10 Insane TV Theories You Won't Believe

Uncle Donald, what did you do in the war?

Gilligan's Island

One of the most common rallying cries heard during the current TV revolution has been "television is better than movies!", or some variation on that. It's an assertion that's hard to argue with - with soaring audience figures to match the budgets, the quality of the writing and the attraction of Hollywood stars to the small screen, there's a heck of a lot more to watch on the boob tube than down your local multiplex.

When it comes to a toss up between Transformers and True Detective (Season 1, anyway), that's not really a choice at all, is it? TV shows are helped further by the wealth of material they contain. A film has to tell a story over ninety minutes (or, nowadays, closer to three hours for some reason); that's just about enough time for an A plot and a sub-plot that more often than not is romantic in nature.

The sprawling, weekly episodic nature of television means that multiple plots and characters can be juggled at once, and not resolved for years. The personalities and foibles of stars can be explored much more deeply than in a movie, the stories can have more nuance and subtlety, the pacing a little more elastic. Note that we're saying that can happen - for every Wire there's still, like, Two And A Half Men.

Those big, sprawling universes leave even more room for interpretation. And those epic, weekly stories slowly build up some pretty huge fandoms more than willing to postulate on things that happen between seasons, to speculate on the off-screen pasts or activities of characters, or apply countless critical theories to the enigma that is Don Draper. If you thought that people had some strange ideas about movies then, well, you're about to come at the king. And you best not miss. Here are ten insane TV theories you won't believe, even when we tell you. Which we're about to. Don't touch that dial!


Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at http://communibearsilostate.wordpress.com/