Television is wimpy.
If movies and TV shows met in a dark alley, movies would kick their butts…easy.
Just take a look at the subject matter of the top movie box office for this past weekend alone:
- a band of zombie fighters
- a machine that turns water into food
- the first man to ever tell a lie in the world
- people using surrogates to live their lives
- a roller derby league for women
- a documentary on capitalism
- a performing arts high school
- an executive who turns informant
- a motivational speaker who doesn’t practice what he preaches
Would any of those story lines ever be a TV series? No. (Well, maybe the last one…and that’s because it’s the worst of the lot.)
For some reason, television executives have decided that the only dramas that audiences want to see revolve around hospitals, police stations and courtrooms. This year they got all excited and found a new angle — nurses. Awesome…that totally changes things.
In comedy, it’s all about the non-traditional family. Which version do you prefer? Courtney Cox in “Cougartown?” Julia Louis-Dreyfus in “The New Adventures of Old Christine?” Or the male equivalent in “Gary Unmarried” or “Two and a Half Men”?
Even reality shows are just giving us the same thing over and over again. “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” co-mingled with “The Biggest Loser” to begat “Dancing Your Ass Off.” Kill me now.
Why can’t series television show a tenth of the creativity and risk-taking of movies? Sometimes it does…in series like “Glee” and “Mad Men” and “True Blood.” And in case the networks don’t get it — that’s why audiences have gone crazy.
Hey, look — television series about something different…a high school choral group, and an ad agency set in the 1950’s, and a New Orleans town inhabited by vampires and shape shifters.
Not a doctor or lawyer or cop in the bunch. And we’re still watching.
Stings, doesn’t it?