How My Opinions On TV Shows Have Changed (And How They Haven’t)

Hey there, blogger buddies!

In my post The Trouble With Sequels~Featuring Why I Don’t Typically Like TV Shows, I expressed my disdain for TV shows as a species. I’m sure I have mentioned it in other posts as well.

But as you may have noticed, I also spend a lot of time telling you of my undying love for several TV shows…my inconsistency is…well, it’s something.

At this point, I can’t really say that the TV shows I like are exceptions to the rule- there are too many of them and I am starting to enjoy them for BEING TV shows. I used to say “This story is good DESPITE being in a TV show format.” But that is just not true.

There are, in fact, positive things about TV shows.

I know, I’ve had a major turnaround here.

Positive aspects of TV shows

1) TIME to TELL the STORY

For one thing, some stories just take a long time to tell, and with a TV show you don’t have to squeeze it into a two hour time slot. You can explore interesting side plots and really take the time to build the story naturally, instead of streamlining everything.

2) Episodes are like chapters- more like a book

Someone once pointed out to me that each episode of a TV show is like a chapter, and more recently I’ve really come to agree with that. As a great lover of books, anything that makes movies/TV more like a book is going to get points with me. The length of TV shows, as well as the way they’re broken up into chapters, is indeed more similar to the format of a book than a typical Hollywood film.

3) Depth of character development

Again, due to the prolonged nature of a TV show as opposed to a movie, there is potentially time for some really great character development to happen. Like a book, we have time to explore things that a streamlined movie can’t get into.

4) Easy to fit into life (chapters again)

This last one isn’t so much about the quality of the story as it is about the practicality of short, bite-sized pieces when it comes to fitting into a person’s schedule. When everyone in your family is going every which way and there is much in the way of sallying forth, it can be hard to find a two and a half hour chunk of time to watch a James Cameron movie, but a forty-five minute episode might be just the thing.

In the past year or so I have come to appreciate these pros to the TV show format. That being said, however, I still stand by much of what I have said in the way of negative aspects of TV shows.

Negative aspects of TV shows

1) Sloppy pacing

Having the time to tell a story that needs it is one thing. Taking five seasons to tell a story that could easily have been told in five minutes is quite another.

Due to having so much time, TV shows can easily fall into the trap of sloppy pacing, and dragging things out that really should not be dragged out at all. There are aspects of stories that can get cluttered with extra bits and lose their impact because they were edited lazily. Extra bits can be good, but in the right places. Otherwise they drag the story down.

And of course it can be really annoying when you can tell they are holding off on an important event/reveal just to keep you watching- not for any actual purpose for the story. Ugh.

2) Cheaper quality

Though this is certainly not always the case, there seems to be a lower standard for the quality of TV shows- acting, dialogue, special effects- which can be rather painful at times. Maybe this has to do with how fast they have to churn out episodes or something? But I think that for some TV shows this is a much bigger problem than others. Still, worth mentioning.

3) Time consuming

This is mainly a personal problem, because I could always STOP watching a TV show partway through… But nevertheless. When you watch a bad movie, you wasted about two hours of your life doing it. When you watch a TV show that you end up realizing (far too late) is rubbish, you may end up wasting…twenty hours? Thirty? I mean, once you’ve invested so many hours in a story, it’s much more awful when the finale is a horrible letdown than if you’d only spent an evening on it.

4) The run-on effect

Oi. So this may be the biggest issue I have with TV shows still. And it may have something to do with my inability to quit things before I’ve finished them (though I am getting better at this actually!) There are so many that just run themselves into the ground. Starting a TV show that is still active is terrifying because you don’t know if they will have the good sense to stop when the story is over or if they will keep going until after the cows have come home, become elderly, and died. Or something.

The good thing is, I have discovered that some TV shows are actually capable of coming to an end when the story has run its course, for which I am extremely grateful.

Epilogue

I have come to appreciate much about TV shows, which I never would have guessed a few years ago. It does make me feel a bit sheepish sometimes, since I was so strongly against them for so much of my life thus far.

But hey, we all get these kinds of blows to our pride and it’s probably good for us.

What are your thoughts on TV shows as a species? Have you watched many TV shows? Do you think that TV shows are more like books than movies are? What are some of your favorite TV shows? What is something on which your opinion has drastically changed in the past few years?

18 thoughts on “How My Opinions On TV Shows Have Changed (And How They Haven’t)

  1. Ah hahaha I like this a lot (and I must admit I was a bit confused when I’ve heard you talk about liking shows and not liking shows etc)
    But this makes a lot of sense and it’s always nice to read something explained well.
    What TV shows DO you like? What’s the current list of best ones? (Beyond Avatar of which I have just the other day started ;))
    I haven’t watched many myself and all I can think of off the top of my head is Sherlock (which I adore).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Haha, I’m glad this post cleared that up for you. I confuse even myself sometimes with my inconsistency. I’m glad my explanation made sense!
      Well, my favorite TV shows are Stranger Things, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sherlock, The Promised Neverland (my latest obsession) and Avatar (of course). Maybe I have forgotten one, but I think that’s it. I was also into The Flash for a while because Cisco is the best ever, but it’s really not the greatest storytelling and it has way too many seasons at this point that are just plain bad. The overall quality was subpar anyway, so I wouldn’t include it in my list of favorites. Though Cisco is wonderful.
      Sherlock was one of the very first TV shows that I actually watched and enjoyed!

      Like

  2. Well, haven’t really see any typical TV show recently or in the past few years. Now, my sister and I are rewatching Glee, a TV show I stopped watching once university and the fact that some episodes became boring

    Came to love shows on food network- Chopped is my favorite

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you on most of the points. I love TV shows because of the extra character development and the pacing (if it’s done right) does feel more like chapters in a book (nice way of describing it). In fact I’ve gotten so used to TV shows that it’s a bit jarring to me when I watch a movie, everything feels so FAST. That said, I agree with your cons…they do tend to drag on a bit. Which are some of your favorite TV series?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the more I watch TV shows the more movies start to feel too fast. It’s weird. Some of my favorite TV series’ are Avatar: The Last Airbender (it’s surprisingly as wonderful as everyone says it is), Stranger Things (despite some truly aggravating teen romances), Sherlock (I adore Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman), A Series of Unfortunate Events (ACCURATE BOOK ADAPTIONS ALL THE WAY), and my most recent and surprising discovery, The Promised Neverland. I have never watched anime before and I wouldn’t have watched this one if a trusted friend hadn’t recommended it, but I am obsessed with this story now. What are some of your favorite TV shows?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh nice shows! (yes Avatar last airbender was quite good!) I love Sherlock as well! I think that’s one of my favorites. I also really enjoy Merlin (I suspect you might like this show as well, if you haven’t tried it already). And then I’m always a sucker for comedies, so I love Galavant, Frasier and The Office are a couple of good ones.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have been hearing about Merlin over the years, but I haven’t watched it yet. Maybe now that I’m getting in the habit of watching more TV shows I’ll give it a try one of these days! I have seen a handful of episodes if The Office, but I haven’t heard of the other shows you mentioned. I do like comedy, but it always annoys me when they put so much inappropriate content in there. Comedy doesn’t NEED to be inappropriate to be truly funny.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Merlin is good and pretty clean (perhaps one or two exceptions? But very minor). I’d definitely start with that.

        Yes I definitely understand what you’re saying about innapropriate content! It really bothers me as well, it doesn’t add any comedic value (or anything to the story), just ends up being vulgar for the sake of vulgarity. That said, I use something called “Vidangel” to watch the Office. It’s pretty sweet as it removes inappropriate content or conversations! (only work with Netflix though)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Cool, thanks for the recommendation!
        I agree, it’s definitely frustrating. Oh, nice, I have heard of Vidangel, but I haven’t used it before. It might come in handy for something like The Office though. Some of it does look really funny. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right? I was very pleased with A Series of Unfortunate Events. I wasn’t as big a fan of The Umbrella Academy, though there were definitely things about it that I really liked- I only watched one season of that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahhh, I feel this.
    The consistency of my inconsistency is rather concerning at times. You are not alone. *coughs awkwardly*

    Probably one of my favorite things about TV shows is, like you mentioned, that they have the ability to tell the story in greater detail and explore characters and backstory more in depth. (And because I am a great appreciator of the side-character, I LOVE LOVE LOVE when we get episodes about more minor characters!)

    Great post, my friend! I agree on your points. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can only think of one show that I watched from beginning to end, and it was Good Omens — I’m pretty sure there were only 6 episodes, and the small number is the primary reason I was able to finish it. Okay, I completely understand why TV shows seem more like books than movies, but to me, TV shows feel more similar to book series. It’s just how you have to commit to multiple installments. I haven’t finished many book series either.
    I’ve just been thinking about the changing mind question recently — one thing I’ve drastically switched on is with geography. I used to think it made no sense why people used to study geography in school. What was the point of all that memorization? But now I wish I had to take geography in school. I don’t know why, but I feel like there is nothing someone in authority can do to quickly lose intellectual credibility than to be oblivious about geography. If you get mixed up about how photosynthesis works, or the quadratic equation, it doesn’t seem to impact me that match. I don’t know if that’s a widely felt sentiment or if it’s just me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I do find that committing to something that is multiple installments can be a bit risky and I have tried many that I have abandoned. They really have to keep me interested. I can definitely see how TV shows, especially the longer ones, are like book series. I guess a miniseries (basically a TV show with only one season) is more like a single book and a TV show with multiple seasons is like a series. So it has to be really good to sustain multiple installments.
      Huh, that’s interesting about geography. I can see what you mean about losing credibility if you don’t know geography, though I guess for me it would depend on what the authority figure was supposed to be an expert in. I am not very good at geography myself. 😛

      Like

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