Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Lingering Nature of Television

On this blog, I've sometimes argued for the merits of television as an artistic medium equal to film. But as a quality medium, television suffers from one major problem: the goal of self-perpetuation. Conflicts are not allowed to resolve themselves in a natural, organic way, and characters' lives and plot lines are often extended in an artificial manner. This is not true of all television (cable dramas and truly episodic sitcoms often escape this problem), but many shows draw out storylines in an open-ended way (for the series' run itself is open-ended). This is particularly noticeable with romance between characters: sexual tensions must remain tense, and unexpressed love must remain unexpressed, for as long as possible.

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