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(BBC-US)   Is good, well-made television threatening bad, poorly-made movies? Does subby really need to answer this?   ( bbc.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Film, Andy Harries, producer Andy Harries, big gap, big-budget feature films, Working Title, largest film production, proper production values  
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1074 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 19 Mar 2017 at 9:10 AM (21 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



24 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-03-19 08:11:49 AM  
The problem with movies today is there is room for only two kinds of movies:

1. cheap, low budget, indie films made on people's cell phones for fifty cents.

2. high priced, big budget, Hollywood pictures made with the best of everything except for scriptwriters, in the hopes that they'll make $500 million worldwide.

That's it.  There's no room for a modestly budgeted, well made, well written, movie -  unless you can get a Spielberg to finance such a thing.

Television seems to have room for so much more.  This is probably only temporary as the bottomless budgets of Netflix and Amazon will probably stop being bottomless soon enough - and that's what's driving all the good TV.  Everybody else is trying to compete with Netflix and Amazon.  Enjoy it while it lasts.
 
2017-03-19 08:17:29 AM  
Death of an Empire is never pretty.
Adapt or die!
 
2017-03-19 09:17:19 AM  
I'll take another mindless comic wizards in space over the vagina monologues.
 
2017-03-19 09:24:25 AM  
Compare: the Arrowverse, and the Snyderverse..
 
2017-03-19 09:25:34 AM  

PaulRB: 2. high priced, big budget, Hollywood pictures made with the best of everything except for scriptwriters, in the hopes that they'll make $500 million worldwide.

That's it.  There's no room for a modestly budgeted, well made, well written, movie -  unless you can get a Spielberg to finance such a thing.


Movies have the same problem television had in the 1950s and 1960s. Most TV shows from that era absolutely do not hold up today -- and that's not just a difference of cultural taste, because films from the '50s are perfectly enjoyable. Most pre-70s TV was absolute crap, and much of our residual belief that TV is a dumb thing for dumb people comes from the fact that TV in the early postwar era deliberately was a dumb thing for dumb people.

But it's not like smart writers didn't exist. In fact, the people responsible for the dire misery of old TV were often the exact same people responsible for the snappy dialogue and sweeping majesty of old movies.

As compared to movies, TV used to be expensive to produce/distribute, had very little internal competition, and had a huge and varied audience, including rural viewers who weren't being reached by other media. The winning strategy soon proved to be to target your shows as broadly as possible -- you didn't need to worry about a few fancy-pants literary critics; you needed to worry that the millions of mouth-breathers and the hicks wouldn't flip the channel to something even folksier, ruining one of the few revenue opportunities you'd have that season

Now movies are in the same boat, only it's even worse, since budgets keep soaring higher and higher, and since films need to not only reach American mouth-breathers and hicks, but also need to reach huge non-English-speaking audiences -- and the practical difficulties of cross-cultural translation demand simple plots with simple dialogue and simple characterisation.
 
2017-03-19 09:27:27 AM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-03-19 09:44:44 AM  
Good television has always been better than bad movies. Sometimes it's even been better than good movies. That's why MASH was better than MASH.
 
2017-03-19 09:47:30 AM  
In the UK back in the 1980's, if you turned the TV on in the morning, BBC 1 had a nice person bringing the news.  They would sit down in what appeared to be a living room, open the local paper, and start reading it out loud.

On BBC 2 they were deriving eigenvalues of matrices.

That was some compelling gotdammed TV.
 
2017-03-19 09:50:53 AM  
Now that we can see TV without ads, yes.
 
2017-03-19 10:02:08 AM  

PaulRB: The problem with movies today is there is room for only two kinds of movies:

1. cheap, low budget, indie films made on people's cell phones for fifty cents.

2. high priced, big budget, Hollywood pictures made with the best of everything except for scriptwriters, in the hopes that they'll make $500 million worldwide.

That's it.  There's no room for a modestly budgeted, well made, well written, movie -  unless you can get a Spielberg to finance such a thing.

Television seems to have room for so much more.  This is probably only temporary as the bottomless budgets of Netflix and Amazon will probably stop being bottomless soon enough - and that's what's driving all the good TV.  Everybody else is trying to compete with Netflix and Amazon.  Enjoy it while it lasts.


The coming writers' strike is going to get ugly.  They'll be squawking for a better deal for netflix/amazon/etc distros.

Know what we got last time around?

"Here Comes Honey-Boo-Boo" and the Kardashians, that's what.

Buckle up, it's gonna be some shiat TV.
 
2017-03-19 10:05:20 AM  

pkjun: PaulRB: 2. high priced, big budget, Hollywood pictures made with the best of everything except for scriptwriters, in the hopes that they'll make $500 million worldwide.

That's it.  There's no room for a modestly budgeted, well made, well written, movie -  unless you can get a Spielberg to finance such a thing.

Movies have the same problem television had in the 1950s and 1960s. Most TV shows from that era absolutely do not hold up today -- and that's not just a difference of cultural taste, because films from the '50s are perfectly enjoyable. Most pre-70s TV was absolute crap, and much of our residual belief that TV is a dumb thing for dumb people comes from the fact that TV in the early postwar era deliberately was a dumb thing for dumb people.

But it's not like smart writers didn't exist. In fact, the people responsible for the dire misery of old TV were often the exact same people responsible for the snappy dialogue and sweeping majesty of old movies.

As compared to movies, TV used to be expensive to produce/distribute, had very little internal competition, and had a huge and varied audience, including rural viewers who weren't being reached by other media. The winning strategy soon proved to be to target your shows as broadly as possible -- you didn't need to worry about a few fancy-pants literary critics; you needed to worry that the millions of mouth-breathers and the hicks wouldn't flip the channel to something even folksier, ruining one of the few revenue opportunities you'd have that season

Now movies are in the same boat, only it's even worse, since budgets keep soaring higher and higher, and since films need to not only reach American mouth-breathers and hicks, but also need to reach huge non-English-speaking audiences -- and the practical difficulties of cross-cultural translation demand simple plots with simple dialogue and simple characterisation.


Fantastic post.
One of my favorite movies of Hollywood hitting back at early TV is Rhubarb (1951). They did a small segment where the TV was hit with bad reception, commercials breaking in, etc.
 
2017-03-19 10:08:34 AM  

RolfBlitzer: I'll take another mindless comic wizards in space over the vagina monologues.


I'm willing to compromise and watch vaginas in space.
img.fark.net
 
2017-03-19 11:08:25 AM  
T&A will some how, some way make it all better.
 
2017-03-19 11:08:30 AM  

PaulRB: The problem with movies today is there is room for only two kinds of movies:

1.

Comic book movies
2. Everything else
 
2017-03-19 11:19:14 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: In the UK back in the 1980's, if you turned the TV on in the morning, BBC 1 had a nice person bringing the news.  They would sit down in what appeared to be a living room, open the local paper, and start reading it out loud.

On BBC 2 they were deriving eigenvalues of matrices.

That was some compelling gotdammed TV.


That's rather misleading. They had a breakfast show from six to nine, much the same as any breakfast show today. News, interviews, weather and a look at the papers, with comments. Not just "reading the paper out loud".

Go back a few years earlier, the beginning of the Eighties, and there was Open University on BBC1, then literally nothing until the news at one. After the news it again went back to education stuff for schools before kids programs started at four.

With the BBC this was a matter of choice. They used to close down all broadcasting after kids TV so parents could get the kids to bed, then start up with the evening shows.
 
2017-03-19 11:39:31 AM  

Bob Falfa: PaulRB: The problem with movies today is there is room for only two kinds of movies:

1. Comic book movies
2. Everything else

1. cheap, low budget, indie films made on people's cell phones for fifty cents.


There are a lot more 'big budget' movies out there than just comic-book movies.

EG: Recent movies like -

Arrival; King Kong: Skull Island; The Great Wall; Star Wars Franchise

And lower-budget movies continue to be varied, and myriad, and not just hack-ass indy things shot on a shoestring budget (which the 'hack-assy-ness' is easily identified by missing one, or two, of the necessary "Beginning - Middle - End" concept that makes sense).

Most of the movies that were Oscar-nominated this past year were not massive budget comic-book movies, or huge epics like Star Wars or Rogue One, or The Great Wall, or King Kong.

There are several movie theatres in my city that just play the lower (but not shoestring/Indy) budget movies like Lion and La La Land, or Manchester By The Sea, or Moonlight, or Hidden Figures, or Fences.

And several times a year, even the bigger cinemas that usually play huge budget movies (Avengers, Batman, King Kong, Great Wall, etc) make way for Film Festivals and Foreign Language movies from other countries.

The point is: not every huge budget movie is comic-book based.

And "everything else" is a wildly varied mix of original concepts and ideas, or even the occasional good sequel.

I love the comic-book movies, and, some of the other huge-budget things.

I also like a good deal of the lower-budget stuff (eg Trainspotting 2, Lion).

But not all of it (eg Chick Flicks, bad Hollywood 'comedies', horror).
 
2017-03-19 11:55:27 AM  

PaulRB: The problem with movies today is there is room for only two kinds of movies:

1. cheap, low budget, indie films made on people's cell phones for fifty cents.

2. high priced, big budget, Hollywood pictures made with the best of everything except for scriptwriters, in the hopes that they'll make $500 million worldwide.

That's it.  There's no room for a modestly budgeted, well made, well written, movie -  unless you can get a Spielberg to finance such a thing.

Television seems to have room for so much more.  This is probably only temporary as the bottomless budgets of Netflix and Amazon will probably stop being bottomless soon enough - and that's what's driving all the good TV.  Everybody else is trying to compete with Netflix and Amazon.  Enjoy it while it lasts.


I guess you're unfamiliar with Get Out.
 
2017-03-19 12:08:10 PM  
Seriously. Get Out was the best horror/sci-fi movie I've seen in 25 years.

It went back to the basics: A great story, a great script, and damn good actors.

4 Million, which yielded 100 million.
 
2017-03-19 12:51:10 PM  

Bonzo_1116: PaulRB: The problem with movies today is there is room for only two kinds of movies:

1. cheap, low budget, indie films made on people's cell phones for fifty cents.

2. high priced, big budget, Hollywood pictures made with the best of everything except for scriptwriters, in the hopes that they'll make $500 million worldwide.

That's it.  There's no room for a modestly budgeted, well made, well written, movie -  unless you can get a Spielberg to finance such a thing.

Television seems to have room for so much more.  This is probably only temporary as the bottomless budgets of Netflix and Amazon will probably stop being bottomless soon enough - and that's what's driving all the good TV.  Everybody else is trying to compete with Netflix and Amazon.  Enjoy it while it lasts.

The coming writers' strike is going to get ugly.  They'll be squawking for a better deal for netflix/amazon/etc distros.

Know what we got last time around?

"Here Comes Honey-Boo-Boo" and the Kardashians, that's what.

Buckle up, it's gonna be some shiat TV.


I am pretty sure MTV ruined television long before those other CABLE shows came along. Heck, broadcast TV had American Idol, survivor and other junk before 2007. All the writers strike did was put a 10 pound rock on a mountain of Reality T.V. bull shiat and set animated t.v. shows back a year. And when the people who liked well written t.v. complained, studios listened. If not, how in the heck do we have Breaking Bad, and the Netflix/Hulu originals?

If anything, the writers strike amplified all the flaws of reality T.V.. Critics are not calling it the second gold era of Television because writers are not writing.
 
2017-03-19 12:54:34 PM  

pkjun: PaulRB: 2. high priced, big budget, Hollywood pictures made with the best of everything except for scriptwriters, in the hopes that they'll make $500 million worldwide.

That's it.  There's no room for a modestly budgeted, well made, well written, movie -  unless you can get a Spielberg to finance such a thing.

Movies have the same problem television had in the 1950s and 1960s. Most TV shows from that era absolutely do not hold up today -- and that's not just a difference of cultural taste, because films from the '50s are perfectly enjoyable. Most pre-70s TV was absolute crap, and much of our residual belief that TV is a dumb thing for dumb people comes from the fact that TV in the early postwar era deliberately was a dumb thing for dumb people.

But it's not like smart writers didn't exist. In fact, the people responsible for the dire misery of old TV were often the exact same people responsible for the snappy dialogue and sweeping majesty of old movies.

As compared to movies, TV used to be expensive to produce/distribute, had very little internal competition, and had a huge and varied audience, including rural viewers who weren't being reached by other media. The winning strategy soon proved to be to target your shows as broadly as possible -- you didn't need to worry about a few fancy-pants literary critics; you needed to worry that the millions of mouth-breathers and the hicks wouldn't flip the channel to something even folksier, ruining one of the few revenue opportunities you'd have that season

Now movies are in the same boat, only it's even worse, since budgets keep soaring higher and higher, and since films need to not only reach American mouth-breathers and hicks, but also need to reach huge non-English-speaking audiences -- and the practical difficulties of cross-cultural translation demand simple plots with simple dialogue and simple characterisation.


"How can you put out a meaningful drama when every fifteen minutes proceedings are interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits with toilet paper? No dramatic art form should be dictated and controlled by men whose training and instincts are cut of an entirely different cloth."  - Rod Serling [man behind The Twilight Zone].

Don't forget the driving force of ads.  The whole point of traditional TV is to get people to watch the ads.  In movies, [traditionally] the movie is the product sold to the viewers.  In TV, the viewers are the product sold to the advertisers.  How or if the product enjoys the TV is utterly irrelevant, as long as they watch the ads.

To a certain degree product placement and especially things like kiddie TV essentially being entire ads for toys changes things (let alone Disney's ownership of ABC+multiple cable channels allows then to mold entire networks into an "obey Disney" ad.  But the traditional revenue streams still hold up a bit, and expect movies to be made for the audience and TV made for advertisers.
 
2017-03-19 03:43:43 PM  
One problem with a lot of this big-budget TV is the length of the form.

When you look at some of the best older TV, stuff like Frasier, 30 Rock, Fawlty Towers or MASH, you had something in a fairly short piece of time. 30-40 minutes. You can sit down and watch a Frasier episode and other than a few 2 parters, you can watch one episode. You can't turn on a random episode of the first season of Heroes or Game of Thrones. You have to watch a season, maybe even multiple seasons to catch up.

I'm also not sure that a lot of it isn't rather "soapy", albeit with better acting and dialogue. You can watch a great movie like Black Narcissus or Citizen Kane and in 2 hours it tells you something about the human condition. What's Breaking Bad telling you in 30 hours except what the 2 Godfather films did in 6?

Personally, I think the most exciting thing right now is what's happening with independent and relatively low budget cinema. Films can make a bit at the theaters but then make some more with rentals, blu-ray and streaming. Films like Ex Machina, The Duke of Burgundy, Love and Friendship.

What's dying is farking Julia Roberts star vehicles. And well, farking good.
 
2017-03-19 03:58:34 PM  
The major reason for the disparity in quality between TV and Movies back then, is because Movies were considered big important things, while TV was considered a cheap throwaway novelty. There were no VCRs, no DVDs. No "own the series box set." This is one of the reasons why so many episodes of shows like Doctor Who, and Dad's Army are just gone forever, or exist only as low-quality off-air audio recordings. There was no way for viewers to really save this stuff and nobody ever considered there was a market for selling it to them. It was electronic kleenex, which existed for the sole purpose of filling the gaps between commercials. Use it once and then throw it away. It literally had no value once it had been shown, so why waste time and money on it?

Movies could be shown, redistributed and reshown over and over until the prints wore out. A bigger return, a better investment. Far more worthy of time and effort.
 
2017-03-19 04:08:48 PM  
Movies don't have the benefit of time to flesh out characters and get viewers emotionally vested like TV does. A really great movie can do that but they are few and far between. I prefer TV because of that investment, and as long as the show pays off that investment. However, I can enjoy both mediums for what they are. Movies are great for immediate gratification while good TV makes you wait for it.

As an example, it's 4:00 PM EST and I'm already mentally preparing myself for tonight's Homeland. This season is putting me through the wringer and I really wish there was a thread for it on here, but I digress. The writers are making the fans "wait for it" to the point where we are collectively screaming "uncle," while the writers just laugh and throttle us some more. This might be really great TV or just prolonged self-torture. I'm not sure which, and I'm not sure what my point is, but it's hidden in this rant somewhere. Maybe. If you find it let me know.
 
2017-03-19 07:27:28 PM  

pkjun: Movies have the same problem television had in the 1950s and 1960s. Most TV shows from that era absolutely do not hold up today -- and that's not just a difference of cultural taste, because films from the '50s are perfectly enjoyable. Most pre-70s TV was absolute crap, and much of our residual belief that TV is a dumb thing for dumb people comes from the fact that TV in the early postwar era deliberately was a dumb thing for dumb people.

But it's not like smart writers didn't exist. In fact, the people responsible for the dire misery of old TV were often the exact same people responsible for the snappy dialogue and sweeping majesty of old movies.

As compared to movies, TV used to be expensive to produce/distribute, had very little internal competition, and had a huge and varied audience, including rural viewers who weren't being reached by other media. The winning strategy soon proved to be to target your shows as broadly as possible -- you didn't need to worry about a few fancy-pants literary critics; you needed to worry that the millions of mouth-breathers and the hicks wouldn't flip the channel to something even folksier, ruining one of the few revenue opportunities you'd have that season

Now movies are in the same boat, only it's even worse, since budgets keep soaring higher and higher, and since films need to not only reach American mouth-breathers and hicks, but also need to reach huge non-English-speaking audiences -- and the practical difficulties of cross-cultural translation demand simple plots with simple dialogue and simple characterisation.


I wanted to post, but you said it all.
 
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