Please help. I was recently drawn into an argument with my roommate regarding the merits of television vs. film. It happened when we were watching a film awards ceremony (on television, I hasten to add!) and my roommate commented that he considered film to be a far superior medium, both artistically and technologically, to television. He then went on to babble about “the purity of the artistic vision” and “the unparalleled raw emotion” that the big screen can convey - my roommate’s an actor, in case you’re wondering. He’s currently “acting” as a waiter in a local restaurant! Anyway, I reckon his views are based on nothing more than ignorance and outdated snobbery. Just because film is older than television does not mean it is better. Please help me prove this fool wrong so I don’t have listen to his incessant romanticized cinematic blatherings for a moment longer!
Yours sincerely, Nathaniel K Shaw.
Nathaniel, it will be my pleasure to help you, although I believe you have already hit the nail on the head yourself. Ignorance and outdated snobbery are indeed the reasons for your misguided roommate’s views. They’re also the reason we continue to suffer the agony that is theatre, but that’s another story :) Here’s my top 5 reasons why the televisual experience is better than the cinematic…
1. Multi-functionality! Televisions can be used to watch TV, films, DVDs, Blu-ray, VHS, Betamax, play video games, and even browse the internet! Try doing that at your local multiplex and see how far you get!
2. Originality! Cinema’s most acclaimed works always originate on television - fact! The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, Starsky and Hutch, and Miami Vice all started out on the small screen. Apocalypse Now the TV series - never happened!
3. Comfort! When watching television in their own home the viewer is in complete control of their surroundings! They also don’t have to take out a second mortgage to get a warm drink and some stale popcorn!
4. Adverts! Advertisements on television, annoying as they are, only last for a few minutes! At cinemas adverts can run solidly for up to three hours! Well… that’s what it feels like if you ask me!
5. Toilets! Need to take a toilet break? OK, but we can’t stop the film, so I’m afraid you’re just going to have to miss the plot. Perhaps you could ask someone what transpired on your return, and ruin the viewing experience for everyone else in the auditorium too! Congratulations - you’ve just gone to the cinema!
So there you go Nathaniel, my top five reasons why watching television is better than going to the cinema. Although that’s not to say the cinema is completely devoid of charm. Check out these cute little guys…
Pretty cool, aren’t they? Although I suppose you are watching them on a TV screen! Which means… no wait… I’m starting to confuse myself! Brilliant, now I’m the one needing help!