The Showtime series was one of the best things to air on TV (so, it’s a show) in 2017, but all 18 parts will screen in the Museum of Modern Art as one of 2017’s “finest films” (so, it’s a film). According to Vulture, MoMA “will screen the entire season of The Return over the course of three days in early January,” with parts 1-4 on January 5, parts 5-11 on January 6, and parts 12-18 on January 7.
When asked how MoMA classifies The Return, curator Rajendra Roy said, “David Lynch’s latest Twin Peaks season is simply unclassifiable: something totally and spectacularly unique. However, as the Chief Curator of Film, and not Television, at MoMA, I will simply say that my opinion on the matter can be interpreted through the fact that I have invited it to be screened at the Museum. Interpret that how you will, and we hope you will join us in this debate by experiencing this incredible work on the big screen for free this January.” (Via)
To answer the earlier question about show versus film: it’s neither, it’s both, it’s who cares. All that matters is that it’s good, and watching the scene with the road rage lady while surrounded by priceless art sounds like a fun evening.