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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old January 27 2012, 06:35 AM   #1
Gojira
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SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

I am finding myself gravitating to more scifi-fantasy in movies rather than TV. The exception being episodic TV where the story is contained within one episode and not drawn out across many episodes.

I find some series that have a long story arch across several seasons or episodes to be drawn out and that gets a little tedious.

That is why I am enjoying movies more lately.

Or maybe I am getting impatient in my old age?
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Old January 27 2012, 10:04 AM   #2
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

Doing a SF/F series on TV takes money to do it justice...networks are less likely to spend it unless it looks promising. I prefer TV to movies...I like seeing stories spread out as long as they are done right...and on TV...it can be a frustrating...but movies it is 1-3 shot every other year and then re-boot...if a TV series is done right...maybe 3-7 seasons(in a row)?
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Old January 27 2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

TV shows are made up as they go. Even a really svelte and zaftig product like The Sopranos can have plot threads that end up going nowhere and other such nonsense. TV's always been made on tighter demands, wheras film doesn't have the same time, budget, and episode number constraints.

YMMV.
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Old January 27 2012, 09:16 PM   #4
Temis the Vorta
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

I love well-made serialized TV shows, genre or otherwise. However, broadcast is still not doing a great job of genre TV - tends to overuse familiar and tired elements too much (Terra Nova, Alcatraz, Grimm) or be too mawkish (Touch). Cable is more entertaining (American Horror Story, The Walking Dead.)

It's movies I'm getting bored and impatient with.
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Old January 27 2012, 10:05 PM   #5
Gojira
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
I love well-made serialized TV shows, genre or otherwise. However, broadcast is still not doing a great job of genre TV - tends to overuse familiar and tired elements too much (Terra Nova, Alcatraz, Grimm) or be too mawkish (Touch). Cable is more entertaining (American Horror Story, The Walking Dead.)

It's movies I'm getting bored and impatient with.
I just finished watching the first 4 episodes of Spartacus Blood and Sand. While I do see it is of good quality and very well made and has very good actors. I find myself bored with it and wish they would hurry up with the story telling.
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Last edited by Gojira; January 27 2012 at 10:23 PM.
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Old January 27 2012, 10:08 PM   #6
Temis the Vorta
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

I bailed on Spartacus after the first episode. It looks like the kind of thing that would appeal to some people, and there's certainly a vocal fanbase, but it's just not my thing.

That has nothing to do with my usual liking of serialized storytelling. They could take the same essential story, re-cast it as a wild, extravagant space opera, and I'd probably love it.
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Old January 27 2012, 10:22 PM   #7
Gojira
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
I bailed on Spartacus after the first episode. It looks like the kind of thing that would appeal to some people, and there's certainly a vocal fanbase, but it's just not my thing.

That has nothing to do with my usual liking of serialized storytelling. They could take the same essential story, re-cast it as a wild, extravagant space opera, and I'd probably love it.
Maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea. I wanted to like Terra Nova but that too left me disappointed.

Maybe it isn't the long story arch that is the problem but how that story is told is the problem.
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Old January 27 2012, 10:55 PM   #8
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

I prefer tv shows over movies because a tv show can world build over a weekly basis better than movies can and you can spend more time with the characters. But it all comes down to writing because if the words aren't there the extra time isn't going to help whatsoever. So it really depends on the writing. some shows are better than movies and some movies are better than tv.
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Old January 28 2012, 01:44 AM   #9
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

Space Therapist wrote: View Post
Maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea. I wanted to like Terra Nova but that too left me disappointed.

Maybe it isn't the long story arch that is the problem but how that story is told is the problem.
Serialized storytelling is definitely not Terra Nova's problem. Its problems are (take your pick) boring characters, (mostly) boring actors and a namby-pamby approach to a premise that could use a more bloodthirsty and non-family friendly philosophy. I want to see bad guys who aren't just mustache twirling cliches from a Disney movie and the dinos wreaking havoc!
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Old January 29 2012, 08:16 AM   #10
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

There's nothing wrong with serialized TV series - and in fact in the absolute opposite of the OP's comment, my best friend refuses to watch TV shows that aren't serialized because he wants a story that lasts for years, not 42 minutes plus commercials (an exception being Doctor Who and even then he's quite happy with the current arc taking 2 seasons and counting to tell).

My opinion is it depends on the skill of the writers, whether the show's concept actually is arc-friendly, and whether the makers of the TV show have a game plan or at least an endgame. The best arc shows are those that have been planned out from the start; I think Babylon 5 falls into that category (someone correct me). nuBSG apparently didn't, and we saw what happened. Steven Moffat apparently has the basics of his arc mapped out for Doctor Who, at the very least. So the arcs work.

Of course one big benefit movies have over TV shows is TV show arcs are extremely risky, because if the show is cancelled, there's a chance the story will remain forever unfinished. One good example being Threshold which had a 3-year story planned out, but died after a dozen episodes. Babylon 5 had a 5-year plan, only to get cancelled after 4 (though it got its 5th year after another network white knighted it).

With movies there was no risk that, say, Solaris or Fifth Element or 2001: A Space Odyssey would be cancelled midway through. Of course this doesn't apply to multi-film series, as those who are waiting for the second film adaptation of Pullman's His Dark Materials series or Atlas Shrugged Pt. 2 to come out can attest. (The latter I know isn't necessarily SF but it shows the risks of multi-film series.)

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Old January 29 2012, 08:19 AM   #11
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

I love both mediums, but I love TV shows, because a well made TV show gives us a chance to really see characters developed, to see them live and change before us. And if a big universe is being portrayed, you see that one develope and change, too.

So I do love both, I prefer GOOD TV for that reason.

And I don't need a TV series to be all neatly locked into place when it all ends. I don't need all plot threads neatly trimmed and I don't need all questions answered.

A great long running saga, like life, doesn't guarantee all questions answered. Again, like life, it's the journey that is the point, not the destination. If I enjoyed the ride, it did the job for me.
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Old February 27 2012, 06:59 PM   #12
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

What about movies made for TV?

Dune movies were pretty good on Sci Fi.
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Old February 27 2012, 07:20 PM   #13
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

In general, I like tv much more than movies as a format. I like the idea of getting to know characters by tuning in every week, and plot lines and story arcs emerging and being played out. At its peak, tv has far more potential than movies. TV shows create a world, and movies create a story. Some movie series are able to create worlds, but again you're talking about series...

The problem is that so few tv shows get to fulfill their original vision. I mean just within sci fi, how many haven't? E:FC, Andromeda, Firefly, Dollhouse, Forever Knight (yeah, the last three were able to sort of recover with a movie or asking for an extra season, but still...). And it seems like the more structured and pre-planned the story arcs, the less likely the show is to be allowed to realize them.
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Old February 27 2012, 08:25 PM   #14
Temis the Vorta
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

The Walking Dead seems pretty safe to fulfill its vision, what with the record-breaking ratings and ditto for Game of Thrones.

Lost also got through the whole story. Whether anyone likes the story is another issue. (I was fine with it.)
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Old February 27 2012, 09:24 PM   #15
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Re: SciFi & Fantasy TV vs Movies

Since my wife and I invented children I haven't really had time/inclination to watch movies much. So I'm very grateful for Fringe, Walking Dead and anything else I can watch in a one hour format. That's usually all of the "me" time I have in a day...
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