Friday, May 8, 2009

Television vs Cinema

I like television as much as I dislike cinema. Here is a list of some obvious advantages that TV shows have over movies:

1. TV is unpretentious. It doesn't claim to be anything more that what it is: cheap, silly, popular entertainment, a bubble gum for the brain. As a contrast, think of all the horrible films that claim to be art. Everything by Woody Allen or that horrible American Beauty monstrosity, for example.

2. TV allows you to be in control. When I watch Dr.Phil and he annoys me, I scream, swear, and throw things at him. During the presidential election debates I participated alongside Obama and McCain. This is very liberating and totally unlike the movie theatre where you have to swallow any stupidity being thrown at you from the enormous screen.

3. TV is humane. It gives you bathroom/snack/phone/e-mail/etc. breaks. Of course, if you watch a film on DVD or PPV, you can stop it. But it's not the same. On television, breaks are seamlessly woven into the general canvas of the narrative. In this sense, a film can be compared to somebody so garrulous that you have to physically shut them up. Television, however, is a much better conversationalist, since it steps back regularly to give you a chance to participate in the exchange.

4. It is way easier to find an interesting TV show than a movie.

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