More than once in my life I’ve tried to have a conversation with someone about a TV show I’ve been into, only for them to curl their upper lip, look at me like I’ve smeared shit all over my face for fun and say calmly and smugly, “Sorry,” they’re not sorry, “I don’t watch TV.” So in that moment I begin to question my whole life. Well what do they do instead? Exercise? Spend time with friends and family? Meet new people? Cook elaborate and healthy meals with brown rice and dukkah? I mean, I’d do all those things but I don’t have the time, because I’m busy having my freakin’ mind blown by Hank and his mineral collection—damn it Maree! But then I find out what they mean—that in reality, they watch movies. On their TV. You fucking assholes. I questioned my entire existence for a whole 30 seconds purely because you are a dick. So this poses the question: Which is the superior species of colourful moving pictures that we observe with our eyeballs?
So with movies, it’s usually a whole experience. You sit and ready yourself for a whole journey spanning approximately one and a half to four hours, depending on whether you’re watching Jack Black or Leonardo Di Caprio, respectively. You know that in that space of time, you will generally have a beginning, a series of events, a complication and for the most part, a conclusion. Unless said film accidentally uses up their whole budget before filming the conclusion and just pretends wherever they’re up to is, in fact, the conclusion. I’m looking at you, ‘No Country for Old Men.’ Or you could go the other way and realise you’ve watched four conclusions now ‘cause there was money leftover. Fuck you ‘Source Code’.
But in a TV series, you’re in for a long term commitment. You will be emotionally invested for months, even years on end—I know you Sherlock fans feel me. You will live with constant anxiety: Will Arya ever be reunited with her family? Will Jesse find out what Walt did to his girlfriend? Will Ross and Rachel get back together? These are the questions that rock, though bond, our entire Earth. This isn’t always a bad thing though. For the most part, TV series addiction can be the reason we get out of bed in the morning. “Only two more days until the next episode of Walking Dead—must…make…the finale.” They provide self-worth and affirmation, proving you can stick to something, you can commit, you do have a heart and by God you have passion. They add structure to our lives and generally give us a pretty huge reason to live. Dramatic? Fuck you. I can and will find an army of people who think the same. But you’ll have to wait until next week to see if I actually do.
Now if you’ve ever watched the piracy warning on a DVD lately, which most of you wouldn’t have, ironically, ‘cause all your movies are pirated—you would have seen the ridiculously happy, vibrant group of friends jumping around throwing popcorn at each other and generally having a grand ol’ time. This isn’t how life is, if you jump around and try to talk to me while I’m watching a movie I will throat punch you. If you waste popcorn you will suffer a similar fate, because we all know the only ‘socially acceptable’ time to devour a kilo of popcorn, salt and butter is during a movie—another massive pro. However, movies are generally good for bonding, if you’re into that (I know you’re not, it’s okay). But if you are, getting a group of friends together and going to see a movie is generally a good time. Sitting in darkness, not having to talk to anyone and watching a talking teddy bear is top stuff. Then you get your check-in over and done with, fool your Facebook friends that you have a life and get a few likes from people who hit the like button more often than they change their underwear. Then afterwards you go get a milkshake from Charlie’s milk bar, yell out every quote you remember and go home to watch the next episode of your TV series. That was a very cynical take on cinema culture, I realise, but you get my drift.
With TV series, there is little to no wiggle room for socialising. You’ve been waiting for this moment all day/week/month/year. This is your time. Even more frustrating is having a friend who is ‘catching up’ (weak and undedicated) or ‘only just starting’ (uncool and so not fetch) and you can’t talk about the series because y’know, spoilers. Unless you’re talking about the spoilers on your fully sick 2003 turbo-charged Honda Civic bro. Actually no, all spoilers are bad. So then you’ve got all this pent up anxiety and emotional instability and you need to talk to someone but Tony Abbott has made damn sure we can’t afford therapy and our best friends are retarded. No, I’m not being politically incorrect, it means slow. Fuckwits.
I have a few more points but I seriously doubt anyone has made it this far so I’m gunna dot point these bitches:
- You can watch movies over and over again, I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s because we have more of an appreciation for the cinematic quality because there is a focus on it, rather than the ‘What happens next’ anxiety of TV shows. There’s more time to stop and smell the roses.
- But TV series based on books are generally more satisfying. Rather than forcing a 52 chapter book into 2 hours, the creators have the ability to focus on the smaller details that many people don’t realise actually make the story and give one chapter an entire episode.
- Movies have the opportunity for sequels, prequels, remakes, you name it, and if it’s got the potential to make money, they’ll do it! With TV shows, once it’s done, it’s done. You’re left wandering aimlessly until you stumble across a new fix.
Well there it is. I hope you weren’t hoping for a conclusive judgement on which is better, because I have no idea. In short, if I can sit on my ass, eat and be entertained and call it ‘doing something’, then I’m a happy camper.
Want more Flicks?
Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 (read)
Nymphomaniac Vol. 2 (read)
Feels-Inducing Movies (read)
A Movie For Every Moodie (read)
The Most Watched Oscars In 10 Years (read)
Miscast Actors (read)
The Demise Of Comedy (read)