicked in. I was doomed.

The resurgence of television shows and the entrance of cable programming as a force to be reckoned with in the last decade is no mystery. Shows like Lost, 24, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Wire, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, The Shield, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, Justified, etc. and comedies like Arrested Development, Modern Family, 30 Rock, The Office, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, How I Met Your Mother, The League, Eastbound and Down, Family Guy, South Park, etc. have become a cultural phenomenon. They’ve become the thing to talk about, to mull over, to predict and ponder. Many of these shows have taken over the place in your geek brains that contemplates the awesome and begs to be fed more, where the food source of film has started to wane.

As far as film goes, the obvious retort to its superiority over TV is the big-budget extravagance and star-power talent pool. However, that well is drying up of late. Indeed, TV used to be a death sentence for stars struggling to find good roles, a sure sign that their “true” career had ended. Now, it’s a career resurgence, a rebirth, and in many cases the perfect venue. Creative stars like J.J. Abrams, Martin Scorsese, Frank Darabont, Steven Spielberg, and countless other big names are making the leap, too, expanding their storytelling and opening new avenues to a medium that was once easily written off as background noise rather than viable entertainment.

Certainly, there are films I would never want to experience on TV only. I have a 55” Sony at home and as nice as it is, it doesn’t compare to the cinematic experience of something like THE AVENGERS, SKYFALL, or LORD OF THE RINGS on the “true” big screen. Movies that are full of spectacle, made with care and precision to be seen on a big screen should be seen as such. I couldn’t imagine something like AVATAR premiering on FX. The impact simply isn’t the same. But, can I wait for just about everything else? Sadly, yes.

Consider the films coming out this holiday season. You’re likely to catch THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, DJANGO UNCHAINED, and JACK REACHER, but I’m willing to bet that many of the “quieter” films get left behind (KILLING THEM SOFTLY, HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON, ON THE ROAD) in favor of waiting to catch them at home. And really, with audiences getting more and more disrespectful, especially with their cell phone addictions and impatient viewing habits, going to the theater can be a chore. So, we venture out to the big films, the “must-see’s” while the others can wait. What killed that urgency to see “everything”? Three things: Faster home video releases, big-ass TV’s and, most importantly, awesome TV shows to watch them on. In essence, the high quality of TV and cable has made it that much easier to “stick it out” and wait for video on the majority of films out today.

Hollywood’s answer to combat the recent love fest with TV is to make films that mirror the concept, hence, franchise fever. Oftentimes, we’re seeing the first entry of a proposed long line of films in an attempt to “hook” audiences in the same way that TV has done. The problem (solution?) is that TV is faster, cheaper, and more consistent. Film is at it’s best when it’s led by a resounding creative goal to, I don’t know, tell a story, rather than jam a foot in the door of a franchise. Even with all the STAR WARS VII talk of late, it’s already veering way too far into the minutiae of quantity over quality. I don’t need the promise of a new movie every two years. I just want a good one when there’s a good story to tell.

And that’s where TV wins. TV has the benefit of time (ratings dictated, of course) and can gauge an audience’s reaction to tailor the show as needed or desired. In fact, failing to pay attention can cause TV shows to crash and burn (see: Heroes). Movies have one shot. Once they’re out, that’s that. The only re-edits they may get is a director’s cut on DVD. Otherwise, it’s a one-time affair. TV has the time to develop, grow, let the characters breathe, think, and contemplate. Movies are fighting for seconds. It’s no easy racket.

I think both film and TV have strengths and weaknesses and I don’t feel the need to choose one over the other, but I will say this; Given the choice, I would rather watch an episode of one of my favorite TV shows than venture out to the theater for something I could easily wait for on blu ray. These days it’s a very easy choice to make.

Extra Tidbit: Do you find that your in-theater viewing has declined as TV/Cable has gotten better and more diverse?
Source: JoBlo.com

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4:33PM on 12/05/2012
I think there is just as much crap in theatre's as there are on television.
I think there is just as much crap in theatre's as there are on television.
Your Reply:



12:01AM on 12/05/2012
In some way I can't explain just yet they're both equal to me.
In some way I can't explain just yet they're both equal to me.
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10:09PM on 12/04/2012
There are certainly kinds of movies that might benefit from television, like epics and biographies. Television has certainly come into its own in terms of quality, but if you take into account that most of the shows you mention are on cable, that's still only covering so much. I have to wait for Netflix or at the very least direct download in order to watch Breaking Bad. It is true that TV is taking away audience, because they've been doing it for sixty years now. Back then it was easy for the
There are certainly kinds of movies that might benefit from television, like epics and biographies. Television has certainly come into its own in terms of quality, but if you take into account that most of the shows you mention are on cable, that's still only covering so much. I have to wait for Netflix or at the very least direct download in order to watch Breaking Bad. It is true that TV is taking away audience, because they've been doing it for sixty years now. Back then it was easy for the movies to offer up something different. For the most part visual effects are still superior in theatrical films (one notable exception, the death of a particular character in Breaking Bad). Also, on the network TV dramas can't just run free with their themes and characters because they might alienate their audience. They still worship the god of Nielsen.

What a movie can still do is deliver a solid, well-paced story. TV always must conform to it's time slot. Argo could never be a TV show because that would dilute exactly what made it so great--the suspenseful build-up. TV for the most part is still designed to wash over the audience. The reason shows like The Shield and The Wire are so celebrated is because the characters are allowed to grow. Usually that's reserved for season finales. Lost is another beast entirely, because while it was not the first, it is the show that really exploded the prime-time [link] Suddenly even CSI had to have a continuing story to keep people watching. And I hate that trend because it makes me feel like I gotta know stuff in order to understand it.

Oh, and unless you've got premium cable channels, you still gotta contend with commercials. If you see a commercial in the middle of a movie it's probably Robocop.

The truth of the matter is, this isn't even about how cool television is, it's about how movie theaters are struggling, and that has everything to do with prices, being fucked over by distribution, bad audience experiences, and maybe even some ill-conceived over-budget movie ideas. I mean, as long as it's a thing, I think people will go see movies. And I will too, because I like movies. But I'm not rushing out to every new thing to come along, and it ain't because TV is awesome (which it certainly can be).
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9:54PM on 12/04/2012
Here's the thing.....yes, we do get some good movies throughout each year. But are they really worth the admission? Generally, the answer is no.

Now onto the television topic. I don't even own a television. Just like movies, I take word of mouth to help decide what shows I think I would enjoy spending a significant amount of time with. Now here's the thing. with television (as well as movies), you can just download the torrent, after the show has aired on t.v. This, of course, eliminates the
Here's the thing.....yes, we do get some good movies throughout each year. But are they really worth the admission? Generally, the answer is no.

Now onto the television topic. I don't even own a television. Just like movies, I take word of mouth to help decide what shows I think I would enjoy spending a significant amount of time with. Now here's the thing. with television (as well as movies), you can just download the torrent, after the show has aired on t.v. This, of course, eliminates the absurd lag-time of commercials, so you can essentially watch a show, with no interruptions, just like you would a movie. For the amount of money that all of you spend on 10 Blu-Ray discs, I can get a 3TB hard drive, and store roughly 3,000 movies, and/or television shows (therefore watching, said recommended shows, with no interruption), and you know what...it takes up the same amount of space as 3 DVD's of physical space on my shelf.

I appreciate you all for having your morals and what not, but the reality of the modern digital world is within the space that it occupies. If this were not true, we would have never converted Vinyl, to Cassette, to Compact Disc, to MPEG-3.

As far as your argument of 'supporting the artists'...just. get. real., and join the rest of us in reality. If you actually think that artists receive the revenue that is attained at POS, then you are living in a lost age. Artists will always still receive their minimal revenue, and product will always still be produced. They are not struggling, nor should you.
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10:01PM on 12/04/2012
By the way, for the record....I prefer Vinyl over any other audio medium, due to it's superior quality of sound.
By the way, for the record....I prefer Vinyl over any other audio medium, due to it's superior quality of sound.
9:26PM on 12/04/2012
You can add to your list of comedies, the new TBS show, 'Wedding Band'. I know most of you have not seen it, or would even give it the time of day...but I'll tell you right now, this show is very good. It has only gone 4 episodes, but each one is progressively better. The music bits are great, the characters are very self-aware, and the characters are very well cast within there roles. Plus, the babes, are babes, and exude their hotness!
You can add to your list of comedies, the new TBS show, 'Wedding Band'. I know most of you have not seen it, or would even give it the time of day...but I'll tell you right now, this show is very good. It has only gone 4 episodes, but each one is progressively better. The music bits are great, the characters are very self-aware, and the characters are very well cast within there roles. Plus, the babes, are babes, and exude their hotness!
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9:03PM on 12/04/2012
The NFL is facing the same problem. They've created such a great home-viewing experience that more and more people are saying to hell with parking fees, long lines, crowded pissers, overpriced food, obnoxious patrons, etc. Like an earlier posted pointed out, going to the theater for me is now reserved as an event - kind of like the Super Bowl - something that's worth the money and pain in the....
The NFL is facing the same problem. They've created such a great home-viewing experience that more and more people are saying to hell with parking fees, long lines, crowded pissers, overpriced food, obnoxious patrons, etc. Like an earlier posted pointed out, going to the theater for me is now reserved as an event - kind of like the Super Bowl - something that's worth the money and pain in the....
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9:27PM on 12/04/2012
You've never been to a parking lot party, have you?
You've never been to a parking lot party, have you?
+2
7:53PM on 12/04/2012
TV shows rule! With less budget and a lot more creativity the directors and teams can do amazing things, and getting away without those idiotic PG ratings...

Thumbs up to the networks able to take bold chances
TV shows rule! With less budget and a lot more creativity the directors and teams can do amazing things, and getting away without those idiotic PG ratings...

Thumbs up to the networks able to take bold chances
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5:43PM on 12/04/2012
It's because of technology we're seeing this increase in quality serial dramas. Yes, in the early 90's we had The X Files and in 1997 BtVS began, but these both had similar "monster of the week" formulas that allowed a first time viewer to catch an episode mid-season but still be able to grasp what was going on and enjoy himself.

It was HBO who had the guts to start OZ in 1997, (sadly a show that never gets the credit it deserves, the credit usually going to The Sopranos), that paved the
It's because of technology we're seeing this increase in quality serial dramas. Yes, in the early 90's we had The X Files and in 1997 BtVS began, but these both had similar "monster of the week" formulas that allowed a first time viewer to catch an episode mid-season but still be able to grasp what was going on and enjoy himself.

It was HBO who had the guts to start OZ in 1997, (sadly a show that never gets the credit it deserves, the credit usually going to The Sopranos), that paved the way for Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, etc. These aren't shows you can just "drop in" on, they are more like novels and each new episode is a new chapter.

Fortunately, we now have Netflix instant, HBO/Showtime/Starz OnDemand, Hulu, box sets, etc. to give us the ability to sit down and "marathon" five episodes in a row. This a big reason why it's only been in the last few years we've heard people saying, "The Wire is the greatest show in the history of television" - because that statement is usually followed by, "dude, trust me, I know you thought the first episode was boring but just watch the first five episodes and you'll be hooked." That's easy to do now but when The Wire started in 2002 "marathoning" the show wasn't possible.

Networks have realized not only do audiences want to be challenged by intelligent shows, but they are coming to expect it. Combine this with both our ability and desire to "marathon" series and you have a solid foundation that incredibly talented writers and actors wish to build upon.

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9:35PM on 12/04/2012
You forgot to mention, free torrents, in your second to last paragraph, when mentioning the available outlets.

Also, Sons Of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, & Deadwood, are the only television shows that should be considered in the conversation of greatest (modern) shows ever. Everything else, should not even be mentioned in the same breath of these classics.
You forgot to mention, free torrents, in your second to last paragraph, when mentioning the available outlets.

Also, Sons Of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, & Deadwood, are the only television shows that should be considered in the conversation of greatest (modern) shows ever. Everything else, should not even be mentioned in the same breath of these classics.
4:38PM on 12/04/2012

Just reminding of a couple of revolutionary shows you missed....

Drama/Sci-fi: FRINGE & BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Comedy: COMMUNITY & BIG BANG THEORY.......All these shows changed all the pre-existing opinions about their respective genres.

And about the topic, I can see your point, but I'm not really agreeing to it. Its true TV has gotten simply awesome in the last 10 years or so, but that doesn't mean in the 90's there was any shortage of good TV (X-Files / Seinfeld / Friends just from the top of my head). Me thinks with the resurgence of CGI-fest and
Drama/Sci-fi: FRINGE & BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Comedy: COMMUNITY & BIG BANG THEORY.......All these shows changed all the pre-existing opinions about their respective genres.

And about the topic, I can see your point, but I'm not really agreeing to it. Its true TV has gotten simply awesome in the last 10 years or so, but that doesn't mean in the 90's there was any shortage of good TV (X-Files / Seinfeld / Friends just from the top of my head). Me thinks with the resurgence of CGI-fest and onslaughter of superhero movies, Hollywood just got....shall we say, a bit dumber. I love a bombastic fantasy / scifi / superhero movie if done RIGHT, but for every successful blockbuster, there's dozens of idiotic / critically reviled wannabe bombs. Nowadays, every other hollywood summer movie is budgeted around 200-250M, regardless of their actual worth, and even a 100-150+ domestic gross is considered a "disappointment". Just see this year's summer for example! Another thing is, because of these formulaic tentpoles, people who are only seasonal theater-goers, bound to focus on those films that "jumps" to their eyes, and those relatively quieter films (with better reviews), which would've been a decent sized hits in the 90s, gets thrown away only after 2 weeks in the theaters. Sure there's always a much welcome exception like ARGO grossing 100M+ on boxoffice, but how often does it happen today? In my opinion, because of this more and more trendy / formulaic summer-winter movie seasons, people just don't much bother with riskier / variety of movies these days. Plus, as we can all see, TV REALLY IS getting better and better every year!
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9:38PM on 12/04/2012
Sorry dude, as a Battlestar fan, that show falls flat, in far too many instances. There were literally, two and a half seasons of episodes that were absolutely, unnecessary. I agree with you though, Big Bang Theory is still, VERY funny.
Sorry dude, as a Battlestar fan, that show falls flat, in far too many instances. There were literally, two and a half seasons of episodes that were absolutely, unnecessary. I agree with you though, Big Bang Theory is still, VERY funny.
4:08AM on 12/05/2012
To each his own dude. To me, a great show builds on its characters, not always on plot. So when anyone says like the 2 seasons of BSG or 3 seasons of LOST was "unnecessary", I don't give a shit, because from the characters' point of view, what makes a show great is if it can consistently and continuously build on each of my favorite characters for a proper closure. And for my money, BSG (or Lost) had done it with flying colors. Thats why in my opinion, NONE of the seasons (or episodes) were
To each his own dude. To me, a great show builds on its characters, not always on plot. So when anyone says like the 2 seasons of BSG or 3 seasons of LOST was "unnecessary", I don't give a shit, because from the characters' point of view, what makes a show great is if it can consistently and continuously build on each of my favorite characters for a proper closure. And for my money, BSG (or Lost) had done it with flying colors. Thats why in my opinion, NONE of the seasons (or episodes) were unnecessary, and in the end I was more or less really satisfied with both of their closures. Now if you want a BAD show in terms of inconsistent character development and fuckedup continuation of character buildup, look no further than HEROES. God, what a mess.....(and after soooo great of a first season!)
4:03PM on 12/04/2012
I don't disagree with the point you are making, but for me personally, I would choose to venture to the theater 9 out of 10 times. Also, I feel this might have been a bit stronger last year (or two years ago), because this year in film has seen extremely interesting chances and choices being paid off- 'The Avengers' was a gamble that paid off, 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' is art, 'Argo' not only is successful, but has officially catapulted Ben Affleck to A-list, very sought after director
I don't disagree with the point you are making, but for me personally, I would choose to venture to the theater 9 out of 10 times. Also, I feel this might have been a bit stronger last year (or two years ago), because this year in film has seen extremely interesting chances and choices being paid off- 'The Avengers' was a gamble that paid off, 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' is art, 'Argo' not only is successful, but has officially catapulted Ben Affleck to A-list, very sought after director territory, many of this year's animated movies took risks and flipped conventions/ cliches/ tropes on their head (not saying they were all successful or not, just glad for the risk involved). This year has been very creative and diverse with it's movies.
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3:54PM on 12/04/2012
I use to never watch tv series except for smallville and thats because I watched it from day 1. Then I got netflix around january started watching the walking dead and WOW! Then started LOST and WOW Awesome show! Prison Break! BREAKING BAD! Fringe! Falling Skies! (you have to get past the first few episodes and it gets really good). I also watch The League, Big Bang Theory, and How I met your mother. Going to start Game of Thrones, Dexter, Mad Men. TV has trumped Movies for several
I use to never watch tv series except for smallville and thats because I watched it from day 1. Then I got netflix around january started watching the walking dead and WOW! Then started LOST and WOW Awesome show! Prison Break! BREAKING BAD! Fringe! Falling Skies! (you have to get past the first few episodes and it gets really good). I also watch The League, Big Bang Theory, and How I met your mother. Going to start Game of Thrones, Dexter, Mad Men. TV has trumped Movies for several reasons but mostly because of Great originial story telling! The ability to give us 6 to 22 hours worth of these great stories also helps greatly! Walking Dead and Breaking Bad are the 2 best shows on TV and couldn't be done right in the movies, there is not enough time to flesh them out like AMC has. Even if they were to take The Walking Dead and make it a trilogy it would not be nearly as good, they could only fit 9 hours in over 10 years and you could not care as much about the characters as we all do when we are getting 6,13,16 hours a year
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3:07PM on 12/04/2012

The Wire

The end.
The end.
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9:41PM on 12/04/2012
Why so short?
Why so short?
1:34PM on 12/04/2012
Hollywood recently revealed that for the first time ever television has actually been bringing in more revenue for the studios than movies have. That had never been the case until recently. So of course they go where the money is and have been spending much more on TV with movies starting to go a bit by the wayside. They still put out plenty of movies and that probably wouldn't stop any time soon but they are just not nearly as profitable as they used to be. If you're a television fan that can
Hollywood recently revealed that for the first time ever television has actually been bringing in more revenue for the studios than movies have. That had never been the case until recently. So of course they go where the money is and have been spending much more on TV with movies starting to go a bit by the wayside. They still put out plenty of movies and that probably wouldn't stop any time soon but they are just not nearly as profitable as they used to be. If you're a television fan that can be good news but if you are a movie fan then it is not.
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+0
1:29PM on 12/04/2012
TV is great and it's achieved cinematic quality, but it will never top going to the cinema and seeing a movie there. At least, this goes for me. I understand that for many people, going to the movies is just going to see a movie. But for me, it's always been an event, especially a big release. You can try and recreate the cinema experience at home, but unless you've got an actual theater, you never could. Going to the cinema, for me, is like going to a concert. I don't just go to watch a movie,
TV is great and it's achieved cinematic quality, but it will never top going to the cinema and seeing a movie there. At least, this goes for me. I understand that for many people, going to the movies is just going to see a movie. But for me, it's always been an event, especially a big release. You can try and recreate the cinema experience at home, but unless you've got an actual theater, you never could. Going to the cinema, for me, is like going to a concert. I don't just go to watch a movie, I go to become entranced by it, to fall into it and become apart of an experience. Now, that's not how it obviously goes with every film, but it's still not the same as sitting at home and watching TV. And don't forget that TV shows still have commercials. Sure, you can avoid that with DVD's, but on broadcasts, your show still gets interruptions. I can see why people wouldn't feel the same. Why waste time and money on a bad movie? Why spend $16 to go to the theater? But for me, it's still worth shelling out the money to sit in a theater with a good sized, enthusiastic crowd to watch a movie on a massive screen with a massive sound system.
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1:28PM on 12/04/2012

Agree to an extent

There is still nothing like the movie going experience imo. But at the same time I'm in agreement. Also, if I want a gratuitous action fix, nothing like an episode of Strike Back...
There is still nothing like the movie going experience imo. But at the same time I'm in agreement. Also, if I want a gratuitous action fix, nothing like an episode of Strike Back...
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+0
1:22PM on 12/04/2012
So many great shows on tv right now while having so little 'must see films' is so very true of the times right now, people have ruined the movie going experience for the reasons you stated above and that's why I've gone to the cinemas less and less, ill go to see the big names and some indies but I always do enjoy just kicking back in front of the tv and having no one ruin that experience for me, unless my gf yaps during breaking bad because she thinks "it's too slow paced and nothing really
So many great shows on tv right now while having so little 'must see films' is so very true of the times right now, people have ruined the movie going experience for the reasons you stated above and that's why I've gone to the cinemas less and less, ill go to see the big names and some indies but I always do enjoy just kicking back in front of the tv and having no one ruin that experience for me, unless my gf yaps during breaking bad because she thinks "it's too slow paced and nothing really exciting ever happens" :-/
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1:01PM on 12/04/2012
Yup. In agreement with pretty much everyone. While there are still a lot of great movies, it's the character based comedies and dramas on TV that have trumped the movie equivalents (just like how Korean thrillers just stomp over American thrillers - we get Alex Cross, they get I Saw The Devil, etc).
However, there's still Sturgeon's Law of course. 90% of TV, just like everything else, does suck. There are far more Honey Boo Boos and Duck Dynasties than there are Mad Men and Game of Thrones
Yup. In agreement with pretty much everyone. While there are still a lot of great movies, it's the character based comedies and dramas on TV that have trumped the movie equivalents (just like how Korean thrillers just stomp over American thrillers - we get Alex Cross, they get I Saw The Devil, etc).
However, there's still Sturgeon's Law of course. 90% of TV, just like everything else, does suck. There are far more Honey Boo Boos and Duck Dynasties than there are Mad Men and Game of Thrones just like there are more stuff like Alex Cross, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and XXX than there is Lincoln, Argo and Skyfall.
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12:32PM on 12/04/2012

Word up

The new TV shows are a cultural phenomenon- people love getting their boxsets or tuning in Sunday nite- it's a huge thing! Fuck waiting FOUR GAWDDAM YEARS for 2 hours of Batman when there's going to be a dozen dealbreakers in those 2 hours. Make Batman an AMC series- do it right- lots of Joker, have Penguin and Riddler as supporting characters., etc- do it up right! ANd none of that Arrow crap- that shit sucks yo
The new TV shows are a cultural phenomenon- people love getting their boxsets or tuning in Sunday nite- it's a huge thing! Fuck waiting FOUR GAWDDAM YEARS for 2 hours of Batman when there's going to be a dozen dealbreakers in those 2 hours. Make Batman an AMC series- do it right- lots of Joker, have Penguin and Riddler as supporting characters., etc- do it up right! ANd none of that Arrow crap- that shit sucks yo
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12:03PM on 12/04/2012

Yes.

For years, foolishly, I scoffed at the notion that TV could produce the entertainment value you get with movies. But then, my friend introduced me to LOST and The Office at the same time, and from there my world changed. The only movies I tend to get excited for are super hero related or the occasional cool indie flick or anything else gere related. But with TV, I get pumped for Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Walking Dead and to this day I haven't seen anything funnier than Arrested Development or The
For years, foolishly, I scoffed at the notion that TV could produce the entertainment value you get with movies. But then, my friend introduced me to LOST and The Office at the same time, and from there my world changed. The only movies I tend to get excited for are super hero related or the occasional cool indie flick or anything else gere related. But with TV, I get pumped for Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Walking Dead and to this day I haven't seen anything funnier than Arrested Development or The Office in its prime. And there are a bunch of other good and noteworthy shows, which overall, I think make television more exciting than the cinema. The mid season finale of the Walking Dead had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. Can't remember the last time I felt that in a theatre.
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12:02PM on 12/04/2012
I think honestly that tv should be better than movies. Tv requires much more time investment per hour for the average viewer compared to movies which last only a hour or two then can either be rewatched if worth watching again or forgotten just as easily. Besides to many people television is a cheaper more interesting long term story with constant twists and changes unlike movies which often end up being very predictable. Besides the more television shows evolve the more they put pressure on
I think honestly that tv should be better than movies. Tv requires much more time investment per hour for the average viewer compared to movies which last only a hour or two then can either be rewatched if worth watching again or forgotten just as easily. Besides to many people television is a cheaper more interesting long term story with constant twists and changes unlike movies which often end up being very predictable. Besides the more television shows evolve the more they put pressure on movies to get better. This constant one-upmanship results in better watching for all of us which only stands to benefit everyone.
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11:55AM on 12/04/2012
You're spot on with audiences are getting more disrespectful. I really do feel going to the movies is quite a chore especially when some couples do a lot of small talk throughout the movie. That is very irritating. But still, going to the movies still has its magic. No matter how good the home theater set up is, it can't beat IMAX fully-immersed experience. But to be honest, I enjoy watching movies at home more than going to the movies.
You're spot on with audiences are getting more disrespectful. I really do feel going to the movies is quite a chore especially when some couples do a lot of small talk throughout the movie. That is very irritating. But still, going to the movies still has its magic. No matter how good the home theater set up is, it can't beat IMAX fully-immersed experience. But to be honest, I enjoy watching movies at home more than going to the movies.
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11:39AM on 12/04/2012

I find it interesting...

....that you feel the big screen experience should only be reserved for movies like SkyFall and Avengers and a movie that isn't a franchise and/or indie worthy of waiting forBlu-Ray. If you truly loved movies, then you'd realize that the smaller indie movies that choose to wait on need your money far more than Avengers or Skyfall. Anyone can plop down their money for the tentpole film of the month but, in my opinion, the real fans are the ones that venture out to see the films that you may be
....that you feel the big screen experience should only be reserved for movies like SkyFall and Avengers and a movie that isn't a franchise and/or indie worthy of waiting forBlu-Ray. If you truly loved movies, then you'd realize that the smaller indie movies that choose to wait on need your money far more than Avengers or Skyfall. Anyone can plop down their money for the tentpole film of the month but, in my opinion, the real fans are the ones that venture out to see the films that you may be choosing to wait for the DVD/Blu Ray release. As for television being better, I can say that I don't watch or own a television because the quality of most series fluctuates with the ratings and, in most cases, the series suffers. The exceptions are worth mentioning(and Lost isn't an exception), but they are exceptions in a vast sea of bad programming and shuffling schedules.
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12:14PM on 12/04/2012
"Movies that are full of spectacle, made with care and precision to be seen on a big screen should be seen as such," was my exact statement. The Avengers and Skyfall were just examples. The smaller indie-fare pics could certainly use the money, but they're also usually quieter pics, which are best viewed at home. Why pay $40 to go see a movie with people chatting for two hours? Oh, wait, I just did that this past weekend when I went to see Killing Them Softly (which I enjoyed for the most
"Movies that are full of spectacle, made with care and precision to be seen on a big screen should be seen as such," was my exact statement. The Avengers and Skyfall were just examples. The smaller indie-fare pics could certainly use the money, but they're also usually quieter pics, which are best viewed at home. Why pay $40 to go see a movie with people chatting for two hours? Oh, wait, I just did that this past weekend when I went to see Killing Them Softly (which I enjoyed for the most part, but yeah, definitely could've waited til video).

As far as not owning or watching a TV...dude, you're seriously, no bullshit, missing out on some tremendous entertainment that is blowing Hollywood's feature-film department away. Now you know what to ask Santa for this Christmas...
11:35AM on 12/04/2012

Great read!

I agree with absolutely everything. Right now I'm sucked into The Walking Dead and boy, what a thrill ride that is. Again, these are two diferent media and we shouldn't choose one over another but if I want my fix of good storytelling and character development, I turn to TV shows.
I agree with absolutely everything. Right now I'm sucked into The Walking Dead and boy, what a thrill ride that is. Again, these are two diferent media and we shouldn't choose one over another but if I want my fix of good storytelling and character development, I turn to TV shows.
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11:04AM on 12/04/2012

The quality of the smaller movies got diluted too. Emmy roundup 2011 Kiefer Sutherland talks about how indie movie talent all moved to cable in around 2000

He made some great points about how the industry changed and he went with it to TV. The talent saw the opportunities TV offered to tell longer, more thought out stories and the money is way better. GOT may have been badly attempted as a movie or movie series if the show hadn't been pushed through.
I don't agree on some points here though:
Hyde Park on the Hudson looked like torture. On the Road I'd rather literally lay on a road and wait for traffic than watch.
I wouldn't compare Lost to
He made some great points about how the industry changed and he went with it to TV. The talent saw the opportunities TV offered to tell longer, more thought out stories and the money is way better. GOT may have been badly attempted as a movie or movie series if the show hadn't been pushed through.
I don't agree on some points here though:
Hyde Park on the Hudson looked like torture. On the Road I'd rather literally lay on a road and wait for traffic than watch.
I wouldn't compare Lost to Break Bad or place it anywhere near it in terms of quality. Lost was open questions and attempts to answer them without giving up that the whole thing was in fact not all planned out by some masterminds who knew what the completed puzzle was before they started. At all.
Portlandia is disgusting. It's one of the worst shows on TV right now. It's so damned annoying and staffed by annoying people and starring the guy from SNL that does good impersonations of brown people without them having to actually hire one and some girl I wouldn't go near if her snitz gifted the plow-er with immortality.
Lastly: JJ Abrhams name should NEVER be anywhere those names listed above. He isn't making the shift to TV. He started in TV. With Felicity. Then he ripped off the success of Buffy with Alias. Then because he is the right 'type' of person he got gifted Lost and MI3. Suddenly he was making more than anyone else and before anyone could ask or figure out why he was suddenly touted as the new big man on campus. He never earned it. He makes 2nd rate material at best. He is no Frank Darabont. He's not fit to fluff Scorsese's eyebrows.
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12:16PM on 12/04/2012
Respectfully disagree on Lost and Portlandia @higgins. Lost had outstanding performances and was a totally different genre than Breaking Bad. I personally didn't need all the answers spelled out for me with Lost and loved the mystery and ambiguity. That's what made it fun and one of the most bad ass TV shows of all time.

Portlandia is one of the most hilarious shows on TV. Did you watch the clip above? Still hate it? Man, don't know what to tell you. I love it, plain and simple.
Respectfully disagree on Lost and Portlandia @higgins. Lost had outstanding performances and was a totally different genre than Breaking Bad. I personally didn't need all the answers spelled out for me with Lost and loved the mystery and ambiguity. That's what made it fun and one of the most bad ass TV shows of all time.

Portlandia is one of the most hilarious shows on TV. Did you watch the clip above? Still hate it? Man, don't know what to tell you. I love it, plain and simple.
3:28PM on 12/04/2012
Portlandia is elitism driven "satire" . I've given it so many chances since I live in a huge city and all the people who move here from small towns embrace the social subculture Portlandia celebrates and insist I try it again. I watch the jokes and I know they're supposed to be funny but they only agitate me over and over. I like my FX comedies. Archer. The League. Sunny. And Comedy stuff like Southpark and Workoholics. There's no passive aggressive animosity layered into the humour. I never
Portlandia is elitism driven "satire" . I've given it so many chances since I live in a huge city and all the people who move here from small towns embrace the social subculture Portlandia celebrates and insist I try it again. I watch the jokes and I know they're supposed to be funny but they only agitate me over and over. I like my FX comedies. Archer. The League. Sunny. And Comedy stuff like Southpark and Workoholics. There's no passive aggressive animosity layered into the humour. I never feel like I just laughed at real people.

Lost had me at first but the ambiguity was excessive. If the writers hadn't attempted to make themselves look more clever than they are in both press and scripts I would have stuck with it longer. I watched them all but by the last few seasons I was barely paying attention.

I'd rather watch the prequel season of Spartacus (titled Gods of the Arena) any day. That show is massively underrated. In the states anyway it's HUGE overseas.
5:11PM on 12/04/2012
higgins I usually agree with about 99% of your comments but I have to disagree on LOST. It's very common for LOST viewers who were unsatisfied about both the outcome and some of the events leading to it to blame the writers and say "they were making it up as they went along and that is why it was bad."

There is nothing wrong with disliking the series, but your claim that "Lost was open questions and attempts to answer them without giving up that the whole thing was in fact not all planned
higgins I usually agree with about 99% of your comments but I have to disagree on LOST. It's very common for LOST viewers who were unsatisfied about both the outcome and some of the events leading to it to blame the writers and say "they were making it up as they went along and that is why it was bad."

There is nothing wrong with disliking the series, but your claim that "Lost was open questions and attempts to answer them without giving up that the whole thing was in fact not all planned out by some masterminds who knew what the completed puzzle was before they started", is only an assumption and all evidence points to it being incorrect. You can be unhappy with Lindelof and Cuse's decisions and ideas as showrunners but that does not mean that during both airtime and countless times after Lindelof has been lying to fans faces by saying they knew how they wanted the show to end very early on, (it was around S2/S3 they had the rest of the series mapped out, and that is why the beginning of S3 is so muddled because ABC was forcing them to stretch the show out because it was such a popular series. It wasn't until Stephen King wrote an article for EW asking them to stop "wagon training" the series that Lindelof and Cuse were able to make their case to ABC.)

The evolution of LOST is interesting but the most important thing about it is from the start their main focus was the survivors, their pasts, and rather or not they'll ever find redemption. The Island and its mysteries are simply the catalysts for the characters journeys. If a viewer doesn't develop an emotional attachment to the characters and is far more interested in the what and why of the Island, then they will most likely tune out and be left completely dissatisfied and "used" by the series.


5:19PM on 12/04/2012
I won't try to sell you on Portlandia. Either it's for you or it isn't. I think a lot of conservative-minded folks dismiss it immediately because of the Portland liberal-minded culture, but the beauty of Portlandia is that it pokes fun at the elitist types, not to mention the oddballs. It doesn't celebrate the social subculture, it just has a good go with it, without getting nasty. I think its brilliant, truly. It's one of the few things I keep stacked on my DVR.

Lost lived up to its
I won't try to sell you on Portlandia. Either it's for you or it isn't. I think a lot of conservative-minded folks dismiss it immediately because of the Portland liberal-minded culture, but the beauty of Portlandia is that it pokes fun at the elitist types, not to mention the oddballs. It doesn't celebrate the social subculture, it just has a good go with it, without getting nasty. I think its brilliant, truly. It's one of the few things I keep stacked on my DVR.

Lost lived up to its namesake for a lot of folks toward the end, but I wasn't one of them. I enjoyed it all the way through to the very end, even if some of it was outrageously cryptic. However, the characters, the action, the suspense...never let up.

I like Spartacus, but haven't dug into it all the way through. There's way too much catching up, but hot damn, if that doesn't reinforce my argument. There is so much good shit, it would take a decade for me to catch up on it all.

Good stuff, higgins.
+6
10:38AM on 12/04/2012
Great article, and something I've discussed a lot with my friends! I still go to the cinema to catch the big spectacles.. but at home I very rarely watch movies anymore, as the series have gotten so great and are so addictive! The depth of characters, the risky writing with unpredictable twist and turns, it's just great!!
Great article, and something I've discussed a lot with my friends! I still go to the cinema to catch the big spectacles.. but at home I very rarely watch movies anymore, as the series have gotten so great and are so addictive! The depth of characters, the risky writing with unpredictable twist and turns, it's just great!!
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