Posts Tagged ‘anti-fans’

(Pre)Hating on H8R

September 11th, 2011 | Jonathan Gray

Of the many new shows beginning in the next few weeks on American network television, some look promising, some okay, and quite a few bad, but I hope to watch the first episode of them all. The only one for which I foresee needing a barf bucket next to me while watching is The CW’s H8R.

The premise appears simple – find someone who “hates on” a celebrity, send Mario Lopez to get the celebrity, then let the celeb confront the “hater” and win them over. See below for a clip, though if you have some of yesterday’s dinner in your mouth when you’re done, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Why my hate about H8R? Read more…

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Don’t Picket the Funeral: The Lost Finale and its Anti-Fans

May 24th, 2010 | Jonathan Gray

And with that, Lost is over. Predictably, my Twitter feed came alive last night as friends and colleagues tried to make sense of it. Equally predictably, the anti-fans were out in full force. There were those who never really liked the show anyways and wanted us all to know it, there were those who thought the finale sucked and needed to discuss it, and there were those who loved to hate the show publicly and who saw this as their best chance to make that hate even more public.

I’m not going to discuss the actual finale here, since a whole host of people with more words and thoughts than I have already done so, and, quite frankly, I want to sit on it a little longer before I pass complete judgment. Go here to see other reviews linked. What I want to discuss instead is those anti-fans.

Specifically, I find myself wishing we could institute a short mourning period for fans of a show once it’s over. I get anti-fandom, and realize that it’s as valid a cultural practice as is fandom. It would be ludicrous, and more to the point outright worrying, to suggest that one should only love the media – dislike and hate are necessary, especially if we ever want it to get better. Anyone who tells themselves that they’re a fan is definitely an anti-fan of something else, and anyone who isn’t a fan of anything is (not only a sad, sorry human being, but also) definitely an anti-fan of at least something else. So anti-fans aren’t going anywhere, nor should they.

But how pleasant it would be, though, if we could accept that fans need some time to decompress, to let go, and to savor the memory of their beloved show once it’s gone. I’d pose that if, as an anti-fan, you’re unwilling to honor that love in the small way of shutting up and letting the fans have a day or three, your anti-fandom has become an ugly beast. It’s now first and foremost dependent on ruining others’ experience, and it is supremely untrusting that those others truly find something worth loving in the first place. It is a radical narcissism. You know those jerks who picket funerals saying the deceased is going to Hell? That’s what you’ve become.

Granted, I say this now because I am a Lost fan. Some might question my use of the word “fan,” since I’m not in a Lost community, I don’t produce Lost fic or so forth, and the only time I’ve spent on speculation boards is when I’m studying them. But I consider myself a fan. As such, the naysayers are pissing me off and ruining my buzz. This is a self-interested plea, yes. But please feel free to throw this back in my face in the future – when Grey’s Anatomy ends (and boy will that be a good day), I promise to shut up and let the fans have their day or three. Which is not to say that I promise to like the show, because my understanding of the cultural studies project was not that we all had to like everything, nor that we all had to agree with everyone’s likes. Let us vigorously disagree, and if you want to know why I dislike Grey’s (apart from it causing an outbreak of students who can’t spell my name, that is), I’ll gladly tell you. I may tell you even if you don’t want to know too, because I’m invested in my answer. I just won’t do it after the finale.

So how about a moratorium on Lost hate till tomorrow?

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Twilight “Haters”: A Response to My Last Post

January 16th, 2010 | Jonathan Gray

My last post was about Avatar haters and the pleasures of their hate, but here’s a wonderful clip playing another type of anti-fandom, namely fraudulent anti-fandom:

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Hating on James Cameron: Avatar’s Anti-Fans

January 9th, 2010 | Jonathan Gray

Everyone has an opinion on Avatar, or so a browse through my Google Reader, Facebook feed, and trips to public spaces seem to suggest. Moreover, opinions seem remarkably unified within two central camps – either it’s a great ride and a cinematic breakthrough, or it’s all hype and a piece of crap. But these positions develop before people watch. I’d pose that pretty much everyone is getting what they think they’re going to get out of Avatar: either you expect a wonderful visual feast and you get it, or you expect to find a stupid story (“Dances with Wolves on another planet”) with visuals that are either ho-hum or excessive, and you get that.

This latter camp fascinates me, as do their counterparts with most critically and/or popularly loved films or television shows. We know they won’t like the film. They know they won’t like the film. Yet they insist on watching it. Why? What are they paying for? After the fold …

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The Pleasures of Reading Scathing Reviews

November 15th, 2008 | Jonathan Gray

A recent post at television writer Ken Levine’s blog previewed the next few months’ films. Of Four Christmases, he had this wonderfully caustic comment:

Every Xmas Hollywood trots out at least five ghastly formula high concept hijinks holiday movies. This is four of them.

It made me think about how much I love really funny, really scathing reviews. I have some things to say about the rather peculiar pleasure of enjoying destructive criticism, but first, I went searching for some more examples.

Let’s start with Roger Ebert’s Your Movie Sucks, a collection of his more critical reviews. The book’s title comes from his review of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. After starting by noting that the film is “aggressively bad, as if it wants to cause suffering to the audience,” Ebert notes that its star Rob Schneider got really pissy with critic Patrick Goldstein following his review of the film. Schneider bought full-page ads in Variety and Hollywood Reporter to fight back (imagine if our students bought ads in the Chronicle when we gave them bad grades), saying Goldstein had never won an award, and therefore was somehow unable to criticize the horrible film (editorial note: it really is “aggressively bad”). Ebert responds:

Schneider was nominated for a 2000 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor, but lost to Jar-Jar Binks. But Schneider is correct, and Patrick Goldstein has not yet won a Pulitzer Prize. Therefore, Goldstein is not qualified to complain that Columbia financed Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo while passing on the opportunity to participate in Million Dollar Baby, The Aviator, Sideways, and Finding Neverland. As chance would have it, I have won a Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.

Some other highlights from Ebert’s book after the fold:

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