Why I Enjoy Movies but Never Watch TV

I have come to prefer watching movies over television. When precisely this shift in preference came about I cannot recall, but I suspect it was gradual and slow. Actually, truth be told, I almost never watch TV anymore, but I do still enjoy a good movie.

Home Video

It wasn’t always this way. I am old enough to remember when my family first bought a VCR. This purchase, quite revolutionary at the time, opened the opportunity to watch any movie that I wanted at any time. Suddenly I was not dependent on being seated in front of the TV at a set time for a scheduled program. I could watch what I wanted on my own schedule. Even more amazing was the ability to pause or rewind a movie.


The format of a movie is different from a TV show. A typical TV show of 30 or 60 minutes (if one includes the commercials) must necessarily be somewhat superficial. Only sequential dramas are able to build tension. Movies, because they are stand-alone productions and have 90 to 180 minutes to work with, are not only able to build a deeper plot and weave a better story, but indeed they must. The movie producer has but one chance to succeed; there is no “next week” with a movie.

Time Commitment

The time commitment to watch a movie at first seems greater than watching a TV show; however, while watching TV it is quite easy to get sucked into watching one program after another. Watching a movie makes it quite easy for me to move on to another activity afterward. It is also obvious at the start how much time I am committing to the movie.

Product of Internet

Finally, the Internet has changed the way I watch video of any type. The advent of streaming video makes it easy to watch movies at any time of day or night without even a run to the local video rental kiosk. Streaming video is also blurring the lines for me between a good TV drama viewed online and a movie. On the rare occasions when I do watch a TV program it is usually purchased online and streamed for viewing at my convenience making it more like the movie experience that the traditional television experience.


Despite the obvious similarities between movies and television, I find watching movies to be a very different experience. These reasons, while perhaps subtle, are significant enough that over the years I have all but given up on TV, but I do still watch movies.