Friday, July 06, 2007

Why TV is so much better than Movies

I love movies, have since I was a young child. I religiously watch the Oscars, love almost all genres, from horror, to drama, musicals and action, and even love to watch the shows on the making of movies.

But in the last two years, the movies I’ve seen on the big screen have failed to thrill me like they used to. I could be getting more cynical as I get older, but when is the last time I saw a movie that thrilled me start to finish as much as Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Aliens, or even Die Hard.

Movies that I was so entranced with, two hours went by in the blink of an eye.

My last favourite movie was Pan’s Labryinth, a wonderful movie, and one of a handful I really enjoyed in the past couple of years.

And then there’s TV. I have been thrilled by Battlestar Galactica, emotionally drained and inspired by Friday night Lights, held completely enthralled by Heroes, and hooked by Dexter.
Shows that have 22 episodes a season, and I watched each one with the same eagerness that I open a bottle of red wine. (I really love red wine, more so for having had to abstain for almost a year…)

TV has more time to develop characters and plot, they can introduce more arcs and plot points, but that also gives TV more opportunities to screw up. And the above shows rarely do.
It seems the really great storytellers have migrated from the movies to TV. Better romances, better tension, better villains, and more risk taking, independent movies aside.

And then let’s talk comedy. Is there any movie in recent memory funnier than Arrested Development, or as simultaneously funny and sweet as The Office?

We’re in the summer movie season and the only upcoming movie that vaguely interests me is the Bourne Ultimatum. Everything else is either a sequel, or a retread of some other movie.

But the Fall TV season. That I’m itching for… New seasons of BSG, FNL and Heroes. I can’t wait.


Molly O'Keefe said...

I love that you love Friday Night Lights. It's all about Saracen for me -- and the coach's wife. Great characters.

This summer has more sequels than any other summer ever. Yikes? And Transformers? Ocean's 13?

Is there no original idea left?

Between reruns of Arrested Development - waiting for Friday Night Lights and Dexter? WHere is Dexter? And of course - so you think you can dance - you're right - who needs to go to the movies - except for the popcorn.

That said we went and saw Sicko the other night---- wow. WOW.

Maureen McGowan said...

I am so not interested in all those sequels or the Transformers. Although the villian in the new Die Hard is Timothy Olyphant... Hmmmm..... love him.

I just watched the first season of Veronica Mars on DVD and while I'm not sure I think it totally lived up to my expectations, which had been set high... it was a pretty bold show -- especially for a teenager/high school show. (And I wouldn't count FNL in the teenager/high school category... While it's set there. From what I've seen that's not the audience they were going for, whereas VM was clearly aiming, well, lower.)

But I'm scared to watch the second season on VM now.... (Is it even on DVD yet?) I have this horrible feeling it will suck.

It makes me think of the British model of TV series where they're never intended to go on forever. VM was a tight little package. A big important overriding mystery that fit into the first season, was solved in the end, with a mini-mystery in each episode.

I assume they threw another "BIG MYSTERY" out there in the second season, too? Don't know. But I can't imagine it will be as compelling to as important to Veronica as "who killed Lily". Unless it's about the mother? But really... I don't even think that would be as compelling at this point.

Twin Peaks was like that, too... I mean how long could they keep people interested after we knew who killed Laura Palmer? (Although Twin Peaks was a definite exception to just about every "rule" of TV...)

Anonymous said...

Maureen, you will love FNL..

Molly, so love Saracen, and Riggs. And the coach's wife and their relationship. Love so much about the show.
Am really interested to see Sicko. but probably not until it hits DVD.
And I did love the first two Bourne movies.
My theory is they don't count as sequels cause they were originally written as a series and not conceived to cash in on a hit..

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