I’m going out on a limb to suggest that it’s the growing competition of television drama that crafted 2007 into the best year of cinema in recent memory (most chalk 1999 as the last great year for the medium). How does cinema take a step up from the compelling, serialized drama and character involvement of shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Lost or Six Feet Under? 2007 showed us that cinema’s best bet is “taking chances” on films that were completely uncompromising in their cinematic vision and scope. There Will Be Blood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and No Country for Old Men should be commended, no matter how you felt about any of the three, for at least reminding us of cinema’s often unreached potential.
Though I’m completely unorganized in my thoughts about this matter, not to mention that finding a definitive idea of what’s going on with the two mediums could be nearly impossible, I think this conflict could provide the best for both worlds. As both a reaction to the tripe of network programming and even the lack of compelling drama in the film world, HBO unleashed a giant of a television corporation, constantly giving their time to challenging, complex and utterly fascinating programming. As a result of this, cinema gave us films of lasting importance and of unmatched scope. We’ll always have to suffer through shit like Everybody Loves Raymond and Good Luck Chuck, no matter what happens. Cinema will never die under TV (we’ll always have Spider-Man, X-Men, and the Pirates of the Caribbean in some form to force the people off their sofas), but perhaps TV was always what cinema needed to keep it in check. Perhaps the battling forces will continue to challenge one another with their respective strengths.