Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss

There's a lot of ways to enjoy your favorite television shows. There are some shows that are best viewed on the surface alone. For example: America's Next Top Model, Gossip Girl, or any other soapy guilty pleasure. These are not the kind of shows that you need to commit to an in-depth analysis. Somebody gets beer thrown on their weave, somebody gets engaged to a French prince, somebody gets tossed off a building and miraculously survives...these are all things that we just accept.

On the other end of the spectrum you have shows like LOST that are just begging you to analyze them. The writers seem to cry out "please spend hours of your life nitpicking every second of this show so you can truly appreciate how clever we are!" There are special websites, books, and countless fan forums dedicated to uncovering the mysteries contained in the 44 minutes of air-time. And in cases like this, unearthing those little tidbits adds to the pleasure you derive from watching.

But what about the shows in the middle? For me personally, there's a lot of shows where I want to just watch superficially, but it seems like everyone else enjoys picking them apart (perfect example: Glee). This is a problem, because in a lot of cases I find that the more I learn about a show or the more people talk about it...the less I enjoy it. Right now I am struggling with this the most regarding the second season of The Walking Dead which aired its midseason finale on Sunday evening.

I visit a lot of websites that talk about tv (duh), and many of them post recaps of The Walking Dead. As soon as the recaps are up I intensely devour them...but here's the thing. The recaps tend to contain color commentary pointing out the show's flaws and many times it's things I don't particularly notice. For example, I didn't really notice that Season 2 of The Walking Dead was more "talky" or that the reason the farm still has running water and electricity was never addressed. Mostly because whenever I watch the show I am in such a constant state of anxiety it's all I can do to keep my eyes on the screen. But when these flaws are pointed out to me--it kind of ruins the show.

See, normally I would watch this season and think that it showcased some nice character work. But the internet tells me it's boring, repetitive, and overly talky.
I know what you are thinking. "Aren't those kind of flaws obvious and shouldn't you notice them on your own?" But what you don't realize is that I possess this great skill of turning my brain off at will and just...enjoying what I am watching. Except now all I see when I watch interactions between Laurie and the male characters is the inherent misogynism. And the lack of complexity of the secondary characters. Or how it is that Carl got shot in the chest and a few days later is up and wandering around. Argh! Can't I just watch a show about zombies chomping on people in peace?!

You and I both know the solution. Stop reading other people's opinions.  But have you ever tried to not read your favorite blogs? I'm not sure I possess the necessary willpower. I'm going to have to give it a try though because in this case--knowledge is definitely not power. Really all knowledge is doing is popping my zombie fun balloon.

And I like my zombie fun balloon. I like it a lot. 


Axl Rosa said...

My dear, don't let the overly critical blog writers of today persuade you to join them in being dragged down by small things. Enjoy!

The problem with blogs of today is that people have seemingly lost the ability to watch something with the sheer desire to be entertained. In the past, it was just critics of the media. Now people think it's fun to rip apart everything. For me, I keep an open ear to what people say but I still enjoy. I can name a handful of "critically acclaimed" shows and movies that I can't stand and vice versa, so I keep my own opinion and enjoy what I like.

If you notice most shows set in an apocalyptic environment have a misogynistic tone. Mostly because in that type of situation men who are hunters and / or from a small farm town tend to take control and "protect" the women, no matter how it may seem to the reader or viewer. In a real situation I can fully see this happening. I don't see anything but a reflection of the true nature of a situation like this... And let's face it, when two men like the same woman it can only amplify this type of behavior.

I think this season is more "talky" as you say, however, I found it to be with good reason. If you have two very different groups of people trying to communicate and reason with each other, it's going to be a little repetitive. The majority of the season was full of chatter but in the finale they return to action, rather than talk. I thought that was a well made decision.

The running water thing was actually addressed in the beginning when they stated that there were several wells on the farm's property. Having worked on a ranch, I know that there are many ways to have running water when it's run by a series of wells. They also showed Hershel putting fuel in the generator in a scene, so the electricity is accounted for as well.

Remember that the blogs you are reading are just a place for someone's opinions they aren't necessarily unveiling facts about the show. I hope that maybe this long winded comment inflated your zombie fun balloon a little...

Maggie Cats said...

It is definitely re-inflated! And I totally agree with you about wanting to just be entertained. I try to do that a lot actually with tv; it's escapism for me. I don't understand why some people feel the need to overanalyze everything!

We can partners in brainlessness. Which should keep us safe from the zombies actually.