The TV-is-better argument is, above all, an attempt to narrow the range of what sophisticated viewers feel obligated to watch. Yes, such polemics sometimes serve other purposes. (Shaming Hollywood studios out of making another board-game-inspired blow-’em-up and turning to taut, Breaking Bad–style thrillers instead, for instance.) But generally the TV-is-better argument is a way of saying, “I don’t have to keep up with the movies anymore, and neither do you.”
Maybe so. I dunno. I don’t watch TV, in the sense that there are television shows I keep up with. When I watch, I watch Netflix streaming or rentals on Amazon streaming. In fact, I’m about to watch the second part of a documentary on Netflix. I’m not the guy to ask which is better these days, TV or the movies.
But I will say this. I had an afternoon this week in Baton Rouge with my teenage son. We could have gone to the movies. There was nothing to see. Nothing. Actually, he wanted to see “Pacific Rim,” but then, he’s a 13 year old boy. He read Anthony Lane’s characteristically hilarious takedown of the movie, and changed his mind.
It’s depressing that it’s mid-July, and there is nothing playing on any screen in the entire city that I care to watch. I mean, I took the boys to the most recent “Star Trek” movie, which was complete crap, but I was willing to give it a shot because I liked the first J.J. Abrams one. If we lived in New York City or L.A., we probably could have found something worth taking a shot on this week. But we don’t, so we didn’t. I so rarely do.
Do any grown-ups go to the movies anymore?