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Welcome to the inaugural issue of Volume 68 of The Panel! With Volume 67’s edi...read more

Debate of the Issue: Shows v. Movies

Pro Movies (LEE):

There is nothing better than settling in with some popcorn and an ice-cold drink for that upcoming movie you have been anticipating for over two weeks now.  You are happy, the movie has begun, and life is good. Now, let’s be real for one second: who actually prefers shows over movies? Offering a variety of genres which satisfies any possible interests for viewers of all ages, movies have more funding, better CGI, and, often, a more accomplished cast.  The experience of watching a movie transcends the experience of watching a show. Almost every person watches movies on a consistent basis, but let me ask you: When is the last time you used your TV to watch a show? Truthfully, cable television is becoming obsolete, and people know it have become disinterested in simple generic TV shows.  Furthermore, although I recognize that certain shows, such as Game of Thrones, provide respectable CGI, movies, in general, have far better CGI because they invest more funding, time, and effort. The average time allocated to creating a film is around two and a half years while, in comparison, the average time in creating one season of a show is around 10 months.  Understandably, the editing, acting, and overall quality of movies simply outrank that of shows. Additionally, if you observe the plots of movies and shows, you will recognize that shows are often monotonous as they repeat the same ideas or overuse the same character dynamics. Honestly, you can only watch so many episodes of the same reoccurring storyline. Movies, however, offer so much more.  Enthralling viewers from start to finish, a movie provides fulfillment to its storyline. Unlike the plot of shows, whose episodes often disappoint by offering meager cliffhangers throughout the season, movies provide a sense of satisfaction that simply cannot be replaced. To conclude, recognize the value of movies in your life: how could you honestly object to the fact that movies are utterly superior to shows?

 

Pro Shows (PAPPO):

Everyone has enjoyed movies and television shows alike, yet the peaceful coexistence of both as indispensable facets of entertainment has rendered choosing one over the other meaningless. However, here at The Panel, we do not choose debates solely because of their practical application to people’s lives, but, instead, because of the thick sparks that will fly when the two concepts clash. Historically, movies have earned more prestige in the entertainment industry, yet TV shows have been making significant gains in recent years. The 2000s ushered in a golden age of television, with shows such as The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. These beautiful pieces of art caused people to reassess the role of shows in mass culture. Over were the days of superficial sitcoms– which indeed achieved their goal of making viewers laugh, yet lacked in bringing something raw and profound to the table; a rival to movies had arisen.

The dramas of the 2000s relate less to the shows of the ‘90s than to their filmic predecessors, while offering an improved, revolutionary experience to the viewer. They depicted the relatable and interesting lives of their characters while masterfully implementing dark comedy, which did not take away from the overall theme and could still evoke fits of laughter without the background giggles of some trivial unseen audience, as seen in Friends and Seinfield. One cannot help but smile as Paulie of The Sopranos tries to help his mother acclimate to the daunting social climate of a nursing home, yet this smile quickly fades as he strangles a defenseless old woman in her room for not accepting his idiosyncratic mother. Not only have shows risen to the level of movies through their content, but they even surpass them in some aspects, including their ability to utilize the length and segmentation of their stories. A viewer of a movie witnesses the entire work in one sitting, which may often feel rushed and incomplete, while a viewer of a show generally spends tens of hours of their time watching the thought-out series unfold. Assuming they keep up with the show as it airs, viewers must also wait a week for the next episode, or even a year for the next season (if binging, though, they must at least get a good night’s rest). This also allows the creators to install shock-inducing cliffhangers that completely flip the plotline on its head, consequently leading to the show’s fans deeply thinking and theorizing about the uncertain future of their characters– characters with whom they have developed close personal connections– much deeper than that of any cinematic character. The much longer run time opens more room for character development, which greatly expands upon the thorough world of the show. Whereas movies must sacrifice this attention to detail in order to fulfill their burdensome temporal limitations, shows kindle an intense relatability between the viewer and the characters by familiarizing the former with the latter for hours on end, thus giving a raw perspective on their lives, one unmatched in any other form of entertainment.

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