Since there is no forum for Television Appreciation, I thought I'd start a thread about cinema-style television.
The first thing that comes to mind are cable mini-series like Band of Brothers - obviously inspired by Private Ryan, and likewise From the Earth to the Moon, another Tom Hanks inspired/produced film style mini series. In other words, film production values applied to made for television programming.
However one could argue that many regular series are cinema quality - which is a misnomer since there are plenty of cinema quality films which are not very good.
That being said, films run the gamut from dark and dramatic to technicolor and silly. In other words, we have both film-style dramatic television and sitcoms, and shows that are somewhere in between.
So then, I suppose defining a television show as cinema-like is becoming more difficult. I would be interested in your opinions.
My take is that the best cinematic techniques do not make a TV show better.
They only make it more watchable, that is assuming it is a good show in the first place. Otherwise, it doesn't matter, and any Network hack would agree that if the show sucks, no amount of gloss is gonna fix it, or make it more attractive to the media buyers.
Case in point, The Honeymooners shows were brilliant, every one, and no amount of filmic mumbo-jumbo could have made them better. Actually, would've made them worse.
But, I think this is a very thought-provoking thread, thanks Mike.
Along the lines of "great cinematography can't save a bad show" makes me think of the short lived Bionic Woman reboot. The producers were hoping to do for bionics what Battlestar Galactica did for cylons (bionics?).
There were numerous articles in the film trades about how they shot with low budgets with a Varicam and not much lighting and a low budget and made awesome images, etc. However the same article mentioned a new director and a rewrite, which should have been the first sign of trouble.
They may have gone all sorts of crazy with their camera technique but in my opinion, this was one of the worst shows ever.
Knight rider was a similar situation in the same time period. Lots of outdoor beauty shots of cars, girls, beaches - typical socal stuff - but really bad acting and weak plots. I realize the original Knight Rider and Bionic Woman probably had similarly bad writing and acting, but , well, maybe that's what they were going for.