Details. The little things that bring the spark of life to your story. As writers, we have an advantage over movies and television shows. No really, we do. We can bring the reader deeper into the story than any audio-visual medium can.
For example, Main Character sits down to eat dinner. In a movie, you see the steak come out, it is sizzling and looks perfectly cooked. Main Character makes a happy grunting sound as he takes a bite.
Now let’s look at Main Character sitting down to eat in your book. As she takes her seat, she thinks about whether she wants the steak, or maybe some chicken. She should be ordering a salad, she thinks, but there is no way in hell that’s going to be enough tonight. She decides on the steak, and sips at her wine. The bitterness tweaks her tongue, and it reminds her of the cheap wine she had on her honeymoon.
She smells the steak a moment before it arrives. The rich aroma is carried by the sizzling steam rising from the platter. She takes a bite, and the meat nearly melts in her mouth, just enough salt to bring the juices out of the meat, filling her mouth with flavor.
See? We get texture, taste, smell, aroma. We can listen in on her thoughts and memories in a way that would be overly contrived on TV.
We have the advantage. Use it! This TV thing is just a passing fad anyway, right?