I have weird tastes. I know it, and I don’t mind saying it. In all pop culture, it’s hard to say what I’ll like and what I won’t. Let me amend that. It’s pretty easy to know some basic things I WON’T like. In novels, I don’t like endless descriptions. If I see paragraphs and paragraphs of descriptions, my eyes glaze over, and I skip to dialogue or action. When I write, I have a hard time remembering that descriptions even exist. I’ll give a thumbnail sketch of the characters, but I rarely talk about environment. The reason is because I have a very lively imagination, and I’d rather conjure up my own pictures of the characters and the environments than read about them.
I read a lot of mysteries, and I don’t like any where the main character is a sociopath/psychopath/raging narcissist. I tried to read the Dexter series, well, the first book, anyway, and I couldn’t get into it. I’ve dealt with enough of them and really intimately in my real life that I don’t want to follow one around in a book. In addition, I find them boring, especially psychopaths. They’re mostly born that way, and there’s no known cure. When I read mysteries, I care about why people are doing things; I’m mostly in it for the psychology. If there is no there there, then I’m out.
I don’t like unearned happy endings, whether it’s in novels, movies or TV shows. Americans are obsessed with happy endings, which is one reason I prefer foreign films. Of my three favorite movies of all time, only one is American (The Station Agent), and it’s an indie movie that definitely does not have a happy ending. I can’t stand most Hollywood movies because they’re so fakey to me, especially as we demand exceedingly good-looking people in our movies. In foreign films, you see people who actually look like real people. Not in America, though. No uggos allowed! Most American movies are MOVIES to me, and I can’t lose myself in them. Actually, this is a problem I have with movies in general. When I’m reading, I can get lost in the world, but with a movie? Not so much.
While we’re talking about movies, I HATE rom-coms. Hate them like:
They reinforce every negative stereotype about men/women/heterosexual relationships that are so harmful to our society in general. A hapless, creepy dude likes a girl, maybe one he’s never even talked to, so he pursues her. She says no, so he persists. She keeps saying no, so he keeps persisting. He makes a Grand Public Gesture, and she’s won over. She realizes he’s the perfect guy for her. The end. This, my friend, is stalking. It’s not cool. It’s not romantic. It’s not fucking sexy. Cracked has written several times about how rom-coms are fucked up. You can read about it here, here, and here.
I’ve ranted several times about Love, Actually, which many women inexplicably love and watch every Christmas. I watched it because Alan Rickman (sniff, sniff) is in it and it’s British, so it has to be great, right? Wrong! It’s one of the most misogynistic piece of shit movies I’ve ever seen (the Alan Rickman/Emma Thompson storyline is the best part of it, but still contrived. It’s only saved by their terrific acting), and the fact that it’s so beloved by many women earns a massive side-eye from me.