Opposing Viewpoints: TV vs. Movies

TV shows versus movies have been a longstanding debate among film-watchers and show connoisseurs. With the rise of shows like Squid Game and movies like Avengers Infinity War, which is better: shows or movies?

Opposing Viewpoints: TV vs. Movies

Sean Lee and Roanna Pham, Staff Writer

Roanna Pham: Shows are Better than Movies 

Beginning in the early 1900s, the introduction of cinemas brought a new pastime of watching movies. However, now in the age of relatability, does watching a 1-2 hour long movie just to see esteemed actors portray caricatures of people cut it anymore? Of course, this depends on preference, but personally, TV shows are superior to movies for a myriad of reasons.

Firstly, TV shows allow for significantly more character development due to the simple fact that shows have more run-time to flesh out each character and give them complete storylines. With movies, this simply cannot be done as a result of the time constraint. Take for example the show Squid Game, which has recently taken the world by storm. Throughout its 9 episodes spanning 8 hours, the show had ample time to provide background information, create an intricate plot, prolong suspense, and fully develop each character. If this show were instead condensed into a two-hour-long movie, the audience would be robbed of that development and storyline. Beloved side characters such as Sae Byeok would have never even been introduced, or at best would have been reduced to stereotypes. By providing adequate time to fully introduce and surmount obstacles, shows allow the characters to grow in a relatable and realistic manner.

Furthermore, when it comes to shows, there are a plethora of topics that are covered ranging from reality TV, competition shows, to even ever-popular anime shows. However, in regards to movies, the time constraints limit the topics tremendously. Have you ever realized that horror movies are essentially the same, with identical jump scares and cheap gore? Well that, for one, is due to the fact that they do not have the time to create enough suspense, and more importantly, the absence of variety means the absence of unique characters. Horror movies such as The Conjuring resort to using jumpscares to force the audience into fright instead of fostering an eerie atmosphere to scare the audience organically through the plot. If these horror movies were turned into shows, they would be given significantly more time to develop suspense—in effect, creating a more chilling and resonant climax.

Some might argue that movies are superior because of their shorter run-time. To that I counter: wouldn’t your viewing experience be significantly enhanced if there was more time to flesh out each character and tie up any loose ends? Also, who wouldn’t want a few extra episodes to bond with your favorite characters. Sure, watching movies might be time efficient; however, is it really worth it to save a couple hours at the expense of your own enjoyment?


Sean Lee: Movies are Better than Shows 

In the last few decades, there has been an unprecedented rise in both popularity and cultural acceptance of films. While there has been a growing interest in TV shows heightened by the recent pandemic, there are a variety of reasons why movies are better than TV shows.

To start, movies are easier to access and watch. For TV shows, you must wait for a certain date and time to watch the next episode, but for movies, you can watch it whenever and wherever you want. Instead of having to wait for a week for the next episode to come out, you can simply buy tickets at the nearest movie theater or even online.

Additionally, with the shorter run time of movies, they give people the ability to watch the entire masterpiece in one sitting instead of having to wait and possibly forget what happened before. It only takes an hour and a half for a movie to take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, but TV shows start with no foreseeable climax in sight. Popular shows are also often milked to oblivion just because people don’t want to let go of their experiences and it often ends with an abrupt train wreck of a finale after seasons of the same plot lines over and over again. Movies, however, take just a fraction of the time to have an extended narrative with deeper characters and a fulfilling and satisfying ending.

Additionally, movies have significantly better special effects than TV shows. Special effects can often turn a film around from looking cheap to high-quality, and this is what sets movies apart from TV shows. Just take the example of one of the CW’s most popular television shows Supernatural. The show is centered around the Winchester brothers hunting supernatural creatures, but most of the CGI makes it look like the creatures are just humans with a giant mouth for a face, which is more humorous than scary. Contrast this with the high-quality visual effects of Avengers Infinity War and being able to see all the small particles of Iron Man’s lasers, and you can clearly see the difference in quality. This goes even further with the effects of 3D and 4D in theaters.

Finally, movies give a classic cinematic experience that will never be forgotten. Whether with friends or family, going to the theater to watch an exciting new movie just has a unique ambiance that brings people together and creates shared experiences and memories that can last a lifetime.