I’m not sure when it happened. I honestly can’t figure out the exact date, or what incident inspired the transition, but at some point over the past few years, TV became better than movies and, in fact, way more popular than any of these dudes.
Some people claim it has to do with superior writing, quality performances from lesser known actors, compelling characters and storylines, or the connection a long running TV show can build with its audience, but I have some different ideas as to why watching television is a better choice than going to the movies these days.
#1 – Nudity
Boobs used to be the best part about going to the movies. Who could forget those nights when your parents would cover your eyes through the “adult parts,” during family movie night, but guess who was the first in line at Blockbuster when that bad boy came out on VHS?
News flash: You don’t have to pay $10.50 to see tits anymore. You don’t even need HBO or Showtime for the most part. You should see what FX gets away with these days: more ass shots than you know what to do with is what (Paging Dr. Christian Troy), and we all know ass is the new tits. If you do have the luxury of watching the premium “movie channels” (which has become a huge misnomer), you’re in store for some of the best sex scenes this side of Basic Instinct. All in the privacy of your own home, which is, for obvious reasons, preferable.
#2 – Will Ferrell
It’s nothing personal against Will Ferrell. I think he’s one of the funniest actors of his generation, by far, but God bless him. Hollywood made him a superstar, then promptly pooped all over his career. Producers like to play horseshoes with him. They toss a dozen crap ass scripts at him and make a movie out of whichever one lands closest.
It’s not just about him, though, it’s about the laziness of everyone in Hollywood. You can say the same about nearly every actor in the business. I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button when two years ago he was Achilles. I’d rather watch a nobody really dig into a TV role and truly become that character for five or six years. Of course, they will never get another part ever again due to typecasting, but that’s not my problem.
#3 – Pee Breaks
Look, I hate commercials as much as the next guy, but they do serve a purpose. First of all, what would SNL do without the UPS Whiteboard guy and the Sham-Wow to make fun of? Second of all, commercials provide convenient checkpoints during which to refill your drink, use the bathroom, or consider the fact that you haven’t moved in over three hours. I’m trying to stimulate the economy by buying eighteen $10 giant sodas at the movies, but somehow I’m the bad guy for asking the projectionist to pause it for me when I have to pee. Not a problem when I’m watching Entourage from the comfort of my couch. I can even hum along with the 5 Dollar Foot Long song while I go.
#4 – Discovery
I love those magical moments when you’re flipping through the channels, mindlessly scanning the animal documentaries and Lifetime dramas trying to find another show about little people, when suddenly something random catches your eye for more than a few seconds. Fifteen minutes later it’s your new favorite show. That’s a beautiful experience, something that Hollywood just can’t provide.
The closest thing Hollywood can offer is when people keep telling me to see a certain movie, and I say that I’ll “check it out”, and then a few weeks later they ask me if I’ve seen it yet, and I tell them no but I’ve been meaning to, but I can tell they are getting offended, and finally when they ask me again a few weeks later I tell them that I saw it and it was pretty good just so they’ll leave me alone.
#5 – When It’s Over, It’s Over
Hollywood directors are really starting to piss me off with this. If they have a shocking cliffhanger, or a funny deleted scene, they risk being tarred and feathered by their peers if they put it anywhere but at the very end of the credits. Why is that? It might be good for the 2nd assistant lighting coordinator to finally get his name seen, but it’s bad for the rest of us.
Of course, if the movie just came out or if you don’t know anyone who has seen it yet, you have no way of knowing whether or not you should stick around, so you do, just to be safe. I have sat through hours and hours of credits over the past few years, and for what? To find out that Professor X isn’t dead and to watch some bloopers from Meet the Fockers? I will never get those hours back.
When the credits roll on a television show, that is the end. Occasionally, an extra scene will run in the corner, or the credits will appear squished at the bottom of the screen, but there is no trickery involved. And there are no obese people trying to squeeze past you, not willing to wait and see if that crazy bitch from Paranormal Activity is going to show up again and maybe take her top off. That’s a plus.