The Rise Of Highbrow TV

Julian Sanchez strokes his chin:

Alex Tabarrok considers some economic explanations for the recent inversion of the traditional dominance of movies over television as “elite entertainment,” primarily the rise of pay-TV and the growing importance of the international market for movies. (Explosions don’t need to be translated, after all.) That’s surely part of it, but I’d be more inclined to emphasize the effect of DVR and the rapid collection of TV seasons on DVD.

It’s much easier to tell a dense, multilayered story with many characters that unfolds over the course of a full season when you know viewers aren’t at any risk of missing an episode and getting lost, and in particular when they can go back and refresh their memories rather than having to keep the whole story cached in memory in the week between episodes.

Yglesias highlights an unusual movie theater selling point:

To me, at least, the movie theater has become an unusual point of refuge from the ubiquitous connectivity of my laptop, smart phone, iPad, etc.—a place where social convention makes you shut up and watch in a way that’s hard to achieve at home.