What is it that makes some people TV fanatics and others movie buffs? The question has been bothering me ever since I had a lengthy discussion with a friend about choosing to watch Dexter re-runs over the new Johnny English film. I didn’t have an immediate answer so I decided to blog about it instead. Sitting down to write a new post forces me to think clearly and really pin point what it is I’m trying to get at. So here goes…I know most people appreciate both TV and feature films, but if you’re like me, you still know which way your personal scale tips. So which direction is it? And what are the reasons behind your choice?
I think I’m a TV person because I love the satisfaction I get when I watch a character respond to something exactly as he or she should. You know what I mean? It could be that I’ve remembered something he or she said on the topic three seasons earlier, or that I’ve simply grown to know the character well enough that I can predict his or her reaction. In short, even though I love the raw emotional extremes you can experience on the big screen in two hours, I wouldn’t trade them for how I have felt watching Castle, Dexter or Friends (to name only a few) over and over again. Each time I watch these shows, I understand their characters and motives a little better. The workings of their minds are often as fascinating as their reactions to the situations they find themselves in. I’ll be very frank here, not all TV shows are that fulfilling, of course, but the possibility is what keeps me tuning in night after night.
You see for me…I need to feel like there’s no end in sight for my relationship with the characters. Movie characters are guaranteed to leave me in a couple of hours, so why bother investing in them in the first place? I need the promise of continuity. That’s why I can’t deal when my favorite TV shows are cancelled.
Movies only tell us about a small, defining part of a person’s life. But on TV, I have the privilege of watching the characters grow and develop over a period of time and it is this continued development that allows me to associate with them, relate to their lives and derive joy from watching them live out their lives on the TV screen.