Things that seem to appeal to no one

There are some trends recently in entertainment that, when discussed, seem to ALWAYS be disliked by EVERYONE. I’m not talking here, oh elitist dopers, about things like “Britney”. I mean, sure, you rarely here people on the SDMB praising her music, but she obviously sells lots of records, so someone clearly buys them. Rather, these are things which people keep doing, and yet it’s not at all clear why, because everyone hates them, and it’s not even clear they’re commercially very successful. Here are three examples:

(1) Olympics coverage full of little puff pieces about the (almsot always American) athletes who the powers that be have decided we are interested in. Frequently complained about. Never praised. And, as far as I can tell, it’s not like the olympics get monster ratings

(2) Super-quick camera cuts during actions scenes, particularly during fight scenes, so you can’t ever really see precisely what’s happening. (Not to be confused with generally shaky non-steadicam camerawork, which is sometimes very effective. See the first Bourne movie for an example of shaky camerawork but comprehensible fight scenes, and the second Bourne movie for an example of shaky camerawork but non-comprehensible fight scenes.) Again, frequently criticized by the public and reviewers alike. Some movies suffering from this problem have done well commercially… but is that because of or in spite of?

(3) Schmaltzy sentimental Robin Williams. Kinda worked in Good Will Hunting, but who will admit to having enjoyed Patch Adams, Bicentennial Man or Jakob the Liar? And now he appears to be back in the upcoming August Rush.

Nair. There’s not a single woman I know who admits to liking or using this stuff, but for some reason it’s still on the market. Who the fuck is buying it?

Ridiculously inconvenient and outdated versions of everyday items, like sandwich (ziploc without the actual zip-lock) bags that don’t seal shut in any way and garbage bags that have to be tied shut with those irritating ties that don’t work. Why on EARTH are those things on shelves in an age where you can get sandwich bags that seal shut and trash bags with those cinch handles for about $.20 more? Is it just stubborn senior citizens that buy them or something!?

Stubborn senior citizens are an excellent explanation for basic consumer products like baggies and maybe Nair.

My pet theory for entertainment phenomena nobody likes is that they’re not meant to appeal to the audience. They’re targeted to marketing and promotions people. These folks a) believe they know what the public wants better than the public itself, and b) exercise vast amounts of control over what gets made and what “makes it” in en effort to confirm that belief. Big studios would be fools not to cater to them.

The bags without the cinch handles fit my trash can better.

It’s been about ten years since I saw it as a teen but I enjoyed Patch Adams enough to purchase it on DVD. I’ve since lost (sold?) it, though, and don’t like it enough to bother buying another copy

Baby beauty pageants. Is there anyone on this board who would admit to a. having entered her or his child in one or b. actually enjoying the spectacle.

Teenage boys looking to play a prank in gym.

At least that’s why I bought it.

In 1984.

Setting aside how much twenty cents per item can mean to the elderly poor, it isn’t always that case that people need to hermetically seal things. Plastic bags and baggies are used for things other than food.

The taste of coffee. People like how coffee looks and smells and the warmth of it and the affect on their bodies. But the stuff tastes like garbage. Why do you think we dump all that other stuff in it?

I like the taste of black coffee. Tastes a bit like hot beer . . .

Can you hear me now?

At half the price … these foldover sandwich bags do fine for me. I buy lots for both me and my daughter. I’m a good 25-30 years away from retirement. :cool:

Why is this thread in Cafe Society? If it’s about entertainment, great. If it’s about other areas, let me know, and I’ll move it to IMHO.

Which, conveniently, is beyond the statue of limitations… :wink:

Buh? Lots of people like the taste of coffee. If nobody liked the taste of it, nobody would drink it black (I’m sure there are some folks who take it black and don’t enjoy the taste, but since there are things to add to it pretty much everywhere you can get coffee, I’d wager they’re in the minority).

I know women who use it. I don’t use it regularly, but have on occasion. Waxing has gotten a lot more popular, but there are still plenty of women using Nair and the like.

Marketing is it’s own Monster, and at some point, the people above them need to reign them in and wake up. Marketing should never be in control. They’re a tool, not anything more.

Look at the Catalog/Mass Mailing business. I used to work for a company that did List Processing. They can spin the numbers to prove that if you keep spending more and more, you’ll keep seeing a larger and larger return on your investment. But look at the Catalog companies that have gone broke by sending you and me dozens of catalogs every year.

Look at Detroit. When the Japanese car companies came in back in the 70’s and started eating their lunch, they howled for protection. Yet rather than change their marketing and manufacturing strategies, they kept saying that their marketing proved that Americans wanted the cars they were producing.

Yet The Market seemed to indicate otherwise.

I think Douglas Adams had it right with his vision of the Golgafringan marketing people on Earth at the end of the old BBC Hitchhiker’s Guide.


Samuel L. Jackson ranted a bit about this in an interview I heard with him. He pointed out that most of the “suits” have a degree from someplace like Harvard or Yale, but only have experience on about 2 films, while he’s got 80 (or so) to his credit, so out of all the folks involved, he knows the most about films, but because the suit has a college degree, he’s the one in control (until he fouls up bad enough that they fire him, and then he moves o to running some other industry into the ground).