Monday, June 28, 2010

what i mean by "don't like"

I complain a lot. It's been the subject of most of my posts so far. If you think something is good, chances are I think it's "just ok". In real life, because I vocally complain about things so much, I'm often asked "So is there anything you DON'T hate?". The answer is yes. Absolutely. In fact, I don't really hate things in the literal sense of the word. In no way shape or form do I mean to flatter myself (or speak negatively about anyone else) by saying this, but......... I think most things are stupid. Not in a "I'm much smarter than you and this is a waste of my time" sort of way, but in a generally bored kind of way. Based on what I've observed in other people, I just tend to be able to enjoy things less, especially if they've been around a while. American Idol, for instance, is just so boring to me now because it's been on for so long. Like most Simpsons fans, I agree that there's been a decline in quality of the show since 2005-ish, but I would also be kind of bored with it even if it was good. Ditto Seinfeld, which never really jumped the shark. My parents used to tape it when VHS was still widely available, and re-watch episodes all the time. It's not that the show is not good, I've just gotten bored with it because I've seen it time after time after time. My sister and I re-watched An American Tail with some friends recently, after not seeing it for years. We used to watch it all the time as kids, and went over a decade without watching it after getting older. I was able to quote just about every single line, but she was able to watch it like it was the first time she'd seen it, or at least only remembered things after they'd happened. I was able to quote lines before they were spoken, and do it almost perfectly (in terms of tone, intensity, etc) throughout the entire film. So maybe I just have a low tolerance for repetition based on the fact that I remember things like quotes very accurately. Thus, there's just no reason for me to see it again; I know how every scene goes. This kind of pisses me off because I usually can't remember things people say to me after 10 seconds.
Also, when I say I "hate" something, what I usually mean to say is that I'm just really really disappointed. It bothers me that people had to come together to produce a really bad (but popular) movie, TV show, song, or fashion and think "people will love this!" and then the people out there said "You bet your ass we do!". This includes things like G4, Fox News, almost anything on the radio, Indie culture, etc.


I have a friend who is a lot like me, except that he is way more easygoing than I am. We are both really into games, but he is able to tolerate and enjoy games that generally score a 6/10 from reviewers. Games that receive a 6/10 are "mostly good" meaning that there are more things to enjoy than dislike in it. He is able to identify and enjoy those good parts, take them for what they are and walk away satisfied. He is probably aware of the same flaws that I am, but he doesn't let them bother him. I, on the other hand, am probably just the kind of person who focuses on negatives and I usually just don't enjoy it much. I wouldn't rate the game any lower than he would, but I just like it less. I focus on negatives in general a lot more because it's how I do work, son. I focus on negatives in most situations because anticipating them allows me to confront and "neutralize" them. I write the best essays I can in school by reading them and finding parts that suck, then correcting them. This is my normal thinking pattern, and it applies to my intake of media. If I can identify something that can or should be changed, it just frustrates me that a developer left it in. But enough about me, on to the fun part: STUFF I LIKE. What I've neglected to mention so far is that even if something is flawed, even seriously, I can still enjoy it a lot if the good parts of it really stand out. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an ok example, but I don't want to undermine how awesome it actually is. The show is kind of campy and has its share of 'meh' episodes, and does a lot of things that would be a bit silly  if they were in another show. But I don't care because the show is awesome in general. After I got over those things, they just became a part of the show, and I was fine with it. I'm willing to excuse the occasional cheesy monster or line of dialogue because the rest of the show more than makes up for it.

This week: Buffy vs TEH INTERNET

Seriously check it out. Seasons 1-2 are free on Hulu last I heard. So I guess it's not the actual flaws in something like a TV show that piss me off about it. What really bothers me is if it's generally boring or doesn't do a single thing to stand out, even if it's constructed well. If there's no "wow" factor to be found anywhere, then what is there to care about it? They say that you're only as strong (or fast, or something) as your weakest part. This works both  ways. Unless there's at least one thing to get excited over, the product will never achieve enjoyment in the viewer past that point.

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