These are nervous times…

Television is still very much a more derided form than the internet.

I guess at this being the cause of its programming. There’s some kind of hierarchy, or tradition, that exists around TV. Of course, the internet still has to involve an editor, at least, to act in a similar way to a producer in television. Someone has to choose what goes where. Yet TV is under intense scrutiny in the process and delivery of this choice. (I am of course referring to the programming of TV more than I am the production of it)

I am not, however, so sure the distinction between the two deliveries is very clear. If we consider television a canon of everyday practices, it is not enough to define it by its existence amongst a network or conglomerate of programming. Just the same, televisions ability to act as a form of social experience – of viewing, listening, analysing and discussing – is as much at home on the internet as it is being carried by a TV.

So why is TV more derided? To that end, I am not entirely sure.

“TV shows became better than mainstream movies”.

More recently, as Graeme Blundell notes in his article “The Past Is Another Country” for The Australian, “TV shows became better than mainstream movies”. He makes particular reference to The Sopranos, and in my own experience – naive as it may be – I often would confuse The Godfather and The Sopranos in discussions with friends. By no means intentionally, but from what I had seen online (several cut out scenes from the show on YouTube) I had no reason to believe it a TV show rather than a movie. It is in fact a complex long form narrative, made very popular by the likes of HBO and Showtime. And it seems these networks have nailed the middle ground between cinema and traditional TV broadcast. No commercials, on demand viewing.

So if we are to get back to my first statement that TV is a much more derided form than the internet, can we then suggest this is because of its links to film and film criticism that carriers such as HBO and Showtime incite? Or is it simply the ‘broadcast’ nature of television that opens it up to a wider audience and forces it into their living rooms that makes it more critiqued? After all, the internet is full of choice. TV is far behind in those terms.


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