While writing yesterdays Week In Geek, I noticed that I left off the Oscars, which happen to be this Sunday. This of course got me to thinking, why did I leave off the Oscars? They’re kind of a big deal. It’s a celebration of the year in film (duh), and if you guys haven’t figured it out yet, I’m an award show nut. I watch from start to finish because the awards you don’t care about, I sort of do. Think about it, the person who wins for set design or costumes have worked their whole life for that moment, and in one instant, boom, it’s all validated by a statue and a public speech. For me, it’s kind of magical. The whole mystique of award shows just interests me, plus it leads me to have these delusional fantasies where I think that maybe, just maybe, that can be me some day. Award shows are kind of inspiring and make me strive for great things. It’s not necisarrily recognition but the idea that anything is possible. That’s what Kevin Garnett told me any way.
Yet, the Oscars didn’t make the Week In Geek. Weird, right? Which had me thinking about something that I’ve known for a long time now. I’ve become more of a television head then a movie head, and this has been a transformation that’s been happening for a while now. As a matter of fact, if I was to pin point the exact moment when I started to switch gears, it was around the time I moved in with my sister and brother in-law and fell in love with Community and Breaking Bad. Side note, do the terms movie head/television head work? Wasn’t sure how I felt about them…
Like I said though, this wasn’t always the case. For the longest time I was a movie addict, and I still am to a degree, but my allegiances have shifted. I consumed movies on the constant, whether it was going to the theater to watch a film or hoarding DVD’s because of crazy Best Buy sales, I needed all of the movies. No, literally all of the movies. I was consumed by my love for film. Movies didn’t even have to be good for me to like them. I hated 30 Days of Night yet I still owned it. Why? Why is that? Because it was easy to throw on in a pinch and to roll my eyes at. Maybe there was the hope that on the next viewing it would be better. It never was but it didn’t stop me from trying. You can’t do that with bad television. There’s no way I would ever give another moment of my life to True Detective season two. You can spite watch a movie and make fun of it, but I find that television doesn’t really allow that.
Around Oscar time I would go out of my way to make sure that I watched as many of the nominated films as possible. This way I could debate who won the awards and who got snubbed properly with friends. I’m ever a student of wanting to debate properly. There is nothing like the person who doesn’t have the facts and thinks he/s can argue. No sir, I’m going to sink your battle ship, and I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it.
And that’s what caused me to understand that I’ve shifted from movies to television. Over the last five years or so I’ve seen less and less of the best nominated films. As a matter of fact, if I’m going to the movies lately it’s to see a big spectacle film like Star Wars or anything Marvel. One of those things the interwebs will spoil twelve hours after it’s released. Each year the number of nominated films I’ve seen becomes smaller and smaller until we reached the point, this year, where I haven’t seen any of them. Not one. I know all about the big ones, La La Land and Moonlight, but I haven’t seen them and it isn’t because I don’t want to either. I’m interested in a number of these films, but I think if I’m going to go to the movies and spend the money I want that big spectacle film. I can always get to these artsy pictures when they get released to video. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
What I’ve actually been doing is binge watching the hell out of television shows. There is so much good television I haven’t seen, that I need to, and during those quiet moments where I could be watching movies, I’m watching these shows instead. And why is that? For starters I don’t have to leave my house and spend an asston of money. All I need is to be stocked up on good snacks, and that’s a big selling point. The other aspect of it is, as I’ve explained here before, I’m a story junkie. Picture your favorite fictional drug junkie, clearly it’s Pookie from New Jack City, that’s me with stories. Gimme, gimme, gimme or I’m going to scratch my arms till they bleed or develop a weird tick. Stories are life and it doesn’t matter where these stories are coming from. Whether it’s books, movies, television, or comics I want them all, and the serialized nature of television allows me to stay with these stories longer. Of course that’s going to give television the edge.
The landscape of television just seems to be more vast to me lately. I’m more excited about getting into shows like The Americans, House of Cards, or The People vs OJ Simpson then I am about watching Manchester by the Sea (which I hear is brilliant but also ruins lives) or Fences (but I do love me some Denzel). The potential of growing with characters is too tempting and there is just something a bit more rewarding when it comes to binge watching. There’s a whole different feel you’re able to take away from a binge then sitting and watching a two hour movie. Maybe because it’s a more intimate viewing experience. A movie gives you a small window into the lives of these characters, and granted that window is a pretty important one (they did make a movie about it after all) but television allows you to see characters grow and transforms in ways that movies can’t provide. As a story junkie that gives me the chills.
So, the Oscars are this Sunday, and I’m going to watch. I would never miss a really big pop culture moment like that, but I’m also not going to have a dog in the fight. Sure, Emma Stone winning would be great (she gave us Easy A guys) or Mel Gibson finding some sort of Hollywood redemption would be cool (he gave us Braveheart), but outside of that I have no rooting interest for the first time in a long time. But I’m okay with that. I’ll watch the majority of these films at some point in between trying to figure out just what I’m going to binge next.