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Head to head: movies are far better than TV

By Isaac Rosso Klakovich 

Movies have been and always will be superior to TV
Movies have been and always will be superior to TV

Although it might be convenient to watch TV, those who choose to watch movies will have a better experience because the overall quality of movies is superior to that of TV. There is a reason that the Oscars are more popular than the Emmys: people know that the best movie of the year will be far superior to the best TV show of the year.

One of the biggest arguments made in favor of TV is that it has more time to develop characters and storylines. However, a season of TV isn’t the same thing as a ten hour movie because it is broken into segments. This format forces TV shows to resolve multiple unimportant conflicts within each episode. This overabundance of plot gets in the way of the character development and thematic complexity that is found in cinema.

The greatest attribute of movies is their length, as it is the perfect amount of time to tell a contained and concise story. With only two hours, filmmakers don’t cover the trivial problems that are commonly found in TV. Take a film like “Annie Hall,” widely considered one of the greatest comedies of all time, which has a runtime of only 93 minutes. In this amount of time, writer-director Woody Allen displays the rise and fall of the relationship between Annie Hall and Alvy Singer in New York during the seventies, and makes it hilarious to watch. Even a TV show that has more time doesn’t give the audience as deep of an understanding of its characters, as shows often repeat the same tropes over and over again.

Annie and Alvy in a scene from Woody Allen's 1977 comedy "Annie Hall"
Annie and Alvy in a scene from Woody Allen’s 1977 comedy “Annie Hall”

In TV, producers have to be constantly worried about keeping their show on the air. Filmmakers lack this concern entirely. True, there are movies like “Transformers” that are only concerned with making money, but many films couldn’t care less how much money they make. For example, the up-and-coming director Alex Ross Perry has made four films, all of which have come out recently, with each subsequent film receiving more and more critical praise. Despite none of his films achieving box office success, (his most successful film “Listen Up Philip” made a mere $200,000) he continues to receive funding for future projects. Clearly, cinema allows for artists to exist on the independent level before breaking out, even if they are not making lots of  money.

Movies also have better actors, as the greatest actors of all time are all from cinema. This is largely due to the fact that even actors who star in TV eventually transfer to movies, because they view film as the higher form of art. Arguably, the most successful actors of all time are Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Ingrid Bergman, and Katharine Hepburn, all of whom did their greatest work in cinema. With Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Leonardo Dicaprio being some of the more revered actors in contemporary entertainment, it is clear that actors still choose movies over TV. These actors illustrate that while both TV and movies are entertaining, cinema will always deliver content of a higher quality.

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