Friday, August 28, 2015

There's No Accounting For Taste. Thank Goodness.


Well first, let me give you a little background.

See, I am watching Season 2 of True Detective and a lot of people I've talked to (or read reviews from) really didn't like it. Know what? I LOVE it. I think it's fantastic TV. It's a little subtler than Season 1. And there are a lot more characters to keep track of and some people don't like that. I'm not sure if it is because it complicates it and some people LIKE complicated (*raises hand*) and some don't. Or if it is that the real estate fraud is harder to wrap the mind around than serial killer? Whatever the case. I think it's fantastic.

Know what else I've been doing? Obsessing about Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones... and the more I discuss this with many people, the more I see how SOME people love this character, and SOME people love THAT character. But more than that, SOME characters are loved by some and hated by others (and I'm not just referring to the sickos who love Ramsay Snow (because there are some). I mean legitimate normal people... Take Daenarys... My neighbor HATES her. She is my daughter's very favorite character. Me? I'm capable of more subtlety than that and can like her and still see her flaws.

Remember Harry Potter? Did you ever get in enormous debates about Snape? I was involved in truly passionate conversations where people deeply held beliefs about him, all based on the exact same material.

What This MEANS to me...

Every reader, watcher, player, consumer brings their whole self to their experience and so what they see or read or hear is filtered through that and every last once of us has a different experience. It can cause some people to like absolute drivel like The Bachelor (yes, I'm judging). And it can cause others (sometimes reasonably, in the case of people who can't tolerate violence) to hate a masterpiece like Game of Thrones. My buddy Joris isn't interested because he likes his favorite characters to live and it's a fair point.

I think this is all FABULOUS. Why?

Because it is incredible, as a writer, to think I might be part of something so interactive like that. That I can feed one side of the equations and a thousand people can turn it into a thousand things but I was part of ALL of those things...

And ALSO because we ALL create different stuff, and the fact we all bring something different means we all have different preferences, which means there is a market for just about anything. (if we can find them, anyway)

So there.

Do you have any favorites you feel unfairly get the shaft? Any truly popular books or shows that you can't seem to get into?


Ted Cross said...

I so agree with you. I enjoy complexity and subtlety (which I find to be the most difficult aspect of writing), so shows and books like Game of Thrones are my bread and butter. I keep trying to write a novel that concentrates on just a single POV character, and I never manage to do it! I love bringing stories to life via varying points of view, though that means having to introduce and flesh out multiple characters. From watching bestseller lists, I get the feeling that most readers prefer simple stories with one POV character, and that's discouraging.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We are all different, so we like different things, and that means different characters. What appeals to one won't appeal to all.
I thought the second season of True Detective was a bit uneven and I didn't like the season ender. However, I really like Daenarys. She's a conflicted character just trying to do the right thing.

mshatch said...

I too love a rich complex show/book like Game of Thrones and I especially love the complicated characters. Just consider your feelings for Jaime Lanister at the beginning of GOT to your feelings about him now...assuming you've watched up to season 4 which is where I am. He's changed. A lot. And that's what people do.

Battlestar Galactica was like that (the new version).

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I love characters who are flawed and stories where right and wrong aren't always so clear.

There's been a number of movies, TV shows, books etc that are hugely popular that I just don't "get" at all. And I'm okay with that because we don't all have to be passionate about the same things, in the same way. Just as long as we're passionate and excited about something. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I love that we all have unique perspectives on life and fiction. One of my family members keeps trying to talk me into watching Burn Notice, but the show leaves me cold. I'm a fan of Leverage and Psych and she doesn't like those.

I've also never liked Moby Dick, and yet it's one of those classics that so many people seem to love. And then, I love Ender's Game, and many people I know don't like it.

However, it is all fun to discuss, especially when we have characters that we've all read or watched and we discuss their faults and merits. :)

Arlee Bird said...

There are very few TV shows or popular fiction that I get into. My reading leans toward more literary things that few to no people whom I know read. I noticed that my daughter was into True Detective but I still haven't watched that or any of the other things you mentioned.

I haven't even read any of the Harry Potter series or even seen the films. I'm so out of the pop culture loop.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I don't know why, but the fact that one person can rave about a book or movie and the next absolutely hate it, amazes me. Someone will more than likely relate to your story or characters.

Don't hate me, but I'm not that much into Harry Potter. I've read a couple of books and watched some of the movies, though. I absolutely love JK's writing style.

Andrew Leon said...

I just finished watching season one of True Detective. I really liked it, but I liked it because of the performances of the two leads, not because of the serial killer angle.
Now I'm wondering how I'll feel about season two.

Yolanda Renée said...

I'm a simple person, I like a good mystery, a great romance, lots of dinosaurs, but I'm not into violence, soap opera sort of stories or killing for the sake of killing. I have enough drama in my own life, I don't have time for the make believe kind. (Yes, I know I write it - but I don't live it) I just want to be entertained when I read or view it on the screen, and believe me the very last thing I want to do is cry! I've had a lifetime of that too!

Liz A. said...

I just learned a show I truly enjoyed over the summer has been cancelled. It seems that the things I tend to like are not popular, but that's not a bad thing, really. Everyone has their own taste.

dolorah said...

I just love an underdog :) I am hoping some day my characters and story will be as widely discussed as True Detective, GoT, Potter, and many many others that I have immersed my "whole self" into. Making money off our creations is great, but to have everyone talking about the characters and plots as if they are real people, that is the ultimate goal. Mine, anyway.

G. B. Miller said...

Almost all of the shows you've mentioned I have not watched, either because I don't get the station (Game of Thrones) or I've been severely spoiled by watching serials on pay cable (mostly Showtime & Encore/Stars).

I've long given up on any kind of episodic television of any kind, beyond The Big Bang Theory (which I watch in reruns), and I must be one of a handful of people who have not read or watched any of the Harry Potter stories.

Father Nature's Corner

Jan Morrison said...

Sometimes in book club, when I was in book club and not 2 thousand kilometres away, I wouldn't propose a book for us to read because I liked it too much and couldn't bear to hear anyone dislike it. I love Harry Potter books (movies are okay but love the books). I never liked Game of Thrones because I don't like the violence and how it had to be amped up from show to show, from season to season, as people became inured to it. No biggy. I love Rake - I wished it had gone on forever and not just three seasons. My fella and I are addicted to Nashville but we are well aware it is definitely just a gussied up soap opera. We probably like it mainly for the music, but also because we are safely free of the 'drama years' (18 to 37 roughly) so can truly laugh at the constant flow of fury, angst and passion expressed. We look forward to being snared by something more intelligent soon. We've watched every episode of West Wing twice (well - for me it is 3 times as I saw most of the originals on the teevee). We liked the original House of Cards (the British one) because of its incredible cleverness but didn't watch the American one as we knew we didn't want to spend that much time with such mean-hearted people again. We adored The Wire and Treme. It is all just a glorious distraction isn't it. Books are different for us. We read voraciously - the fella mostly non-fiction with the occasional mystery - and me everything. My librarian knows what I love so now when I'm working I can send my guy and she'll give him some books for me that are always perfect. How I've rambled on. Back to revising. Whissshttta! (that is the sound of a whip if you don't know)