Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Homeland, The Wire, The Sopranos…You can’t compare them to movies necessarily; we’re dealing with entirely different modes of narrative duration and character development. And yes, those aforementioned series are proof that TELEVISION WRITING can be considered on par with the best that film, novels, and theater can offer.
Everyone (both inside and outside the industry) keeps saying how long-form DRAMA is filling the VOID left by FILM’S ABANDONMENT of complex characters and concepts in favor of FRANKEN-FRANCHISES (see my post from yesterday on that front). Just a month or so ago, one of the top MANAGERS IN HOLLYWOOD said to me: “Movies don’t do drama anymore. You want to write drama you need to be in TV.”
But is that true? Is that just another NARRATIVE we’re telling ourselves so we can still BELIEVE IN TV.
Two articles from yesterday make me wonder just how different THE CONTENT is between FILM AND TV.
Yes one medium deals in LONGER FORM STORYTELLING, but regarding the NARRATIVE CONTENT, we have entered PEAK COLLAPSE in TV regarding DRAMA…
TV series based upon “Django Unchained” and “Suspiria” are in the works.
On top of which, Netflix has unleashed “Daredevil”, and other networks are clogged with Comic Book adaptations: Agents of S.H.I.EL.D, Gotham, Arrow, The Flash, and if you think I’m exaggerating, there’s 23 more coming…
So if Gaghan (a man with enough awards to weigh down a shelf) can’t get a show picked up on AMC, the same network responsible for giving the go-ahead to Seth Rogen’s “Preacher” — how can we differentiate between the TV and FILM industry outside of pure NARRATIVE DURATION?
Answer: We CAN’T. it’s the exact same PRODUCT, just longer. So I guess what I’m asking is:
Yes. Movies do deserve the bashing they’re receiving; but why has TV gotten a total pass thus far?