I've really dreamed of doing television. All of us do television, coming up. But when I was coming up, television was a black hole for actors. Now, television has a certain cache. Now everybody wants to be on TV because they're doing adult dramas. If you're an actor, it's like, "Well, get me on television," because it's the only place you can do it and also make a living at it. If my kids need shoes, I better do a TV show because I damn sure don't make any money with independent films.
Billy Bob Thornton
The days of television as we knew it growing up are over. You have a bigger, wider world audience on the Internet, larger than any American television series. People don't watch television in the same context as before. Nowadays they watch their television on the Internet at their convenience. That's the whole wave, and it's now - not the future.
When you decide you want to become a television writer, you naively assume it's going to be like the writers on the old 'Dick Van Dyke Show.' You'll write something and they'll just put it on TV. But what you quickly discover is that American network television is television by committee.
There is a difference. You watch television, you don't witness it. But, while watching television, if you start witnessing yourself watching television, then there are two processes going on: you are watching television, and something within you is witnessing the process of watching television. Witnessing is deeper, far deeper. It is not equivalent to watching. Watching is superficial. So remember that meditation is witnessing.
Television is making, there was in independent film renaissance late '80s through the mid-90's. It was an amazing time. Television is doing that right now. So that's why everybody wants to do it. I mean if you're writing stuff like, you know, Fargo, or True Detective, or any of these things that are on, Breaking Bad, there are no rules in television.
Billy Bob Thornton
Television is much more complex, brain-challenging and involved than it used to be. It's almost impossible to watch a television show from 15 years ago; it's just too boring. I think modern television shows, with their intricate plots, are stimulating our minds. This is one reason IQs have been going up.
But it is not time constraints alone that produce such fragmented and discontinuous language. When a television show is in process, it is very nearly impermissible to say, "Let me think about that" or "I don't know" or "What do you mean when you say... ?" or "From what sources does your information come?" This type of discourse not only slows down the tempo of the show but creates the impression of uncertainty or lack of finish. It tends to reveal people in the act of thinking, which is as disconcerting and boring on television as it is on a Las Vegas stage. Thinking does not play well on television, a fact that television directors discovered long ago. There is not much to see in it. It is, in a phrase, not a performing art. But television demands a performing art.
Thank God for television. I've been able to consistently work in television even when people say, 'Oh my God, I haven't seen you since this film or that project.' At least I'm working. It's very difficult to get that next movie role. I'm grateful to have the television world accept me.
There is nothing wrong with entertainment. As some psychiatrist once put it, we all build castles in the air. The problems come when we try to live in them. The communications media of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with telegraphy and photography at their center, called the peek-a-boo world into existence, but we did not come to live there until television. Television gave the epistemological biases of the telegraph and the photograph their most potent expression, raising the interplay of image and instancy to an exquisite and dangerous perfection. And it brought them into the home. We are by now well into a second generation of children for whom television has been their first and most accessible teacher and, for many, their most reliable companion and friend. To put it plainly, television is the command center of the new epistemology. There is no audience so young that it is barred from television. There is no poverty so abject that it must forgo television. There is no education so exalted that it is not modified by television. And most important of all, there is no subject of public interest-politics, news, education, religion, science, sports-that does not find its way to television. Which means that all public understanding of these subjects is shaped by the biases of television.
I have quite a bit of experience reporting on corporate behavior, both doing it with independent operations in early in my career, in the underground press, to magazines like 'Rolling Stone,' to regional newspapers and television, and television news programs, to papers like the 'New York Times' and public television.
The point is that television does not reveal who the best man is. In fact, television makes impossible the determination of who is better than whom, if we mean by 'better' such things as more capable in negotiation, more imaginative in executive skill, more knowledgeable about international affairs, more understanding of the interrelations of economic systems, and so on. The reason has, almost entirely, to do with 'image.' But not because politicians are preoccupied with presenting themselves in the best possible light. After all, who isn't? It is a rare and deeply disturbed person who does not wish to project a favorable image. But television gives image a bad name. For on television the politician does not so much offer the audience an image of himself, as offer himself as an image of the audience. And therein lies one of the most powerful influences of the television commercial on political discourse.
Television in the 1960s & 70s had just as much dross and the programmes were a lot more tediously patronising than they are now. Memory truncates occasional gems into a glittering skein of brilliance. More television, more channels means more good television and, of course, more bad. The same equation applies to publishing, film and, I expect, sumo wrestling.
A. A. Gill
I think television is moving more into movies, particularly with serialization and almost cinematic proportions and expectations. A show like Game of Thrones is a perfect example of that. It isn't all about instant gratification it's about inviting someone into the long experience of television the way you'd be invited into a theater for two hours. So I think in that way, and the quality of writing in television is probably much better than most film writing.
I know when I was growing up in New York, whenever I turned on the television, I never saw a face that looked like me. Whenever there was an Asian person on television, it would be a huge event, me calling to my older sister 'There's an Asian person on television!' It was unheard of back then.
Television is perhaps the greatest medium ever discovered to teach and educate and even to entertain. But the filth, the rot, the violence, and the profanity that spew from television screens into our homes is deplorable. It is a sad commentary on our society. The fact that a television set is on six or seven hours every day in most of the homes of America says something of tremendous importance.
Gordon B. Hinckley
I think television has become such an interesting place for characters and for incredible storytelling. Half of what I watch are television shows that I've become obsessed with. I just think that it's opened up so much, to be such an interesting and creative medium, and so many wonderful directors and actors are moving to television because it is a great medium for telling stories and for creating a character over a long period of time.
There used to be a huge snobbism between the film industry and the television industry. I produced and acted in my first - well way back - but the first thing that I produced and acted in was Sarah, Plan and Tall. And the only place to go at the time for really quality television was Hallmark Hall of Fame. And think how much television has changed since then.
Every television program must be a complete package in itself. No previous knowledge is to be required. There must not be even a hint that learning is hierarchical, that it is an edifice constructed on a foundation. The learner must be allowed to enter at any point without prejudice. This is why you shall never hear or see a television program begin with the caution that if the viewer has not seen the previous programs, this one will be meaningless. Television is a nongraded curriculum and excludes no viewer for any reason, at any time. In other words, in doing away with the idea of sequence and continuity in education, television undermines the idea that sequence and continuity have anything to do with thought itself.
I did a good bit of episodic television directing, but directing a movie is so much more complicated. And there's so much more responsibility because the medium is very much a director's medium. Television is much more of a producer's writer's medium so a lot of the time when you're directing a television show they have a color palette on set or a visual style and dynamic that's already been predetermined and you just kind of have to follow the rules.