Entertainment Perspective

The Changing Cut

In this increasingly fast pace world. T.V. series (and web series) have managed to take over movies as the preferred medium of entertainment. What makes them more desirable?

Everyone has that one T.V. series that they watch over and over. You find comfort when you watch it. You don’t even need to watch the entire thing like it could just be that specific episode. That particular segment of the series which you love. Or just cause you missed hearing the intro track every time you went to the next episode. ‘It really do be like that sometimes.’ Personally I find myself re-watching the 9 million 986 thousand minutes song from ‘The Office’ over and over again just because it sums up the emotions I felt when I watched that series the first time. It helps me recall everything I felt without having to watch the entire thing again.

Why is it that T.V. series or Web series have become better at deriving emotions from viewers than movies? (I will use T.V. Series as the universal term for web series as well)

One of the core differences is in the format of these shows. Movies have to cram hundreds of pages worth of information in a 2-3 hour movie. T.V. series are able to take the same character, same plot and world and flesh them out. All of us love the Harry Potter series, the actors and the film crew did a fantastic job at bringing the books to the screen. However, till date, after all these years I still hope for a T.V. series to be made on the books.

They (T.V. Series) are also best for people who are on a tight schedule. You will hear people say I don’t have the time for a 2 hour movie, but you’ll definitely see them watching a 20 minute episode of Friends (Although, that 20 minute episode can easily turn into a 2 hour marathon of multiple episodes as well, but let’s not get into that). They are also easier to follow because the weight of the story is distributed across multiple episodes. 5 minutes of a movie might take it from A to B, whereas an episode of the same story adapted to a series will spend it on talking about what A is and why they need to go to B. They are just like books, where each chapter (or an episode) is focused on one aspect of the story, making it easy to follow.

Moreover, T.V. series are synonymous to creating a deep, and long lasting relationship. When was the last time you felt bad about a movie ending? For me it was Avenger’s Endgame which is almost two years old now. Since then, I haven’t felt the same way for any other movie. (I felt happy that certain movies ended though). On the contrary, when I first started watching ‘The Office’ I felt that I might not be able to continue beyond the third episode. I was ready to switch. But then I was told to give it a chance and went ahead with the entire first season. Let’s just say, a couple of weeks later I was already on the last episode of Season 9 – The Finale.

I am not saying that movies are bad at storytelling. Masterpieces like Interstellar, The Godfather, La La Land or even a movie like ‘Princess Diaries’ are some of the best movies in the industry that can grip you with their stories. But you also cannot forget that series like The Spy, The Americans, House of Cards, Breaking Bad, The Big Bang Theory, Friends etc. just make the characters feel alive through plot and arc development. Some stories are meant to be in the T.V. series format. To quote a recent example, ‘The Big Bull’ is a movie that talks about the entire Harshad Mehta story. The previous year saw the release of a T.V. series on the same topic called, ‘Scam 1992.’ Of the two works, the latter is just so much better. The movie was unable to explain the depth and the complexity of the story like the T.V. series did. I liked the series so much that I watched it a second time after watching The Big Bull!!

In conclusion, both movies and T.V. series are great. But in my opinion, the latter is far more effective at storytelling, world creation and emotional development (Unless it’s a mega series like Marvel’s Avengers). The contemporary society is fast and experiences paucity of time, hence T.V. series are better for such a situation. They are also fun, and feel more personal than movies which is something everyone craves for. As Umberto Eco once said that whatever creative work you produce, should derive a reaction from the viewer. If it’s reactionless, then it fails to achieve its true objective.

Till then, I will see you in my next article.

Priyamvad Rai

Unsure about what to watch next? Here are recommendations by TheMusing.in for your next intensive film or binge watch T.V. series.

Films

  • Ajeeb Daastans (8/10) – Available on Netflix
  • The Blind Side (9/10) – Available on Netflix
  • The Scent Of A Woman (9/10) – Available on YouTube for rent

T.V. Series

  • The Serpent (9/10) – Available on Netflix (MUST WATCH)
  • Snowpiercer (8/10) – Available on Netflix
  • The Family Man (9/10) – Available on Amazon Prime

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