Skip to content

Disclaimer: I have not seen many of the big budget TV productions, like Westworld and Saturday Night Live, that reigned supreme at the Emmy nominations this month. I also have not seen the buzzier titles like The Handmaid’s Tale or This Is Us that wracked up a large amount of nods. I have, however, seen my fair share of shows that were nominated.

Over the past few years I’ve been craving a break. I’ve found myself caught up in way too many television series, to the point where it’s hard to keep track, and way too many movies, to the point where I can’t seem to remember them all on-the-spot. The echo chamber of reactions has become too much for me, conversations about both sometimes devolving into empty dialogue. It’s the direction we steer the conversations in though, right?

Since last year, we’ve seen a surplus of articles and think pieces by critics and journalists about how television is taking over the conversation and all but making movies less relevant, and of course conversely that movies still have the tightest grip over our cultural consciousness. I do not want to be another voice in this conversation.

Quality serial television and movies work hand in hand for me when it comes to discussions with friends, and always have. My engagement with both oscillates between a personal and communal level. Recently, I’ve noticed television shows taking more risks (narratively and aesthetically) and films engaging in episodic structures. The crossover is exciting. These two forms of entertainment, which have the potential to be art, affect and influence one another in a myriad of ways that resists the pitting we’ve seen. What makes it all the more exciting is how open the access to both is.

Looking over the Emmy noms I see a lot of shows and performances I’ve enjoyed: Donald Glover’s endlessly inventive Atlanta, Aziz Ansari’s relatable Master of None, and Armando Iannucci’s still funny Veep stand out. While these shows mix genre, with the exception of the latter, I’ve found them far funnier than most comedies released over the past few years. None of the films I’ve found funny this year so far (left to right) – Donald Cried, The Ornithologist, The Beguiled – are straight comedies. I’ve had trouble finding a solid straight comedy, be it mainstream or independent, over the past few decades. It could be because my taste in comedy is changing, or the demand just isn’t that high, but I’ve encountered more TV shows that are successful in this genre. And then, of course, there were some of my favorites that weren’t nominated or only nominated once – Insecure, Search Party, Chewing Gum, High Maintenance, Jane the Virgin, and BoJack Horseman (I’m not sure if some of these were submitted and didn’t get any noms or weren’t even eligible).

Drama is a little more uneven: I was so-so on Netflix’s hit Stranger Things and I can’t seem to remember much of the last season of House of Cards (I haven’t started the new season yet, but haven’t heard much about it). It’s nice to see Viola still riding strong on the How to Get Away With Murder wave (even though I gave up on the show a few seasons ago) and Matt and Keri for The Americans, which is finishing off its run strong. I’m not sure how The Leftovers only ended up with a single Guest Actress nod for Ann Dowd. Prestigious HBO limited series like Big Little Lies and The Night Of garnering a big chunk of nods seems unsurprising, as they were both critically lauded and well received by audiences, dominating cultural conversations last summer and earlier this year. The line between drama and comedy can be thin – Transparent is clearly a mix of the two, for me. Another show that blurs the line that I’ve enjoyed recently is the Kim Cattrall-headlined Sensitive Skin (streaming on Netflix).

Keep watching, keep engaging, keep recommending. That’s my advice. You might just inspire someone to be inspired.

3 thoughts on “No More Think Pieces About Television Replacing Movies or Movies Still Mattering Leave a comment

Make yourself heard!