Entertainment topics/genres/people you "don't get"

Since **Avatar **discussions are building, it got me thinking… are there movie/entertainment/people/genres that you just don’t get the popularity of? There are a few for me, and I’m wondering if anyone else shares my views, have others that don’t appeal to them, or if I’m the only one that seems to be missing the enjoyment of things that many people enjoy. I have not seen Avatar yet, but some of the comments in the threads have me scratching my head. Adults wrapped up in fantasy worlds fascinate me

I like westerns, for example, and I know many people don’t. So I get that there are different tastes. But the entertainment value of the following escapes me, especially the sometimes obsessive appeal of LotR, Harry Potter, Star Trek, etc. for adults.

  1. Lord of the Rings - I really don’t understand how adults get wrapped up in this. I read LotR and the Hobbit when I was 10, and I was entertained. But that’s as far as I went with it. I grew out of it.

  2. Harry Potter - another one that makes sense to me if you are a child… but adults? Really? I don’t understand adults talking about “muggles” like it means anything important.

  3. Vampires - I just don’t get this one at all. It’s all the same. And yet, people find it mesmerizing to see them living amongst the public, having regular lives, and coming out at night to sink their teeth into someone else’s neck. OK… but why is it sexy? Erotic? I’m missing something here, so I hope someone can enlighten me.

  4. Tim Burton movies - Always creepy, always bizarre, but after one movie, I just have no desire to see another.

  5. John Waters movies - I can’t understand how this guy has made a living making the crazy movies he’s made. The only movie I’ve been able to get through is Cry Baby, which apparently is too mainstream for most hard core Waters fans. Seeing Devine eat poo isn’t something anyone needs to see.

  6. Anything based on the renaissance, like the festivals, dressing up in tights to get married (been to one of these weddings), and anything of the sort.
    What am I missing? Is my fantasy genre gene broken?

First on my list would be westerns.

Didn’t see that one coming. :smiley:


Westerns are just fantasy with gunfighters instead of wizards. Gandalf facing the Balrog, Shane facing Jack Wilson. Same/same.

Horror films. All of them. I simply have no idea what’s good about them.

Ventriloquists. Unquenchable, murderous rage.

Midget porn. What the fuck?

Hmmm. I like most of the things listed in the OP (and westerns). It’s reality shows that I don’t get at all. Normal people? Who cares! I see normal people all day! I want some fantastic stuff for my escapism…TRM

Life is often a mundane, boring, depressing slog to the grave. Fantasy, vampires, renaissance fair foolery, etc. offer a (sadly) imaginary and different world. Think of it as role-playing, or dress-up. Your fantasy genre gene, sir, is broken, if not completely missing. I can only picture you watching the Golf Channel while eating an American cheese sandwich on white bread. (My best friend watches the Lifetime Channel for Sobbing Women and lives for The Bachelor and some show about yakking rich housewives - she’s never seen Star Wars, never even heard of The Matrix, Indiana Jones, or Excalibur, and those movies would go completely over her head anyway. But I love her anyway.)

I don’t get:

Westerns. At all, even the classics, even Clint Eastwood. Turns me right off. Every single one is the same, there’s always a gunfight, and I am always bored unto death.

The above-mentioned Lifetime for Women movies, The Bachelor, chick flicks, romantic comedies, and reality shows about rich idle women. I may have lost my girl card, along with my patience for such silliness.

Sports. Especially football. Men can have it!

The drug culture in general (yes, I’ve tried a couple and enjoyed same and would probably do again if I had the opportunity). Throwing your life away, wounding your family, struggling to get clean - and it’s all considered cool! Corollary: raves. I’m amazed there aren’t massive die-offs, like guppies in an aquarium gone bad, at raves.

If I didn’t re-read LOTR, watch an afternoon of Harry Potter or Mists of Avalon, or peruse the Pyramid Catalog and drool over the witchy gowns, I think I would go mad in this sad old world. But, to each his own.

I agree with the OP on the fantasy stuff; where I disagree with you is the idea that these worlds being imaginary is sad. Even “realistic” entertainment is escapist; my problem with fantasy is that, in my mind, it’s childish - or at the very least, much of its appeal to adults is based on nostalgia. Children’s lit and fantasy just don’t say anything to me that I find in any way gratifying at this age. I feel similarly about role-playing or dress-up (in the context of sex here; apologies if that’s not the arena you were referencing) - nothing against it occasionally if a partner wants to experiment, but I’m perfectly capable of enjoying what’s arguably the most pleasurable act out there without having to add all kinds of baggage to it. I don’t need weird rituals or extraneous window dressing to enjoy a meal, or anything else, really. For me, appreciating things for what they are is the most rewarding way to experience life, though it’s obviously something that needs to be worked at.

Having said that, I’m not trying to judge anyone who does take pleasure in this stuff - just trying to explain why it doesn’t work for me.

Never noticed drug addiction being glorified, I have to say, but I guess I wouldn’t get that if I came across it.

I don’t really “get” classic/prog-rock/metal. It all just seems so pretentious and dumb at the same time, not to mention archaically macho. I was a metalhead briefly at 13/14, and even then I was bored to tears by Led Zeppelin and other “godfathers” of the genre. Too plodding. The early 80s NWOBHM at least were fast, but the wanky solos and sword-and-sorcery lyrics I could barely relate to even at that age. And the black/death metal/grindcore/etc. stuff I just found ridiculous, and as emo as any Dashboard Confessional song. Guys who got picked on in their teen years and couldn’t get dates getting revenge by adopting bad-ass personae and translating their women problems into songs about armageddon, torture and death - what could be more wimpy?

Agree with the poster above about horror movies, too. As critic Robert Christgau once wrote: " I always thought horror movies catharsized stuff I was too rational to care about in the first place".

So how do you account for the popularity of Halloween?http://www.halloweenadvertising.net/halloween_industry.html Doesn’t that speak of something inside humans that needs to be expressed? Or is it that all those adults who are into Halloween are immature? Apart from the amount spent just for candy and costumes for the kids and dogs, I guess there are an awful lot of adults out there who just don’t wanna grow up!

Well, I’d have no problem with that assessment, personally. I could be wrong, of course. Maybe people are expressing something deep within themselves by dressing up as pirates and hookers once a year. All I’m saying is it does nothing for me.

I don’t get the facination with amatures trying to win a singing/dancing/modeling contest - even when they pair them up with pros. This might be an extention of my almost complete lack of interest in sports, though. However, have them try to win a stand up or home design contest, suddenly I’m interested. Go figure.

I like all of the OP’s faves, plus Westerns. Been to such locales and can both relate to their history (western history is full of psychos) and a chance to sell several gravesites in scenic Deadwood Cemetary.

I’m pretty much in agreement with the OP except for Renaissance-related things, which I am obsessed with, but I actually think Renaissance Faires are not historically-accurate enough. My interest in the Renaissance comes solely from my viewing of paintings from that time period and not any kind of romanticism of the past. My favorite era is roughly 1580-1640, which is a period completely underrepresented by the Renaissance Fair people anyway. The Thirty Years War era is not generally what comes to mind when people think of the Renaissance.

If I had the money, I would like to host a grand fair and tournament set in the year 1610 with mandatory period-accurate costumes which would be approved in advance. What I would truly like is to be able to step into a painting from that time. Another thing I’d like is a mid-1700s version of a Renaissance Faire. I don’t know what you’d call that, but the Barry Lyndon era. Again, all costumes would have to be historically accurate, and those not costumed would be denied entry.

Maybe this doesn’t confirm 100% to the standards of the OP, but:

Internet Celebrities.

Why should I give a shit about you/read your blog/look at your pics/listen to your music/watch your reality show just because you got 100,000 comments on your Youtube video or Facebook? I’m getting a little bit worried that the Internet is spewing forth a bunch of dumbasses who have succeeded in becoming famous for no good reason due to viral popularity (Tila Tequila, Tucker Max, Obama Girl, the “leave Britney alone” guy, etc etc etc etc) while the many substantial artists who may actually have something to say get ignored or fall by the wayside. I mean…this is bullshit.

And the confluence between the Internet and reality TV and fame is weird, too. You were once a normal person, then you started an attention-grabbing website, then you had someone write a Wikipedia page about you, then you had someone approach you about a show, then you became a celeb because of your reality show, then you achieved mainstream fame. WTF? And, all the while, we’re watching “reality” on TV instead of living it, despite “TV” being the antithesis of “reality?” This is all too Zen for me. It’s giving me a headache.

Tucker Max is a writer. If he had been able to get a book deal five years ago, he would have and we would now know him as a published writer; as it stands, he simply used the internet as the medium for his stories because it was cheaper and easier than publishing in print. Whether or not you like him, he earned his fame legitimately with his stories.

I don’t get reality TV. It doesn’t sound like fun to do it, or to watch it.

Except for Dancing with the Stars, but that’s not reality!

I also don’t get vampires. What’s the intrigue? Vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters. Who would really want to live in a world with them? Okay, shapeshifters I can kind of see. Kind of.

I don’t really understand wrestling, like WWF stuff. It appears to have a deep and stratified sub-culture that is hard to relate to. Two men engaging in faux-combat in their underpants, or in costumes, seems to generate an enormous set of storylines and theatre that wrestling fans really enjoy. The times I’ve seen it I got the impression that there were multiple in-jokes and sub-texts that I was unaware of. Maybe it’s one of those things you need to get involved with as a kid and it stays with you. On another board I was just reading grown men posting about their excitement that Bret Hart may be returning to the wrestling game.

I don’t get Terry Pratchet. I tried to read The [del]Color[/del] Colour of Magic several times. Got the amusing jokes and whatnot, but found the plot and schizophrenic structure unbearable. I guess I’ll stick to Douglas Adams for my comedic British adventure fiction.

I don’t get sports. Why the fuck do people get so worked up about their local teams? As if a random collection of athletes from around the world who HAPPEN to work in your city (this season) have anything at all to do with you? It makes no sense to me whatever.

Of course, my attitude may have something to do with the fact that I encountered the travesty that was the '69 Cubs at the impressionable age of eleven and never recovered. But still, I just can’t give a shit from shinola about sports.