Why TV Shows Are Better Than Movies
In the battle of TV shows versus movies, shows are coming out on top for today’s viewers. Modern television series have captivating stories unfolding over entire seasons, complex characters who grow over time, and cliffhangers that keep fans hooked. Compared to a standalone 2-hour movie, shows simply offer more depth, development, and time to explore more complex and interesting plots.
Freedom for More Complex Storytelling
Unlike a one-and-done movie format, serialized TV allows showrunners to gradually reveal plot lines, add twists, and build tension over entire seasons. Whether it is a mystery that spans episodes or a dramatic arc examining how events change characters over years, shows have more freedom to tell complex stories. Movies must cram everything into 110 minutes – restricting the narratives and character growth possible. Popular shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, House of Cards and The Crown dive far deeper into their stories thanks to multiple seasons.
Space to Flesh Out Characters
In addition to more intricate stories, shows also get more screen time to develop layered characters. Viewers watch their favorite television characters grow up and evolve over years, forming strong attachments. Tony Soprano, Don Draper, Cersei Lannister are all fascinating, complicated figures we get to know intimately across many hours on air. Movies simply lack that time – often falling back on one-dimensional stereotypes. Shows allow audiences to connect with protagonists and antagonists, emphasizing with their struggles through weekly installments spanning seasons.
Cliffhangers & Watercooler Culture
Whether resorting to maddening cliffhangers or dramatic plot twists, shows capture viewers’ imaginations and promote social media discussions in a way movies rarely achieve. Fans spend weeks speculating what lies ahead for their favorite shows between episodes and seasons. Social media lights up with theories and reactions – creating shared culture connections among viewers. Appointment viewing gives people common talking points in a way watching sporadic movie releases lacks. The ongoing nature of episodic television simply inspires more investment and engagement.
Surveys Show People Choosing Shows
In fact, recent surveys demonstrate audiences are increasingly choosing shows over movies when looking for entertainment. A 2022 Hollywood Reporter poll found among 2,200 adults, only 27% named movie theaters as their primary entertainment venue after pandemic shutdowns eased. The majority – 58% – said watching TV shows at home is now their top pastime. Per Nielsen data, American viewers averaged nearly 8 hours watching streaming shows daily during lockdowns – but just 12 minutes watching movies!
Clearly episodic television provides creative opportunities and audience connections movies struggle to match. Of course, well-crafted movies have their artistic merits too. But shows allow the time and scope for richer worldbuilding, more layered characters, ongoing twists fans obsess over between episodes, and ultimately deeper bonds between viewers and the stories on screens. And audiences today are far more likely to prioritize the small over the big screen.