lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Sometimes out there you'll see the failure of shows that people really personally liked that were brilliant and before their time attributed to viewers 'not getting' its concept/characters/use of time/the sheer brilliance of having a man rythmically slapped with fish on live tv. Often there will be a rant attached about people's stupidity in liking some other show or film combined with a discussion on the sad state of audiences today (compared with the mythical past when they totally did not like crap stuff* but existed in a state of educated enlightenment).

I never understand this. I mean, how do you know that people didn't 'get it' and just didn't like whatever 'it' was? I often see shows and films and I think, well I see what you're trying to do here and I don't like it very much/am totally not interested in this idea so I'm not going to watch it. For example, I like to think that I didn't really like Wonderfalls because I wasn't particularly grabbed by the main character enough to sit through her voiceovers, not because I was incapable of appreciating the creator's intent and genius. And my not watching the show doesn't prove the show was crap, it just proves that I didn't like it.

Conversely, if I like some show that garners tiny numbers and ends up cancelled it is not because I am inherently superior and somehow recognise the brilliance of the creator and writers, in comparison to the rest of the world who are mindless drones. Maybe I liked the pretty people, or the shiny desks, or the location, or it was on at the right time. It just seems awfully smug to think that I liked something that got axed because I am before my time or somehow more appreciative of artistic vision than other people.

Some stuff (let's say, ferret racing) will only ever appeal to a niche audience. If that niche is too small to sustain a market or other people don't actually want to watch ferret racing, it is not necessarily owing to a character flaw or because they are idiots. They have a perfect right not to want to watch ferret racing, without being despised for their populist leanings. Though, of course, if they only gave ferret racing a chance instead of watching mindless drivel like Dancing with the Stars, they would love it forever and buy the action figures, DVDs, soundtracks, and comic books.

*For proof that this was not so for the 19/20th century see the insane popularity of Marie Corelli in fiction. Edwardians had no taste.

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lesbiassparrow

August 2011

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