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Old 02-12-2017, 05:52 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Dislike of/disinterest in modern canonical greats

So something that comes up a fair bit in Cafe Society (ie, much of this thread) is people either saying that they haven't watched, or dislike, some of the modern canonical classics of pop culture... Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, etc. (Swap in "listened to" for "watched" for bands (The Beatles), "read" for books (Harry Potter), etc.)

Given that the thread is entitled "Cafe Society Confessions", this implies that those make the proclamation are in some way expecting to be judged/criticized. Which, of course does happen, in at least some contexts.

So I thought I'd start a thread to discuss this phenomenon.

Disclaimer: I'm in no way attempting to junior-mod what people can or can not post in SDMB threads, nor am I trying to tell people what opinions or expressions thereof are in some way acceptable. These are just my personal reactions.


So... what types of comments are there, and what reaction do I have to them?

(1) "I watched a few episodes of Breaking Bad, I just couldn't get into it". This is, as far as I'm concerned, absolutely 100% reasonable. I love, love, LOVE Breaking Bad and have highly recommended it to many people, but hey, tastes differ. The only two responses I might have would be to (a) inquire as to precisely what you didn't like, to satisfy my own curiosity, or (b) ask if you remember exactly how many episodes you had watched, as there are some shows which have a key early moment where it's very clear that if you watch as far as X and you still didn't like it, then it's just not for you

(2) "I've never seen Breaking Bad". Again, whatever. There are plenty of things I haven't seen/read/watched. There are two contexts in which I find this objectionable: (a) If someone goes all the way into a thread about Breaking Bad to point out they've never watched Breaking Bad. I mean, why? Wtf? Seriously, why waste your and all of our times? (b) If someone phrases it in a way that clearly implies they think they're some kind of super-special unique nonconformist rebel just because they haven't watched Breaking Bad. OK, you haven't watched it. Neither have hundreds of millions of Americans and billions of people around the world and a fair portion of the SDMB.

(3) "...one of those stupid braindead shows like Real Housewives or Breaking Bad". This is a fairly rare one, but people will occasionally take something that is highly respected, both critically and on the SDMB, and just casually mention how terrible it is, as if that's just a known, agreed-upon fact. Hey, if you think Breaking Bad is stupid, you're free to have that opinion. But you are in the minority, on the SDMB (at least among people who have opinions about Breaking Bad), among TV reviewers as a whole, and among the wider TV-viewing community. To pretend otherwise is the height of arrogance. If you want to argue that BB is stupid, go ahead and so argue. I won't deny you your right to your opinion... but if you don't acknowledge that your opinion is quite unusual it makes you seem either deliberately contrarian or incredibly clueless.

(4) "(I think) Breaking Bad is overrated". Again, I'm mostly OK with this... although it suffers from some vagueness. Do you mean "Breaking Bad is a genuinely high quality show, but it doesn't crack my top 25 of all time, whereas consensus puts it in the top 5"? Or do you mean "Breaking Bad is the suxxor"?

(5) "Game of Thrones is nothing but tits and dragons" or "Pixar movies are just stories for kids stuffed with celebrity voices". No, that's not true. You're just making yourself look stupid. If you don't like something, fine, tastes are subjective, but if you make sweeping statements about a work which are either objectively untrue or at least close to it, then it's entirely reasonable for people to argue with you in a way that it wouldn't be if you just said you didn't like it. So if you say something like that and someone calls you on it, don't fall back on "hey, it's just my opinion, man".

(6) "I never watch modern TV shows". This one is interesting. On the one hand, hey, certainly there's no reason any of us should tell you what you should do with your time. On the other hand, there's an incredibly diverse art form experiencing an unprecedented renaissance right now. There are extremely-high-quality TV shows being made right now to appeal to nearly any taste. Now, if you don't watch them just because your lifestyle or budget doesn't allow it, or because your life is so jam packed full of stuff that there's just never any opportunity to watch modern TV shows, hey, more power to you. But if you don't watch modern TV shows just because you're ornery and somehow got it into your head that TV peaked with I Love Lucy and all that's on these days is 600 channels of Kardashians, well, then you're just doing yourself a disservice. (This one is most noticeable when applied to TV because of the current boom of high quality TV, but also applies to books, movies, music, etc.)

(6a) A looser version of (6) is people who say they have no interest in X, where X is such a wide topic that it seems nearly impossible that a single lack of interest could cover it. For instance, "comic book/superhero movies or tv shows". Presumably you're mainly talking about things like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But even within Marvel you have outliers like Jessica Jones or Legion which have very little in common with Iron Man. And there are so many movies and tv shows that are in some way based on a comic book (or graphic novel) these days, or that have some super-powered character, that it seems a bit odd to just immediately assume none will interest you. Similarly, "I don't like Adam Sandler movies". Sure, it's very reasonable to dislik Grown Ups 2 and Jack and Jill and lump them into the same category. But even Adam Sandler has made some movies outside his comfort zone... such as Funny People or Punch Drunk Love. So if someone says "what kinds of movies don't you like" and you say "anything with Adam Sandler", I hope for your sake that you're at least mentally adding an asterisk...



OK, enough wall of text. Thoughts? Comments?
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2017, 05:59 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
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I was one of the ones who noted not liking shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, and Mad Men in the previous thread.

And, my reasoning for that, as I described in that thread, is pretty much your example #1. I tried all of them, and didn't enjoy them. I don't generally enjoy shows (or movies, or books) in which the main / primary characters are all unlikable, or regularly do horrible things. And, in the case of Game of Thrones, in which I've also tried to read the books, it seemed like every time I did find a character that I liked, that character would die horribly.

In addition, I've never been a fan of fiction (or non-fiction) about organized crime, which is another specific reason for my dislike of The Sopranos.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:14 PM
TCMF-2L TCMF-2L is offline
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To add a data point.

I started watching Breaking Bad after the whole show had finished. I started watching knowing it was considered a great show plus the show eventually came to a planned finish plus (important this for a free to air UK channel) my broadcaster was promising to show all the episodes.

With all that in mind I thought the first episode was pretty dire. Even the first few episodes had me struggling. Even the first season I thought it made missteps along the way. But being broadcast an episode a day, five days a week, I stuck with it and grew to enjoy and appreciate it. By the end I did think it was good. But had I been watching it once a week when it went out originally I strongly suspect I would have bailed early and then I would have been unlikely to return.

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  #4  
Old 02-12-2017, 06:53 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
. . . (6) "I never watch modern TV shows". This one is interesting. On the one hand, hey, certainly there's no reason any of us should tell you what you should do with your time. On the other hand, there's an incredibly diverse art form experiencing an unprecedented renaissance right now. There are extremely-high-quality TV shows being made right now to appeal to nearly any taste. . . .
I know there are some darn fine offerings out there. I prefer to spend my time reading, but I'll watch a VERY limited few shows.

I started following Gotham...but it got too bloody for me. Constantine was great! Father Brown Mysteries are really jolly, and, for totally light and fun, there's Murder in Paradise.

There have got to be lots and lots of other treasures. But... By and large, I just don't like TV.

Curl me up with a good book, Telemann in the background, a cuppa, and life is good.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:17 PM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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I find in my dotage that I have very little tolerance of or interest any more in TV dramas. The reason is that they are so damned predictable and/or repetitive. No matter how good the acting (and some of it is very good indeed) if the plot doesn't hold my attention I am going to get bored quickly.

The most recent example for me is How To Get Away With Murder. When I signed up for Netflix I decided to try it out. I watched the first episode, and between the obvious plot directions and the teasers, I groaned and thought that I knew pretty much where it was going. Not in the details, but in the general arc. The main suspense points were: who was going to be killed; and who was the killer going to be. Added possible interest if the homicide was accidental or justified, or if it was really murder. I found I didn't care about any of those things. Maybe it was because so many of the main characters seemed a little too stock.

Other series like Breaking Bad or The Sopranos I simply wasn't interested in watching for the same reason I never watched The Godfather - I am not interested in watching shows that glorify bad people, even a little bit. I don't care what other people watch, but those kinds of shows turn me off.

Then there is scheduling. If the great dramas are on at 10 pm and there is nothing I want to watch between 7 and 10 (which happens all too often), I am unlikely to sit around waiting for the good stuff.

I find I do ok with sitcoms if they are well-written, because they are much less about the story arc than they are about the (to be hoped for) witty banter.

Last edited by Roderick Femm; 02-12-2017 at 07:18 PM..
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:19 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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I watched the first episode of Breaking Bad, but never got back to it. I didn't think it was bad, but wasn't interested in more (Same with Sons of Anarchy). They may be fine shows, but I'm not willing to commit to them.

I don't have HBO, So Game of Thrones is out.

I watched one episode of Mad Men and that was enough. The sloppy writing and blatant anachronism turned me right off. The resolution of the episode was a massive be cheat, akin to having Robert E. Lee win at Gettysburg by calling in air support. I tried it a couple of other times, but it always threw in something that was completely wrong for the time.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:17 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Another thought: I don't want to follow a show where you have to see every episode. I like shows with stand-alone eps. Father Brown, Murder in Paradise, Miss Fisher, that Canadian chap (one of the handsomest men I've ever seen!) Murdoch Mysteries!

I'm not at all interested in mega-serials like GoT or the like, because I just don't want to dedicate myself to the plot. Give me something bite-sized, not a seven-course meal.

(However, I readily recognize that there are people who LOVE that kind of thing! I know several people of that type, who absolutely DOTE on deep, complex, intricate, detailed story arcs. One good friend is also very fond of daytime soap operas, for the same reason.)
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Old 02-13-2017, 12:57 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
The most recent example for me is How To Get Away With Murder. When I signed up for Netflix I decided to try it out. I watched the first episode, and between the obvious plot directions and the teasers, I groaned and thought that I knew pretty much where it was going.

...

Other series like Breaking Bad or The Sopranos I simply wasn't interested in watching for the same reason I never watched The Godfather - I am not interested in watching shows that glorify bad people, even a little bit. I don't care what other people watch, but those kinds of shows turn me off.
Not to be too confrontational, but I don't think I've ever seen How To Get Away With Murder ranked anywhere near the top echelon of recent TV. If you're looking for a drama with (a) a difficult-to-predict plot, and (b) no glorifying bad people, you might enjoy, maybe, Broadchurch? It also kind of depends on precisely how define "glorify". There are a fair number of shows like Fargo, where we spend a fair bit of time with the bad guys, and learn what makes them tick, but in which they're still clearly bad, and we presumably still want the good guys to win.

Do you still have Netflix?
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:03 AM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
Another thought: I don't want to follow a show where you have to see every episode. I like shows with stand-alone eps. Father Brown, Murder in Paradise, Miss Fisher, that Canadian chap (one of the handsomest men I've ever seen!) Murdoch Mysteries!

I'm not at all interested in mega-serials like GoT or the like, because I just don't want to dedicate myself to the plot. Give me something bite-sized, not a seven-course meal.

(However, I readily recognize that there are people who LOVE that kind of thing! I know several people of that type, who absolutely DOTE on deep, complex, intricate, detailed story arcs. One good friend is also very fond of daytime soap operas, for the same reason.)
That definitely makes things tougher for you... fairly few of the "best" recent shows have primarily standalone episodes.

There are some shows which are basically miniseries... so instead of following a plot for all 62 episodes of Breaking Bad, you just need to follow it for 8 or 10 episodes... for instance, the afore-mentioned Fargo, or Band of Brothers.

Black Mirror, which is more or less a modern version of The Twilight Zone, is all standalone mini-movies.

Other shows such as Sherlock or Firefly are largely standalone, but with small amounts of connective plot-line which show up more in some episodes than others.
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:48 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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I watched a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad and didn't like it. It's the Wire for suburbanites

I watch Game of Thrones, but can we stop pretending it's high art? It pretty much is tits and dragons, but with good(ish) acting and high production values. One Irish actress quit rather than do what she said was essentially soft core porn. She later appeared on the show and admitted that the industry punished her for her comments. http://hbowatch.com/model-quits-game...ver-sex-scene/

There are a lot of great TV shows being made and there are a lot of second tier shows that are good, but not great which is where I think Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones fall. There's also sex, baseball and fly fishing so if someone doesn't get around to your favorite show...oh, well.
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:02 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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There are a lot of popular shows I don't like or have chosen not to watch. Mostly it's due to subject matter, or a sense of being outside of the target demographic, but it's also occasionally drama fatigue, where it just gets depressing watching all these horrible people go through miserable situations with seemingly no happiness at the end of the ride. Walking Dead is a prime example of that one.

I used to go into threads and say I don't like them, in the hope that others would also say that and we could discuss both sides of a show's popularity. But that doesn't go down too well, it's generally considered threadshitting, which is fair enough really even if I occasionally accompany it with constructive criticism, and I try not to do that anymore.

As I get older, my tastes are changing a little bit, not always keeping up with the trends, but I recognise that life's too short to waste my time on entertainment that isn't working for me, and I am a lot more brutal with abandoning a show early if it feels like it's not going to be my thing. I have a thousand other shows to catch up on to waste my time on that will just irritate me. I am >< this close to abandoning the last couple of CW DC superhero shows, as they're starting to get frustratingly cheesy and cluttered.
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:10 AM
Balance Balance is offline
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I try to live by "It's okay to not like things, but don't be a dick about it."

If some work of entertainment comes up in discussion, and I don't like it, I may say as much, but I don't seek out discussions of that particular work to do so. When I comment on disliking something, I make an effort to give my reasons--and to avoid insulting the people who do like it. After all, there are plenty of things I like that a lot of other people don't.

Of course, if someone insults me for something I like or dislike, the gloves come off, but that is over being a dick about it, not about what they like or dislike.
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:35 AM
bucketybuck bucketybuck is online now
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Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
is people either saying that they haven't watched, or dislike, some of the modern canonical classics of pop culture...
One of the biggest reasons I don't bother getting into these long running box set shows can be summed up in one word. "Lost".

Fool me once...
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:58 AM
Les Espaces Du Sommeil Les Espaces Du Sommeil is offline
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"I never watch modern TV shows". This one is interesting. On the one hand, hey, certainly there's no reason any of us should tell you what you should do with your time. On the other hand, there's an incredibly diverse art form experiencing an unprecedented renaissance right now. There are extremely-high-quality TV shows being made right now to appeal to nearly any taste. Now, if you don't watch them just because your lifestyle or budget doesn't allow it, or because your life is so jam packed full of stuff...
The bolded part would be me. I don't watch (modern) TV shows, and very few movies because I have other, much more important (to me) priorities. My life is indeed jam packed full of music and books and, since I have a family and a job, I have to make choices. I have heard of this "golden age of TV shows" and I'm sure that people who appreciate this art form are completely sincere. It's just not for me. Or rather, there are lots of other things that I'd rather spend my relatively limited free time on.

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Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
(6a) A looser version of (6) is people who say they have no interest in X, where X is such a wide topic that it seems nearly impossible that a single lack of interest could cover it. For instance, "comic book/superhero movies or tv shows"....
Your example made me chuckle a bit because that's an ultra niche genre in my view. Which leads to my next point.

I suppose that you're a fan of comic book/superhero movies. If that's a case, you may be a bit to close to the subject to judge its general appeal objectively. A couple of months ago, I started a thread on piano concertos. The list included only works that are considered standard repertoire and have been recorded dozens of times over decades by the greatest pianists of the 20th century. I thought that folks here would be familiar with all, or at least most, of them. How naÔve. To my astonishment, several dopers confessed that they knew none of the works in the list. Some only had a vague idea of a couple of them. Now, the reason for this was simple: I didn't realize that these works are basic knowledge to me, and the people who, not only enjoy, but actually spend hours each week listening to classical music. So, in my opinion, there's no way you could possibly mix up a Mozart concerto with one by Bartůk. But for some people, it's just snotty piano music with bleeping instruments in the background and for most, something they just aren't interested in enough to pay attention.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:11 AM
ElderSign ElderSign is offline
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As a datapoint, I will not watch certain shows based on message and sexual content, and won't try a show because of a weird premise (Gotham without Batman). If Gotham is actually good, I do not feel a loss because I've already watched hundreds of other shows in my life.

I do not have to see 50 Shades movies to have a bad feeling about them.

I also do not have all the time in the world to watch multiple seasons from the so-called Golden Age of TV.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:19 AM
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I rarely watch TV. I've a nice library of films. I haven't seen much if any of Mad Men or Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy or Lost or any of a dozen other series. Game of Thrones is a special case: I know that I want to watch it, but I won't watch it until it's finished, and then I'll buy the boxed set and binge-watch it.
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:51 AM
I Love Me, Vol. I I Love Me, Vol. I is offline
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Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
There are a lot of great TV shows being made and there are a lot of second tier shows that are good, but not great which is where I think Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones fall.
Posters in this thread have been really good about resisting the urge to debate the relative values of various TV shows. I'd like to keep things that way but I do have to ask: you say there are great shows being made but that Breaking Bad is not great and is second tier. What then are the current or relatively current shows that are an entire tier better than Breaking Bad? What populates that First Tier?
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:55 AM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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Posters in this thread have been really good about resisting the urge to debate the relative values of various TV shows. I'd like to keep things that way .....
Damn it, I came here to trash Dancing With the Stars.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:31 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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Originally Posted by I Love Me, Vol. I View Post
Posters in this thread have been really good about resisting the urge to debate the relative values of various TV shows. I'd like to keep things that way but I do have to ask: you say there are great shows being made but that Breaking Bad is not great and is second tier. What then are the current or relatively current shows that are an entire tier better than Breaking Bad? What populates that First Tier?
I'd say Mad Men, The Wire (going back), Fargo and the Americans are all better. I'd also include Archer and Louie as better, but they're half hour comedies.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:37 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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The bolded part would be me. I don't watch (modern) TV shows, and very few movies because I have other, much more important (to me) priorities.
My Catch-22 is that I'm generally not willing to watch a brand new show (or simply unaware of it). But the time it gets to be a phenomenon with a big following, we're usually into Season Two and now I don't feel like I have 13+ hours to spend catching up. Worse is that we only have one 'real' TV and my wife is usually occupying that so if it's not a show she's likely to be interested in, I'm even less likely to try it. So I never get around it and the backlog grows and grows until now it's 60+ hours I'd have to commit and I just resign myself to never doing it.

Only recent show to break this mold was Mad Men which released its Season One set when I had a rare slow period and my wife was immediately hooked on it so we made it through S1 and started watching it on Sundays as it aired. Plus the weekly threads here made it enjoyable to watch and discuss the following day.

Last edited by Jophiel; 02-13-2017 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 02-13-2017, 11:20 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
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I watch Game of Thrones, but can we stop pretending it's high art? It pretty much is tits and dragons, but with good(ish) acting and high production values.
Or, as I've heard it called, "Boobs and Beheadings."
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Old 02-13-2017, 11:25 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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Or, as I've heard it called, "Boobs and Beheadings."
I like two of those things!
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  #23  
Old 02-13-2017, 11:34 AM
shunpiker shunpiker is offline
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The TV shows you listed as your examples are all violent. That does it for me right there. I donít care how well itís producedÖ I ainít spending my time to champion/support/watch ANY more violence in this world.

Or tits, for that matter. I mean, I love them but I donít watch them on TV.

And thatís why I donít watch much modern TV. Itís too fucking violent, apathetic and sexual. Iíll never get past those points to see any ďprecious productionĒ value that may be there. If the producer and/or director is/are so talented, have him work his magic w/o using such low-hanging fruit.
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:28 PM
marshmallow marshmallow is online now
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People invest so much time into media they come to identify with it and take it as a personal insult if someone criticizes their cherished escapism. Especially these TV shows that take 80 hours to watch. Or when the fans take it to have insights into human nature or politics, instead of realizing it's pandering to their demographic, playing to their power fantasy, and probably isn't as deep as they think compared to literature or philosophy. Is it really a surprise a board full of nerdy middle aged white males love Breaking Bad?

Hype backlash is also prevalent. Forget not watching sub-categories, most people ignore whole mediums. You should ignore what you don't like. Life is short. If there's an exception, you'll hear about it.

Last edited by marshmallow; 02-13-2017 at 03:29 PM..
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:26 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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If the producer and/or director is/are so talented, have him work his magic w/o using such low-hanging fruit.
I reject your framing of the issue. Violence is a frequent theme in all forms of literature dating back to the epic of Gilgamesh. Should Tolstoy have eschewed "low hanging fruit" in War and Peace? Should Homer have eschewed "low hanging fruit" in the Iliad and the Odyssey?

Sure, there's such a thing as gratuitous violence (or sex), and some generally high-quality shows have been guilty of that. (Game of Thrones, in particular, was very guilty of gratuitous nudity in its first couple of seasons, although it's improved over the course of its run.)

But you don't just seem to be saying that you, shunpiker, just don't enjoy violence. Which would of course be perfectly reasonable. You seem to be saying that it is an objective failing if a work of fiction includes violence, no matter what... that whoever was telling the story should have figured out a way to tell the story without violence, or should have chosen to tell a different story, one with no violence. I reject that outright.

(That said, if you personally dislike violence, then yes, the vast majority of the "best" modern dramas have some amount of violence. However, you might enjoy:
-The West Wing
-Friday Night Lights (skip the strike-shortened second season, which isn't very good and also has one major act of violence) )

Plenty of comedies have little or no violence (not surprisingly). Maybe you would enjoy The Good Place or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend?
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  #26  
Old 02-13-2017, 04:36 PM
Eonwe Eonwe is offline
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Originally Posted by Les Espaces Du Sommeil View Post
A couple of months ago, I started a thread on piano concertos. The list included only works that are considered standard repertoire and have been recorded dozens of times over decades by the greatest pianists of the 20th century. I thought that folks here would be familiar with all, or at least most, of them. How naÔve. To my astonishment, several dopers confessed that they knew none of the works in the list. Some only had a vague idea of a couple of them. Now, the reason for this was simple: I didn't realize that these works are basic knowledge to me, and the people who, not only enjoy, but actually spend hours each week listening to classical music. So, in my opinion, there's no way you could possibly mix up a Mozart concerto with one by Bartůk. But for some people, it's just snotty piano music with bleeping instruments in the background and for most, something they just aren't interested in enough to pay attention.
This is why, with no snark intended and all respect for the OP, any time someone thinks there's anything wrong with any reason to have not consumed X piece of art/media, they might as well be holding a bright neon sign above their head that flashes "My perspective is blinded by my own interests!"

Maybe The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, etc etc are all great, amazing TV, that break new ground in this "renaissance" of the art form (or, at least some of them are), but this has no bearing on whether you or I "ought" to watch/like them, or bother to make time for them. There is more culture out there than you can shake a stick at by multiple factors of 10, and no one has time for it all.
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  #27  
Old 02-13-2017, 04:44 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
I watch Game of Thrones, but can we stop pretending it's high art? It pretty much is tits and dragons, but with good(ish) acting and high production values.
I don't think that's fair. "Boobs and beheadings", as someone mentions later in the thread, is closer to accurate. But fairly few of the most memorable scenes in GoT's history include dragons, and fewer still include nudity.

Massive spoilers for all seasons of GoT:
SPOILER:

Far and away the defining moment of season 1 is Ned being beheaded. That has nothing to do with either tits or dragons. Probably the defining moment of the entire series, so far, is the Red Wedding. Again, no tits, no dragons.

A few highlights do include tits and/or dragons:
-Dany walks unharmed from the fire with baby dragons (both tits and dragons)
-Dany's dragons kill the masters and she "steals" the unsullied (dragons)
-Drogon rescues Dany from the arena (dragons)
-Shadow baby, general Melisandre nudity (tits)
-Cersei's walk of shame (tits, although not salaciously, which makes the scene all the more powerful)

Many of the series-highlight-moments include violence or death, actually:
-Oberyn fights The Mountain
-Horde of zombies attack Wildling city
-Arya's dancing master beats the crap out of a bunch of city guardsmen
-Joffrey dies
-Tyrion kills Tywin
-Jon is betrayed and murdered (and brought back to life)
-Battle of the Bastards
-Hold the Door

But there are also a number of fantastic moments which include none of the above:
-Robert and Cersei talk about their marriage, and how their hatred has grown to boredom
-Jaime and Brienne become friends
-The Hound and Arya become friends
-Pretty much everything Tyrion ever says or does, particularly his speech when he's on trial for Joffrey's murder, and the story of his first "marriage"
-Pretty much Olenna Tyrell ever says or does
-The play-within-a-show retelling the recent history of Westeros which Arya watches while training to be a faceless man
-The Hound becomes friends with first Sansa and then Arya (granted, there is violence along the way, but the memorable part is his character development and their bonding)

...and so much more.


Game of Thrones is a show with sex and violence and dragons. At times, it leans heavily on them, particularly with the "sexposition" in the early seasons. But it's also a show with an incredible roster of richly drawn characters, impeccable acting, wonderful dialog, and a very human story being told on an unprecedented epic scale.

If it's not to your taste, fine. There are plenty of people I like and respect who I wouldn't recommend it to. And for that matter I'm not necessarily claiming it's "high art", depending on how you define that. But to dismiss it as just "tits and dragons" is flat out preposterous.
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  #28  
Old 02-13-2017, 04:47 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by bucketybuck View Post
One of the biggest reasons I don't bother getting into these long running box set shows can be summed up in one word. "Lost".

Fool me once...
Do NOT, I repeat do NOT, watch Battlestar Galactica.

(In fairness, though, Lost is a bit of an outlier as far as "constantly introducing mysteries and clues, never satisfyingly resolving them". I wouldn't say that's a common characteristic of modern "prestige" television.)
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  #29  
Old 02-13-2017, 05:04 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by Les Espaces Du Sommeil View Post
I suppose that you're a fan of comic book/superhero movies. If that's a case, you may be a bit to close to the subject to judge its general appeal objectively. A couple of months ago, I started a thread on piano concertos. The list included only works that are considered standard repertoire and have been recorded dozens of times over decades by the greatest pianists of the 20th century. I thought that folks here would be familiar with all, or at least most, of them. How naÔve. To my astonishment, several dopers confessed that they knew none of the works in the list. Some only had a vague idea of a couple of them. Now, the reason for this was simple: I didn't realize that these works are basic knowledge to me, and the people who, not only enjoy, but actually spend hours each week listening to classical music. So, in my opinion, there's no way you could possibly mix up a Mozart concerto with one by Bartůk. But for some people, it's just snotty piano music with bleeping instruments in the background and for most, something they just aren't interested in enough to pay attention.
Hmmm... I'm a fan of classical music in general (my favorite work is Mahler's 2nd Symphony), so I've certainly been on the side of being irritated by people who outright state their lack of interest in classical music as a genre.

That said, I don't think it's an entirely fair comparison, although I don't think I expressed myself very well in the OP, and have been trying to clarify my position.

I think what I'm getting at is people whose description of what they dislike seems overbroad. Continuing to use "superhero movies" as an example, suppose someone saw both Iron Man and The Avengers, and didn't care for either of them. Hey, I loved both those movies, but they didn't. Cool. More power to them. I'm certainly not going to keep pestering them to give Thor or Captain America a try, or even the more-dissimilar Ant-Man or Guardians of the Galaxy.

However, if they didn't like those two movies, and then proclaim that they don't like "movies based on comic books" or "movies with superheros", I will take issue with that, because not all movies based on comic books have anything to do with superheros at all (Persepolis, anyone?), and not all movies (or shows) that involve superheros are anything similar to the mixture of action and humor and sfx and the occasional character moment that define Iron Man and The Avengers.

That said, it's also the case that there is a near-infinity of media out there to consume, and if they want to say they don't like superhero movies, it's not like anyone has some moral obligation to poke and prod and experiment until we find precisely the actual boundary of what they do like. If it turns out they would have enjoyed Jessica Jones or V for Vendetta if they'd given it a chance, it's not like that's a catastrophe.
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  #30  
Old 02-13-2017, 05:11 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
I think what I'm getting at is people whose description of what they dislike seems overbroad.
Ultimately, I think it comes down to taste, and opinion...and some of your criticisms / replies in this thread seem to come across (to me, anyway) as less "I think these are cool shows / movies, and people may have mistaken impressions about what they really are about," and more, "I reject your opinion because I don't think it's valid." And that, IMO, is a little rude and a little snobby.
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  #31  
Old 02-13-2017, 05:14 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Ultimately, I think it comes down to taste, and opinion...and some of your criticisms / replies in this thread seem to come across (to me, anyway) as less "I think these are cool shows / movies, and people may have mistaken impressions about what they really are about," and more, "I reject your opinion because I don't think it's valid." And that, IMO, is a little rude and a little snobby.
Quite possibly. I've been trying to be aware of the hard-to-define-line and stay on the polite side of it... certainly it's a topic rife with the possibility for insult and rudeness.
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  #32  
Old 02-13-2017, 08:53 PM
Eonwe Eonwe is offline
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Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
Quite possibly. I've been trying to be aware of the hard-to-define-line and stay on the polite side of it... certainly it's a topic rife with the possibility for insult and rudeness.
But "broad" choices about styles/genres are always going to seem broader to those inside who are versed in (and care about) sub-categories/distinctions. Sure there's infinite possibility for diversity within the superhero genre, for example. Of course there's probably some work that exists or that has yet to be written that the person who says "I don't like those kinds of things" would actually enjoy. But, there also is some fundamental aesthetic that holds a genre together, and that thing, amorphous and indescribable as it may be, is still a fine reason to choose to not watch something.
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  #33  
Old 02-13-2017, 08:58 PM
glowacks glowacks is offline
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I simply have no patience for passive media, particularly fiction. I spend my time with video games and reading educational-ish things online (like the Dope). TV just doesn't make any sense to watch when there are more interesting things to do.

A few years ago I tried watching House of Cards. I thought it was awful, in many different ways. I haven't watched Breaking Bad, but from the plot synopsis, it sounds like I would hate it for many of the same reasons. It just doesn't seem like something I would want to subject myself to when there are so many other different things to do that actually bring joy to my life.
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  #34  
Old 02-13-2017, 09:35 PM
gkster gkster is offline
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I'm surprised that nobody has pointed out the issue of word usage in the thread title--this is the Dope, after all!

Please note that many of us are not disinterested when it comes to these shows. I, for one, am uninterested. There's a useful distinction between these 2 words that's well worth preserving. A disinterested attitude towards any subject, meaning fair and impartial, is very different from a lack of interest.

Last edited by gkster; 02-13-2017 at 09:36 PM..
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  #35  
Old 02-14-2017, 01:02 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
I don't think that's fair. "Boobs and beheadings", as someone mentions later in the thread, is closer to accurate. But fairly few of the most memorable scenes in GoT's history include dragons, and fewer still include nudity.

Massive spoilers for all seasons of GoT:
SPOILER:

Far and away the defining moment of season 1 is Ned being beheaded. That has nothing to do with either tits or dragons. Probably the defining moment of the entire series, so far, is the Red Wedding. Again, no tits, no dragons.

A few highlights do include tits and/or dragons:
-Dany walks unharmed from the fire with baby dragons (both tits and dragons)
-Dany's dragons kill the masters and she "steals" the unsullied (dragons)
-Drogon rescues Dany from the arena (dragons)
-Shadow baby, general Melisandre nudity (tits)
-Cersei's walk of shame (tits, although not salaciously, which makes the scene all the more powerful)

Many of the series-highlight-moments include violence or death, actually:
-Oberyn fights The Mountain
-Horde of zombies attack Wildling city
-Arya's dancing master beats the crap out of a bunch of city guardsmen
-Joffrey dies
-Tyrion kills Tywin
-Jon is betrayed and murdered (and brought back to life)
-Battle of the Bastards
-Hold the Door

But there are also a number of fantastic moments which include none of the above:
-Robert and Cersei talk about their marriage, and how their hatred has grown to boredom
-Jaime and Brienne become friends
-The Hound and Arya become friends
-Pretty much everything Tyrion ever says or does, particularly his speech when he's on trial for Joffrey's murder, and the story of his first "marriage"
-Pretty much Olenna Tyrell ever says or does
-The play-within-a-show retelling the recent history of Westeros which Arya watches while training to be a faceless man
-The Hound becomes friends with first Sansa and then Arya (granted, there is violence along the way, but the memorable part is his character development and their bonding)

...and so much more.


Game of Thrones is a show with sex and violence and dragons. At times, it leans heavily on them, particularly with the "sexposition" in the early seasons. But it's also a show with an incredible roster of richly drawn characters, impeccable acting, wonderful dialog, and a very human story being told on an unprecedented epic scale.

If it's not to your taste, fine. There are plenty of people I like and respect who I wouldn't recommend it to. And for that matter I'm not necessarily claiming it's "high art", depending on how you define that. But to dismiss it as just "tits and dragons" is flat out preposterous.
Suffice it to say, I think you are greatly overestimating the artistic merits of Game of Thrones. I'm a fan of both the show and the books, but let's not pretend they are more than just well made escapist fluff. There are good guys and cartoonishly bad guys and Dany's story line as the white savior of the brown people is racist enough to be straight from a 1930s Tarzan movie. It is fun escapist pap. There's nothing wrong with that, but let's not get carried away with it's artistic and cultural impact.
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  #36  
Old 02-14-2017, 07:55 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eonwe View Post
There is more culture out there than you can shake a stick at by multiple factors of 10, and no one has time for it all.
Indeed. All those lists of "Best Album of the Year," "15 Books About ____ That You Have To Read," "Must-See TV," etc. make me feel like I'm missing out; but nobody could possibly have time for all of them.
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  #37  
Old 02-14-2017, 11:56 AM
shunpiker shunpiker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
I reject your framing of the issue. Violence is a frequent theme in all forms of literature dating back to the epic of Gilgamesh. Should Tolstoy have eschewed "low hanging fruit" in War and Peace? Should Homer have eschewed "low hanging fruit" in the Iliad and the Odyssey?

<snipped a bit>

Plenty of comedies have little or no violence (not surprisingly). Maybe you would enjoy The Good Place or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend?
Okay, thatís a valid point. I was really referring to my own feelings about these shows, but I get the implication. And in the interest of debate, Iíll stay with it.

I donít think itís fair to equate or really even compare a flash-in-the-pan, 21st century artistís wares with the works detailing the lives of Odysseus or Gilgamesh. First offÖ those have historical significance that weíll never get from an ep of GoT. Also, wasnít War and Peace taking place in a time of war?

And Iíll stay with this low-hanging fruit analogy. Sex and violence are just ways to get more eyeballs in to see your work (as you said, gratuitous). It can be disguised as having some artistic value, and maybe it does. But Iím not going to invest enough time and attention to see anything more that may be in that packaging.

And Max, you kinda hit the nail on the head. If I watch TVÖ itís usually comedies. If I watch a movie, i want to be challenged, not simply entertained.
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  #38  
Old 02-14-2017, 12:29 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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There's all kinds of stuff that
  1. I can see that it is well done
  2. I can see why it is popular, and
  3. it doesn't appeal to me.
Adele (the singer) is like that. I can tell that she has a great voice. I can see why she is very successful. I don't like her voice.

Breaking Bad and Mad Men were like that. I can see that they were good and might have been interesting - to someone else. Likewise with GoT - it did not seem to me that it would be worth the time to develop the taste for it.

"How dare you not like X!!!" is the flip side of "X is for the commoners - I don't even watch TV".

Regards,
Shodan
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