The Wire is the best production in all of film in the last decade. Honestly, I think the linear series is just a better format than a 120 minute movie. With the series you have much more time to develop characters and storylines. It's almost novel like. Granted, I will always want to be able to see a movie and have it be resolved in 2 hours but I think the TV series is just more rewarding.
This. One can do so much more in television in terms of story and character development. The difference being that show creators have just started to realize the full potential of the medium, and/or networks (especially cable outlets such as HBO, AMC, FX) have only recently allowed them to exploit it.
Remember, motion pictures were first exhibited in the 1890s. But the medium didn’t reach its full creative potential until many, many decades later. It wasn’t really until the 50s – 70s when filmmakers realized what they could do with the medium, and studios were smart (dumb) enough to let them do it. That’s where TV’s at now.
I mean I love the Godfather, but Tony Soprano’s a much more complex character than Michael Corleone. Characters in films are comparatively static. Oh sure, they have their “arc,” their “hero’s journey” or whatever Syd Field’s calling it this week… but it’s usually a simple, straight line. They don’t evolve ala Walter White. They can’t! They have roughly two hours to do what it is they need to do. That’s two episodes of TV. Barely a drop in the bucket.
So if TV’s not your thing, that’s fine. But you’re not a position to look down your nose at the medium, any more than someone who doesn’t read books. It’s exactly, 100% the same thing.