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Chipotle

Movies vs. TV shows? Pfft, that’s an easy choice.

Most movies are quick, visual experiences, guaranteed to satiate hunger pangs. Like simple carbohydrates — they’ll give you a temporary high, and pretty soon — Boom! Sugar crash, and you’re hungry again.

Well, most movies do that. The good ones, however, stay with you a lot longer. Much like a grilled panini — with cheese and aioli oozing down the sides — a memorable film teases and taunts. Beckons you with a manicured finger, and has you begging for seconds. Afterward, there’s no sugar spike — just the heavy warmth of a full tummy.

Imagine going on a series of blind dates. Movies are like that. You meet characters, stay in their worlds for a while and then say goodbye and don’t look back. 2 or 3 hours (Hello, Bollywood!), then curtains rise, and you’re throwing the leftover popcorn in the trash and loading up the dishwasher. 

A TV series is, however, an entirely different ballgame. It is like sampling an exotic cuisine. The first bite may taste weird, but if you stick with it — one more serving, one more episode — you just might get hooked. And before long, you’re dreaming about masalas and chipotle peppers, raring to go back and try more.

But unlike movies, a TV show means commitment. None of that wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. Story arcs and seasons will corner you, demanding exclusivity or at least a ring on the finger. You will see characters live, die, win or fail. And whether they’re laughing or crying, you’ll be right there dabbing your eyes and pressing “watch next episode.” 

When I was a teenager, I loved movies. At that age, the world seemed fast and fleeting, and I’d no desire to put down roots anywhere. So I watched plenty of films — some good, most bad and I was satisfied. TV shows were too much work, and I largely steered clear of them (except for the X-files and Doogie Howser, because duh!)

I don’t know if it’s wisdom or leaving behind the frivolity of the twenties. But as I grew older, I found this need to find my little corner in the world. A place where I had the friends, family, and finances I needed —not an ounce more and not an ounce less. And likewise, my viewing choices shifted. I desired something with more substance than 2 hours could offer. TV shows where characters had depth, purpose, and a relatable journey. I laughed at their quirks, marveled at the complex storylines and the neat little bows that tied up every episode to satisfaction. And to my utter delight, the dormant writer inside me woke up. I relearned the art of telling a good story, grabbing my readers by their collars and nudging them into fantastical, flawed worlds. Though still a novice, I discovered I’m happiest when I write, and my mental health thanks me for it.

So movies versus TV shows? An easy choice. I still like my simple carbs and sugar highs, silly movies, and short films. Enjoy them, even. But my heart beats for the tangy masalas and smoky chipotle peppers. My heart belongs to Season 2, episode 3 of every good TV show.

Now, who is buying dinner, because I’m starving and could really use a burrito!

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