Why are ludicrous plot lines more tolerable on TV than in movies? Check out the latest Ask the Critic question and post your own

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated December 17, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST
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Why are ludicrous plot lines more tolerable on TV than in movies?

Why do I find a ludicrous TV show like Prison Break highly entertaining, but when I watched Flightplan at the movies, I got upset at the plot holes? Does buying a ticket make us more critical? —Steve Wolfe
There’s certainly a correlation between expense and expectation. On TV, I’ll watch crappy movies (I think that’s a category heading at Blockbuster) that had me scratching with boredom in the theater. (By this I mean City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold.) But to get misty-eyed for a minute, I think your question speaks to the magic promised by a first-run movie on a big screen, an experience TV viewing can’t duplicate. Sitting in the dark with strangers and watching gigantic moving images, we shift, almost neurologically, to a place of heightened hopes. On the upside, we may be in for a cinematic hit of ecstasy. On the downside, we may be in for some really stupid plot holes.

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