I want better!
The more and more I think about it, the more and more I get frustrated with what people and particularly fandom has accepted as “good” movies. I am not saying that I am the final and end all to be all judgement, but I am asking people to at least look at some movies with a critical mind and ask for better story than we are getting. In particular, Star Wars and Star Trek as well as the MCU. Stop settling for McDonald’s level writing and ask for Ruth’s Chris!!
There was a time when I thought fandom related media has some intelligence. Today, it seems it is gone. In part, it might be because I am older and wiser but I think there are two major factors that have really dumbed down fandom movies and thus fandom.
(1) The Mainstream saw a market. Thanks to the fans my age and younger, with the rise of things like fandom conventions and comic conventions, we built our own market and it finally got noticed. The sheer numbers attracted the Mainstream marketers and salesmen and thus, we were marginalized into a standard mainstream market. What happens then? They have to grow that market even bigger with broader appeal. Unfortunately, that means watering thing down, and I am sorry to say, dumbing things down to a more common denominator. Fandom went from a niche market to a massive mainstream market. Being Geek has become chique.
(2) 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike. With the writers wanting more money, the producers turned more to Reality TV. “You can’t write this sh*t” became the standard and reality TV took over. Producers, directors and editors were the only people needed for that. What happened to the writers? Many went to movies because “reality movies” isn’t really a thing.
So now we are getting TV level writing in the movies. I equate that to McDonald’s. Sure, tons of people eat McDonald’s. They appeal to the masses. But is it good or just good enough? We are getting McDonald’s level writing in movies when we deserve Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse level writing. The universes we love and watched when we were kids are in the hands of $10 an hour (figuratively speaking) burger flippers when we (or at least I) want more than that.
And of course, the studios won’t pay for that kind of writing because why bother? They are raking in the money because they are appealing to the masses with this Big Mac stories. And we are eating it all up!
I am not trying to insult anyone or make anyone feel bad for liking these particular movies. Many of them have their moments. But I just ask people to ask for more. At one point, McDonald’s was struggling with new competition and healthier choices. They may still be. I want us to do the same with movies and ask for a healthier, more intelligent choice.