Perfection in Entertainment?

I felt like I would take a few moments and talk about fandom and perfection. Actually, imperfection is probably a better word to use here. I am a fan of a lot of different media and real life stuff. As we every Thursday, I consume a lot of media and fiction especially. We all take ownership of the stuff we love and clasp it close to our heart. I have been there a million times and I imagine some of you have been there too. We fall in love with a show or a movie and we fully consume it and internalize it. If somebody else mentions it, we jump out of nowhere and want to discuss it in detail. We defend it to the death and hate when anybody criticizes it. To give you a real life example, I am a fan of the Baltimore Ravens and I hate when somebody talks smack about them.

They may be thugs but they are our thugs.

Of course, we love something until it changes or we start noticing imperfections that start to annoy us and then we keep picking at it until it falls apart. We took ownership of that bit of entertainment and when I say that, I mean that we became that hipster band geek. We say to ourselves that we love that show or movie and nobody loves it as much as we do. Movies, books, television, podcasts, theater and other similar stuff are easy to make an emotional connection with. While it is not even close to the same as an emotional connection with other human beings, fiction has a hold on you. Why else would we binge watch television shows or worry about whether or not we have seen the latest movie? Connecting with fiction helps us connect to the world.

Possibly why we get so mad at our friends and family when they screw up.

However, none of what we watch is perfect. Nothing we are fans of is flawless but it can be hard to remember that. When we notice flaws in what we are consuming, it sometimes can cause a conflict. Our fandom goes to war with our critical mind and then the sparks begin to fly. That is when we start sending letters to the editor, asking for them to change things. It is also when people start leaving angry, acidic comments on youtube videos. People will call them on it. They ask them if they don’t like it, why don’t they just move on and stop watching? They answer because they are a fan and they are just trying to help. The thing is that the people who make this stuff do not need our help. They are doing the best they can and they will continue to do so.

This is not perfect but I love it.

I am not immune to the feeling, I feel the same impulses. I watch something that is not quite perfect and I feel the need to let the creators know. In fact, you can see me criticize WWE programming on my twitter during Monday and Tuesday night programming. I am trying to curb that. Criticizing something is definitely worthwhile. I do it on this blog. However, your tone is important. I am trying to accentuate the positive. Lately, I tend to talk a lot more about the stuff I love than the stuff I disliked. It is a balancing act, though. When I hated The Boss, I needed to talk about that and I needed people to hear me. We all want to be heard and sometimes we cannot wait until we have calmed down.

This is still the true face of evil.

So what am I talking about in this rambling mess? I just want us to remember that the authors and creators out there are not perfect. In fact, we would not want them to be perfect. Perfect is boring. I am a fan of a lot of stuff and I love it all despite its flaws or maybe because of them. For example, I love Once Upon a Time and it is the most convoluted show that I have ever watched. The show goes through cycles of redemption so much that at Season 5, the characters are even pointing it out. Still, I binge watched Season 5 in a week. I rarely do things like that. I watch Pro-Wrestling which has some of the most inconsistent quality of anything on television. Yet, I continue to watch it every week.

Logic in the WWE? What!?

So, enjoy your fandom. Revel in it and talk about it as obsessively as you want to. Just remember to keep it sane. Keep disagreements civil and do not pollute the air around you with your negative opinions. Try to give things the benefit of the doubt. Use your suspension of disbelief to move past those parts that irk you. Save your outrage for the really problematic bits. There is plenty of real injustice in the entertainment world and the real world. In short, if we sweat each and every papercut, we will have no energy to deal with the real damage.

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