The Quality of TV is Changing

I started watching a new show called “True Detective” last night and it got me thinking about the state of TV and how things are changing for the better, of course. I may be slow on the uptake but have you noticed just how many TV series being broadcast at the moment have a regular cast of movie stars at their helm?

And I’m not talking B-listers either. I’ve watched the likes of Academy-award-winning and Oscar-nominated actors and actresses like Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Matthew McConaughey, Maggie Smith and Woody Harrelson grace our silver screens night after night in recent months. I’m really loving what I see if this is the turn-around strategy that entertainment studios are adopting to keep their mainstream TV audience.

Empire TV show
Image courtesy of IMDB.com

Think about it…the quality of the TV serials, soapies and dramas are increasing in part to the new talent pool being used, but it is also due in part to the craftsmanship of  the scriptwriting and cinematography being adopted to make all these A-listers look good on the small screen.

I’ve become an avid fan of the soapie “Empire” because it captures African-American culture so well and allows audiences a peek into the life and times of a family at work in a way that “The Bold and Beautiful” cannot. It may be strange for to see “Empire” referred to as a soapie, but that is exactly what Fox Entertainment has billed it, as a ‘modern day soap’ at its release in Jan 2015.

True Detective TV series
Images courtesy of HBO.com

Another show that piqued my interest as mentioned earlier is “True Detective” and this is because stylistically it is very beautifully put together and well-directed to boot. I don’t think I need to mention the acting quality because I think Harrelson and McConaughey have that covered, but what also interested me was why these kinds of movie stars are making their way on to the TV screen. This article justly captures Matthew McConaughey’s thoughts on the matter and I have to agree with him on one point – I too feel that it is greater to have an actor unfold a character for you in their portrayal of a role on a weekly basis for an hour than to merely watch them try to unfold the same in a mere 2 hours on the big screen.

I’ve always said that I value my series watching over viewing a movie any day, and it is because of character and theme development that this is the case. I dig the slow and steady progression of a character’s role in a TV series and how this either can build tension or dissipate it episode by episode.

It will be interesting to see how this trend progresses and where it will take us, the audience, in the journey. Rumour has it that Keanu Reeves might also join the silver screen in the near future and I expect that this will be a fun twist to the action-packed series genre.