I don’t have a TV at home any more, in fact I haven’t had one for years. All the TV I watch is online and despite living in the UK, most of the programmes I watch are American. They are varied and I often binge watch an entire series. Recently I have watched the whole of Suits up to present day; recent favourites have been Billions (Damian Lewis and Paul Giammatti are just fantastic), House of Cards and Blindspot, amongst many others. What I enjoy about TV is the ability to connect with characters over a period of time, watch a story arc build as well as the sub plots that, as a whole entity, draw you in.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good film, from lighthearted to atmospheric and thoroughly engaging. I was recently recommended The Book of Eli, a Denzel Washington film that I somehow missed, as I always find him immensely watchable. A great film indeed, with a plot twist I didn’t see coming but, rather like Sixth Sense, at the end, you can see many of the clues and things make sense. The Village was another like that where I didn’t see the plot twist at all. Currently I am awaiting the next Jack Reacher film to come out and Star Trek Beyond (not that I am a closet Trekkie by any means, but Chris Pine is an excellent James T Kirk in my humble opinion).
One of the aspects of TV that I appreciate is the ability to watch an episode in the morning before work, knowing that when I get home, I can watch the next whilst relaxing with a cuppa in my post-work wind down. So yes, I admit that I have less ability to concentrate on films as much as I used to unless they pull me right in or keep me on the edge of my seat. For me, a good film has to make me forget I am sitting in my chair in my living room being an observer, I want it to utterly engage me as if I am there with the characters, living the story as it unfolds. Now I can do that with a TV show but not as easily because you know it is going to end in X amount of time. That said though, I think you become more invested in the characters in a TV show, especially as the seasons progress.
It also has to be noted that as we seem to consume media in shorter bursts these days due to busy lives and so forth, TV is becoming more popular and with that the quality of TV has improved tremendously. There is something out there for everyone. I am not a fan of soap operas nor reality TV; I don’t watch game shows but a good documentary will have me enthralled. What I want is that the writers of any recurring show maintain the quality and don’t allow the stories/characters to become stale. If that happens, either new writers or end the show, don’t keep it limping along with silly story lines just for the sake of it.
As far as I can tell, the one downside to the American networks is the complete reliance on high viewing figures in deciding if a show should be renewed or cancelled. ABC seems to the worst for that, airing new shows that don’t reach expected figures in the chosen demographic so that after one season, when you’ve just become invested in the characters and their stories, they axe it. I find that very frustrating!
So, do you prefer TV to film, vice versa or do you watch both equally?