I’m not exactly sure why I’m writing this. I think I mostly just feel like arguing about some really low stakes stuff. I’m looking for fun arguments. So, if you respond, please keep it fun. I should also note that this is not an exhaustive list and I’m not going into a lot of detail. I’m focusing on things that are either hugely popular or critically acclaimed or both. Also, I’ll only include things that I have actually engaged with. And I don’t mean I’ve seen one episode of a show or heard one song. I mean I need to have a real familiarity with the artist/film or whatever. These are things from the world of arts and culture that have actively made my life a bit (or a lot) worse.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I came to Buffy late, like three or four years ago late. When it originally aired, I was going through a period of not having a TV or relying on rabbit ears. I missed a lot of the TV from that period. But I knew many, many people who loved Buffy. To this day, I know many, many people who say it’s their all-time favorite show. So, when I finally joined the world of streaming, Buffy was near the top of my list. And I hated it. I wound up watching every single episode because I kept telling myself, “It has to get better.” It didn’t. I don’t know if the show didn’t age well or what, but the writing varied between sloppy and bad. It came off as shockingly sexist given the premise. And everything about Willow from the moment she fell in love with a girl was cringey as all heck. The jokes rarely landed. Events were so haphazard that there was never any tension. Maybe it was just over my head or something, but I hated the whole experience.
Battlestar Galactica – This was another show that I missed when it originally aired. Unlike Buffy, though, I didn’t stick it out until the end. I watched the first two seasons and that was more than enough. It was awful. It felt like they were making it up as they went along. The one rule was that there can never, ever, under any circumstances be anything fun or funny.
The Doors – The Doors is what happens when you take a lousy singer who happens to be a really bad poet, string him out on drugs, and make him the front man for a mediocre garage band. How they became one of the classic rock bands is just beyond me.
Jack White – Jack White really shouldn’t be on this list because, by all rights, I should barely be aware of Jack White’s existence. Unfortunately, I dated a woman for a little while whose absolute favorite musician was Jack White. And I saw the movie “It Might Get Loud”. So, I’ve heard quite a bit of his stuff. It’s, ummm, what’s the word? Oh, not good at all. He’s a hack that got famous. His best moments are aggressively mediocre. And hearing him interviewed makes me think he’s in a world’s biggest douchebag competition. It’s all schtick and no substance.
Mad Max: Fury Road – Everyone went crazy for this movie when it came out. People loved it. I had no real interest having never seen a Mad Max movie, but people wouldn’t shut up about it. All the glowing talk made me curious, and I went to see it towards the end of its theatrical run. That stands as one of the biggest regrets of my life. I kept double checking to see if I was watching the right movie. It made no sense, even within its own world. It completely lacked humor. The action was monotonous. The sound design was less pleasant than a dentist’s drill. The story was never developed. But there was a dude playing guitar on the front of a truck for some reason. Ugh.
Deadpool – This is another movie that everyone loved. I mean they loooooved it. They wanted to have babies with it. About all I can say nice about it is that it tried really, really hard. There was just nothing original or clever or entertaining about the movie. The jokes basically amounted to someone saying bad words in inappropriate situations. Garbage Pail Kids are funnier.
Moby Dick – There’s probably a halfway decent piece of flash fiction scattered throughout this book’s six-hundred and thirty-five pages.
1984 – The less said about this the better. It’s a bad idea to make the reader hate every character in a book. And the book’s rather obvious point has been made much more effectively by many other people.