6 Reasons TV Is Creating Better, More Creative Entertainment Than Film

walter_white_by_mattgarnett
Posted on: September 4th, 2013

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The idea that TV is overtaking film as a creative medium has been around since the 90′s, but although the small screen has been producing some interesting and original series for many years, it is only recently that people have begun preferring a night in with Breaking Bad on Netflix, or a weekend with a box set of Game of Thrones, to a trip to the movies. Although there is still plenty of guilty pleasure to be had from a bit of “bad” TV, a convergence of factors driving the most original writers out of film, and dragging them into TV, has generated some truly groundbreaking and artistic creations in recent years.

 

6. TV is a Writer’s Medium

 

Script Writer

 

Screenwriters are notoriously powerless when it comes to movie making. Once they have produced the script, and probably watched as it has been torn apart and put back together by a series of producers and marketing gurus, their input will likely be limited to a few set visits during which they will be encouraged to sit quietly in the corner while the “real” work goes on. Writers in TV can have a lot more power. They can start out as part of a team, invited to play around with someone else’s characters, and move up to become showrunners, taking control of an entire fictional world of their own creation.

At each end of the spectrum, there is space in TV for new writers to experiment, and for experienced ones to flex their muscles and show the producers how it should be done. Some of the best writing in TV has come from writer-led shows such as The Wire, Six Feet Under and Breaking Bad.

 

5. TV Doesn’t Rely on Adaptations

 

MAD MEN

 

Adaptations and sequels are considered a safe, and profitable, bet in the movies, which means that anyone who is trying to get a film made will struggle to find someone willing to fund a project that is not already a well-known story. Some of these adaptations are great, as are some of the TV adaptations that are built on the same kind of material, but there are only so many versions of Batman or Pride and Prejudice that you can watch before you start to hunger for something new.

Even an adaptation of a lesser known story, like Austen’s Persuasion, or one that has not been on our screens so often, like Wonder Woman, would be a welcome change. The place to find these less familiar adaptations, alongside material that is completely original, is your TV. An idea like Lost in Austen, Misfits, or Mad Men is unlikely to get a chance on the big screen.

 

4. Lower Budgets Allow More Originality

 

ustv-the-walking-dead-s03-e11-5

 

Taking a chance on a new idea is a far less expensive risk on TV than it is on film, which makes it much easier to experiment with new ideas and methods of storytelling. A lower budget also means that TV writers have to work with characters and dialogue, rather than relying on expensive special effects and CGI. A restricted budget can challenge people to come up with creative solutions that would never occur to filmmakers.

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  • Dakanos

    “5. TV Doesn’t Rely on Adaptations”
    And just after that you put an image of The Walking Dead… and what about Dexter or Game Of Thrones which, by the way, is the most popular show right now ?

    The other points also suck, great job :)

    • Jerry Babbitt

      You’re a peculiar kind of idiot. The words ‘doesn’t’ and ‘rely’ tend to indicate that TV doesn’t rely on adaptations. That doesn’t mean TV doesn’t make them, it means TV doesn’t rely on them. Mad Men, Misfits and Breaking Bad. are all good examples. And also good examples of shows Hollywood hasn’t the stones to take a risk on as movies.

    • Dakanos

      I considere that when the most popular show on TV is an adaptation, we can say that TV rely on it more than movies. Plus, the majority of movies aren’t adapted, so I don’t see how it rely on it more…

      Also, if you could avoid insulting people that you don’t know, and be more respectful, it would be great :)

    • Drone2209

      “The other points also suck, great job :) ” So that was sarcasm? Because I
      can’t really see how that can be considered polite or very respectful?
      Or is it the smiley that makes it all ok? :)

    • Mark McCann

      I actually agree that TV is going through a renaissance right now, like movies were in the 70′s. I think it’d be easy to say that TV relies on adaptations based on some popular shows, but the vast majority of TV is original, unlike the greater majority of contemporary Hollywood.

      Two of my favorite shows in recent years were Ripper Street and Top Of The Lake. Entirely original material with a basis in reality. I wish Hollywood would start making films that had a bit of risk in them, as opposed to franchises, prequels, reboots and danger free money spinners.

      That said, I agree Game Of Thrones is absolutely great!

  • Theron

    A lot of movies suck but A LOT of tv sucks balls.