Quick footnote: A movie I am drawn to see is one that from the ads/ trailers/ etc. I must go to. A movie that I am dragged to see is one someone else (i.e. Kelly) wants to see and forces me to accompany (usually a chick flick of some sort). A movie that I end up seeing, is one that we go to because we have made a decision to see a movie, any movie, and the decision is based more on time slot than the movie itself.
By coincidence, my TV viewing has moved in precisely the opposite direction. For many years there was no such thing as "must see" tv for me. It took a lot for me to latch on to a particular show and it didn't happen often. Not anymore. Between The Office, Heroes, 24, Grey's Anatomy and the various HBO/ Cable shows (Extras, Sopranos, Entourage, Weeds, etc.), my Tivo is working overtime.
So I guess my question is, why is this? My understanding is that in the past, in the Hollywood food chain, movie work was always much more highly regarded than TV work. All of the creative/ talented/ pretty people busted their butts to try to get into movies. So why does it seem like that all of the really creative, interesting output of that industry is now through TV? Even many of the big movies now are really just the film version of TV shows.
Rich has written some posts about how, with respect to products, the wisdom of the crowds is usually pretty dumb because you end up a the lowest common denominator. I also heard a story (completely unverified) that Mel Karmazin stayed in radio (as opposed to TV, movies, etc.) precisely because most folks who worked in the radio industry viewed it as a stepping stone. He figured that would present an easy opportunity to leave its mark.
So is it possible that there are too many smart people in the movie industry? As a result, for whatever reason, the creativity quotient goes down? The leaner, meaner TV industry can create interesting products while the movie folks are busy worrying about their parking spots? If so, can this happen to other industries? Like, I don't know.....say, on-line technology? Hmmmmm...