Why Movies Are Better Than TV

I think I might be a bad browncoat, but before I tell you why, let’s get one thing straight: I love the ‘verse. So don’t freak out, but I think I hate TV.

devil box o’ torture

And I’m therefore kinda sorta glad that Firefly was canceled and turned into a movie instead. (But I wouldn’t be glad if it was cancelled and there was no movie)

Why am I glad? Because I love movies. I like movie stories about a thousand times better than dragged out one-hour-a-week-supposing-its-not-a-repeat storytelling by multiple writers (each with different takes on what bits are important) where the characters lives are divided into little chunks that half the time aren’t even related to each other and they have to keep coming up with stupid reasons why it’s taken two seasons to get two characters together only to have one die or something so that the other can remain miserable. I hate it.

Know how I figured this out? I looked at the shows I regularly watch on TV, and the ones I refuse to by gut instinct. I watch: CSI, CSI: NY, NCIS, Without A Trace, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs, Survivor, the Daily Show, SNL and whenever I can catch a new one, the Fairly Odd Parents. Nothing else. I follow my gut and refuse such things as Lost, Desperate Housewives, etc.

Hi, we have no real lives for you to get frustrated with

So let’s break it down:
Survivor – reality show, no real direction of story
CSI et all – crime shows with weekly self-contained stories
FOP – cartoon with no episode arcs
and funny daily/weekly sketch comedy
In other words, I’ve completely rebelled against the kind of TV show that Firefly was.

Now, when the X-Files, Buffy and Angel were on, I watched them, got completely sucked in, and was kind of glad when they were over because it felt like it’d been dragged out too long. Also, the story had gone places I really didn’t like. (Though I admit Dogget and Reyes did grow on me)

Yeah, yeah, you guys were ok

However, with movies, it’s one sweeping story, written by one person with one vision with character and story development that proceed in linear fashion instead of in fits and starts. If you don’t like where the story goes, you reject the whole movie and you don’t end up with those ambivalent feelings towards it. AND you get the whole story at once rather than being feed tantalizing snippets on a weekly basis.

To illustrate, I’ll take the example I’ve been thinking of:

Simon and Kaylee in Firefly and Serenity

Simon and Kaylee enjoying a laugh before one of them screws up the relationship for the thousandth time

In Firefly, Kaylee (Jewel Staite) and Simon (Sean Maher) had obvious chemistry, but despite repeated attempts to get together never managed it before the end of the series. Either Simon would say something that Kaylee could interpret in the worst possible way, or one of them would get distracted and/or lack the guts to say/do something. This was cute for a few episodes, but after a while it started to get repetitive and a little irritating. No doubt if the show had kept on they would have dragged it out for the whole season (at least).
Total filibustering time: about 15 hours, and still no result

In Serenity, they had obvious chemistry, it stewed, they were oblivious, and they GOT OVER IT and got together by the end of the movie.
Total filibustering time: about 2 hours, with positive result

The funny thing is, despite all my bitching, I really do love Firefly. The stand-alone parts of the episodes were brilliant and funny and touching and I love all the characters. Though, I suspect I might have come to love it (the STORY not the characters) slightly less had it dragged on. And I know I’d go insane between episodes.

Therefore, in my opinion, although we would have gotten MORE story from a long-running TV show, I think we got a BETTER story from the movie.

To sum up:


Greatest Thing Ever in the World

There are a number of potential explanations for why I think this way:

1) I have no patience, therefore cannot sit through slow story development on TV

Attention Span =

2) I watched the movie before the TV show, so I look at the TV show as kind of an extra prequel story.

3) I loved Enterprise and then came “These are the Voyages” and it destroyed all of my faith in TV. It was so bad I re-wrote it to ease the pain. And I’m still bitter.

I loved you, then your awesome world was butchered by your own creaters’ delusions of being able to write

Buy Firefly: The Complete Series on DVD

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