I have had this conversation with my peers and colleagues plenty of times: TV versus films. This debate has been around for a while, nonetheless major changes in the way TV gets delivered has had a huge effect.
Now let’s see: it takes around a year or two for a feature film, after production, to hit the screen and a lot can happen in between that could affect its reception. An adjustment to trailers, endings and plot to guarantee the investment is well received. Ticket sales warrant money then hopefully more with merchandising and DVD sales. There’s a lot of risk involved with merchandizing – imagine if the movie fails – you would have a lot of untouched stuff lying around.
TV works differently: works are out faster, adverts during breaks, promos, t-shirts, posters, DVD box sets with added bonuses, etc. Additional seasons can build up a fan base or become spin-off shows that hump up merchandizing each season – popularity equals more merchandizing.
Besides all that, TV script-writers are being taken seriously. A good TV script means a good show. Let’s look at the US who have the most prolific output around the world: Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Dexter, Games of Thrones – they have upped the bar. The UK has Sherlock, Ashes to Ashes, Dr. Who to name a few. Shows are getting better when it comes to compelling story telling. As shows are episodic there is more time to delve into characterization and in-depth plot. Let’s not forget better digital effects that allow slicker shows, sophistication and freedom for cinematography.
The best part of it all – the TV is in your living room. You can invite friends to share this experience instead of sitting in that one big dark room or you can share the experience in thousands of other living rooms (laptops, tablets, social network sites). Or you can sit back and relax alone in your birthday suit. In terms of consumption, TV is coming out ahead.