About two decades ago, no serious and well-respected actor featured in TV shows, but this trend changed with time and A-list actors accept roles in TV shows these days. In my opinion, watching characters in TV shows evolve over time brings familiarity of some sort, like you are growing alongside these characters and you kind of know them and what they are capable of. I believe there is so much more to TV shows than just entertainment.
As far as TV shows are concerned, there are two categories of people. The first category believes that TV shows exist solely for entertainment while the second category believes that TV shows embed education in entertainment. Which category do you belong to? I belong to the second category and I have really learnt a lot from watching TV shows. I have watched a good number of TV shows and I must confess, some of these shows were just a waste of my precious time and so were some movies (majority of them are not Oscar Nomination standard anyway). Out of the many wonderful TV shows that I still watch, I have been able to learn a lot from Grey’s Anatomy, a medical TV show and Suits, a legal TV show.
I don’t just watch these two TV shows because of the storylines, which are great by the way, but I also watch them to learn something new. I know it sounds cliché but it is what it is. I remember talking to one of my friends currently doing his PhD in environmental law and he was impressed at how long I could hold a conversation about his line of studies while using all the right terms (at least most of the time). I am into pure sciences and I have never taken a class related to law. All I know about law I got from Suits.
Thanks to Grey’s Anatomy, I know enough about medicine to converse intelligibly with people in the medical field. This TV show has been on for 13 years and like wine, it gets better with age. After completing 13 seasons of this particular TV show, I feel like a doctor already. I mean, I know so much medical terms and procedures that I sometimes think I have earned a medical degree (just kidding).
Although not all procedures on the show are realistic, most of them are and they make for good entertainment and education at the same time. I am not saying all great TV shows are avenues for education, because there are TV shows like adventure and sci-fi themed ones that are obviously not practical, but they make good entertainment for a longer period.
I don’t know the first thing about writing a movie or TV show, neither am I in the best position to give a list of what makes a great movie or TV show, but I can tell when a movie or TV show is good or great. Whatever your preference is, movies or TV shows, I believe there is always an opportunity to get educated while you are being entertained. However, I think there is more room for education in TV shows than in movies especially if you choose the right ones, because TV shows are structured to take longer time, years in some cases. TV shows have evolved from what they used to be and they serve more purpose than merely entertainment.
The writer is from Nigeria and
currently a PhD student of chemistry at UEF.