When it comes to what I read, and especially what I watch, I am extremely fussy. I used to watch and read just about anything, but I’ve recently come to realize that there’s no point sticking with something that’s annoying me and I don’t enjoy.
Being open to expanding my horizons and stretching beyond my comfort zone is one thing, but I know what I like and refuse to suffer through something I don’t. On the whole, its because I prefer things that a bit more intelligent and realistic. I’ll choose a creative, mind bending movie than a rom com or a cheesy action movie any day. Escapism for me is reading a book that transports me to a different time or place, or a watching a lighter, funny movie. Not something that is lacking any semblance of an intelligent plot and that is highly unrealistic.
The first thing that bothers me is convenient plot devices. When an accident occurs that conveniently kills off the unnamed side characters and leaves the main characters unharmed. When a new character is added solely for the purpose of being the new love interest for the main character. When the exact thing that is needed to save the world happens to be conveniently located right next door. Or when romance is dragged out forever just to create drama. It’s just laziness. There is no need to always time take the easy way out and include events and people for the sole purpose of moving the plot along.
Plots that are too contrived irritate me as well. I want to be able to slip into the world that has been created and not constantly feel how constructed it is. By this I mean, a TV series where every little thing that happens, including a character looking a bit sad, is neatly tied off at the end. I don’t mean to say that I don’t think everything in a book/movie shouldn’t be there for a reason, just that they don’t always have to be plot related. Sometimes character development can be just that. Or, another example is a mystery series where the cases all are super exciting and flashy, like the president being kidnapped by a strange cult, clearly chosen for their shock and entertainment value. I understand making each case interesting and thought provoking, but it should feel realistic within the world of the show, and not make you conscious of the script writers behind it.
Actions should also have consequences and I dislike it when the darker parts are glossed over. If a character’s running through a gauntlet of people shooting at them, they don’t have to die, but they should at least get shot. If they are in an explosion, it should affect them. They are supposed to be real people, not cartoon characters. If someone misses their girlfriend’s concert to go catch the bad guys, why must he always end up both a hero and get the girl? Why should the bully end up being forgiven and become everyone’s best friend? Life is messy and I prefer books and movies that aren’t afraid to show it’s darker side.
What things in books/movies/TV shows bother you? What will make you not want to read/watch something? Let me know!