TV Killed The Movie Star

Friday, 10 January 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Golden Globes are on this Sunday and usual I will be parked on a sofa with some pals drinking too much wine; doing my part to join in Hollywood's Best (and from what I'm told, booziest) Awards Show. But aside from my favourite hosting duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the only reason I'll be watching is to support the TV shows. Because these days, there is little point in going to a movie.

From Breaking Bad to Downton Abbey to House of Cards to Ray Donovan to Homeland, Parenthood, VEEP and beyond, this is TV’s moment.  The characters are more interesting, the acting is superior and the stories more original then anything I’ve seen in theatres in a long, long time.  It seems television is all anyone is talking about these days.  Whether it’s the mommy crowd, the investment banker crowd, my 74-year-old mother or people in my business, when I get together with friends the question “what are you watching” inevitably comes up.  Everyone has an opinion and everyone talks like a producer.  Getting a tip on some unheard of show is like finding 20 bucks in a coat pocket.  I heard about Ray Donovan over dinner last week and went home and stayed up til 3am watching episodes.

Binge watching is all the rage. I actually brag about how much I watched over the holidays.  That’s why it’s wonderful to discover a series after it’s over.  I am so involved in Dexter’s life I wanted to send him a Christmas card. 

Netflix and AppleTV deserve some gratitude from those of us TV addicts, as they have opened the world so we can find old shows, discover foreign shows and really expand our television horizons.  It’s like a new dawn of the worldwide web.

I’ve all but given up on movies.  I thought Leonardo DeCaprio’s latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street, looked promising. Reviews were good and he’s nominated for Best Actor.  Clearly the standards are not the same for movies as they are for television.  Or perhaps they just don’t have as much to choose from.  This movie was a massive disappointment.  It is gratuitous and over acted.  And given that it doesn’t hold a candle to 1987’s Wall Street, it is totally pointless.  It was also 3 hours long!  So many movie these days are much longer then they need to be.  Apparently Hollywood believes an Oscar worthy film has got to run over two hours.

And given that we live in the world of watching what we want, when we want I don’t know why the traditional movie theatre still exists.  It will need to be reinvented or its days might be numbered.

This Sunday my fingers are crossed that Breaking Bad wins for Best Series.  Because it was.

Oh, and the other great show on tv you just can’t miss?  Our one hour special, Anna & Kristina: Cooked, airing on January 19th on W Network.  Check your local listings!

 [Top image by Splityarn]


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  • Ben Stacey

    Interesting topic. I am both inclined to agree and to disagree. There are and have been some great movies. By the way, I don’t mind a good three hour movie. But you are absolutely correct that TV is often better in many ways.
    I always hate coming across someone who rather snobbishly proclaims that they “don’t watch TV”. I think that is too bad. They are missing out on so much. It is true that there is a lot of absolute garbage on TV (nothing that you produce), but there is some truly amazing stuff. In addition to some of the shows you mentioned, I feel I should add shows like Orphan Black and Sherlock among many others.

  • Chef Mike in Burlington ON

    I gave up on going to movies a long time ago, my 60″ TV is lots big enough, my 7 speaker surround sound system can shake my fillings loose, and no bathrooms to share, but the big one, the ability to hit the PAUSE button.
    There is great TV out there, not West Wing good, but still good, it’s too bad most of it isn’t on the big networks anymore…