Updated: May 26
With platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other streaming services becoming much more accessible and popular, more people have been using their spare time to watch for hours on end. Thanks to these platforms, lots of shows have been revived or popularized due to accessibility.
When deciding what to watch, one of the first questions people usually ask is: “Series or movie?” While everyone has their own preference, we believe that binging a good series will be a better choice compared to a movie.
The first reason is: it is a lot easier for series to have cliffhangers without irritating the audience. Because the episodes in a series are shorter, it doesn’t take as long to film compared to a movie. Usually, there is a set schedule for when the next episode will come out. However, in movie sequels, it usually takes almost two years to film, and in some cases, never. If the director decides to stop the production of the project, then there is nothing the audience can do. If a movie sequel gets cancelled, it could lead to a lot of the audience getting displeased.
In a TV series, things are a bit different. Directors would need to plan a certain number of episodes, and there would always be an ending to the story. They could add cliffhangers in the ending of some episodes, which can make the viewers curious about what is to come in the following episodes. This usually takes a short amount of time as new episodes frequently come after a week. This tends to hook the audience and make them want to keep watching. There is also a sign of assurance that there is going to be a next season or episode.
An example of a movie with a cliffhanger would be Spiderman: Far From Home. The ending got some people upset making the viewers more curious about what was going to happen next. It was released in 2019, and the new movie still hasn’t come out yet, leaving the viewers hanging. An example of a series with multiple cliffhangers would be the anime, My Hero Academia. Some episodes may have contained cliffhangers, but the following episodes were surely released, allowing viewers to be satisfied.
Second, getting attached to the characters is much more likely in a TV series compared to a solo movie (movies that do not have any sequels or are not linked to a cinematic universe). Watching a movie can go by in one to two hours, which won’t always let the watchers get invested enough with certain characters because of the limited time. In a series, however, which spans several episodes (and depending on how long it is) and can take a few days to finish, viewers will be able to walk with certain characters and witness their challenges to a better extent.
Since time limits become less of an obstacle, we get to see the characters go through their trials, hardships, and adversities much better. We also get to see more of their habits, and how they live their lives in general, which allows us to be able to relate to the characters more since viewers will feel as if they are also living the character’s life. Getting emotionally invested or being able to relate to a character much better will almost always make watching that particular series much more enjoyable. Having that emotional attachment will make it so that viewers will want to see that particular character succeed in what they are doing even more.
Sure, there are a lot of movie franchises and cinematic universes out there such as Marvel, but how often do you really watch a stand-alone two-hour movie just to feel more attached to a character?
Lastly, a TV series can tackle more genres than movies do. For movies, there is usually only one theme that it focuses on throughout the whole film. It could be a love story between two characters or a thrilling action movie. However, with only one theme, we might lose interest while watching the film as it would be only talking about one topic related to the main theme. Since movies are usually one to two hours long, even if there was another theme, it would be hard to combine even more themes.
On the other hand, most series have several genres. There could be a mix of two or three main themes in one series, and an episode within that series can contain more than one theme. The characters might be fighting against evil and the next scene in the episode might show a romantic scene between characters. One example of a series that has several themes is the popular series called Modern Family. The series has eleven seasons, and it is a mix of sitcom, comedy, children’s film, mockumentary, and Pseudo-documentary. Another example of a series that has several genres throughout the film is the Korean drama named Kingdom. The genres include horror, thriller, action, politics, fantasy, and historical drama. Series like these with the combination of various genres make it more enjoyable to watch.
When we decide on something to watch, there are usually two main options. The first is a movie, which is a great way to have some bonding time with our family and friends, and on the other hand, the series is great for binging and a good way to drown into your bed or couch. Both do have their pros and cons, but we believe that a series will almost always be better in terms of individual enjoyment because of not having to wait on cliffhangers, having a good sense of emotional attachment to the characters, and being able to showcase different genres to switch things up once in a while.