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bird poops on plum branch


Buster Benson

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serial television is the ultimate artform
bird poops on plum branch
Oral traditions gave way to the written word gave way temporarily to the radio before giving way to television which gave way to films.  But now I predict films giving way back to television, in particular the kind that has evolved out of the new renaissance of television started by HBO and the Sopranos (which I've still never watched).  I think serial stories are more compelling than one-offs.  We love stories that continue, just like they do in real life.  The end of a story is always a let down, we don't believe in happily ever after unless we see it with our own eyes.  

A couple other reasons why television will end up beating  movies.  Movies are big bets that often fail big.  You can spend $100 million on a movie that flops.  Television, on the other hand, is more like the internet technology (versus packaged software)... you can release something out there and see how people like it.  Investing in a couple episodes is a lot less risky, meaning that you can make bolder moves and yet risk losing less.  You can abandon flops, and almost indefinitely continue shows that are doing well (if the writers want to) without having to create movie sequels that are critiqued against their predecessors in a more rigorous manner than seasons of television are.

Finally, I predict that television networks and movie theaters adapt to this by creating a model for showing serial television like Lost, Battlestar Galactica, The Wire, Heroes, etc, within the next 5 years.

Of course, I don't know what I'm talking about.  Anyone know more about this than I do?

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> Anyone know more about this than I do?

Yes but no... A lot of the writers strike is actually about video on the internet and keeping the old pacts in place while new things happen. I rarely watch TV even though I work for a network, but I watch a lot of films -- my Tivo has 120+ movies in its wishlist and only five or six season passes. I prefer films, since I don't want to make a super long commitment to a show. I'm actually jonesing to finish the movie I was watching last night -- I started 12 Angry Men and forced myself to leave the rest for tonight. I'm definitely not your average viewer, though... I'd rather watch a really good film, even if I interrupt it for days at a time, than watch a few episodes of a "meh" TV show.

Yeah, I've been saying the same thing (television rules, movies are dead.) TV has improved more than any art form (actually, a LOT more than any other art form) in the last 2 decades.

I love television; so I always find it shocking to encounter people who proudly profess their hatred and avoidance of it as a whole. That said, I do think there's something appealing about term-limited serial dramas. Often, the shows I like the best are at their finest in the first or second seasons, when they're almost entirely written/directed by a single person and there's something a little sad about seeing them drag on season after season for the main purpose of making money for the networks.

I think it's pretty much already won- artistically it's more robust (though I do love film), the industry is much, much bigger, more people consume it...

I do think both of them, over time, will have a contender in the internet, however. And with the internet, I include video games because they're basically becoming one. Interactive, shall we say. But we're still so early in it. We're in like the talking head phase of newscasting, or the silent movie period.

sounds as if you DO know what you're talking about to me! i concur.

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