A while back, Jason Bennion and Michael May did a thing called “True Geek Confessions”, which poses this query:
What is something you absolutely hate or love or just don’t get, or maybe it’s something you have never even seen or read. What is your deepest, darkest geek confession?
They both break this down as follows: Something you hate that everyone else loves; Something you love that everyone else hates; Something you don’t get that everyone else adores; and Something that everybody has seen or heard or read that you haven’t. So, here are my replies for each category:
Something I hate that everybody else loves. There’s a lot of such stuff, I suppose. LOST, for one. I tried, and I just couldn’t get there. I didn’t like any of the characters, and after watching five or six episodes, I wasn’t sufficiently hooked to stick around for what I deemed to be a likely-unsatisfying wrap-up. I could also cite Twilight, but that’s got more than enough detractors that I don’t think it properly falls into “everybody else loves it” territory.
For years, I would have listed The Beatles here. Thankfully, I got better.
Something I love that everybody else hates. Well, that’s easy: the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Yes, it’s imperfect, at times, deeply so. But I’ve never understood the vicious loathing of those films, and I really hate that they have become geek shorthand for “something which well and truly blows”.
Also? The Pirates of the Caribbean movies that came after the first one. Maybe they’re not quite in “everybody hates them” territory, but I like them all a whole lot, even if numbers two and three could have used one more trip through the script editing stage and, frankly, a more charismatic actor cast as the main villain (not Bill Nighy – he’s awesome! — the other guy).
I don’t love Spider-man 3 — it’s really a mess – but I don’t hate it as much as everybody else does, either. Ditto Green Lantern.
Something I don’t get that everyone else seems to: Wow, I can list a whole ton of stuff here! A few examples:
Batman. I like Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but in general, the character doesn’t do a whole lot for me. I refuse to believe that he would last more than a few minutes in a fight with Superman, for example.
Quite a few music acts: The Beastie Boys, Nirvana, virtually the entire grunge or alt-rock era. I remember how popular this stuff was, and none of it made so much as a dent on me.
Teevee shows: The Sopranos, Mad Men, The Wire. I read descriptions of these and have zero desire to explore them, no matter how lauded they are.
Vince Vaughn. I don’t really get him. I liked him in Anchorman, but that’s a small role. I don’t buy his ability to carry a movie (and I just plain didn’t think Wedding Crashers was any good).
And, frankly, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t go ahead and list George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire here. I don’t think I have a failure to ‘get’ it, but I sure don’t think it’s anywhere near as good as everybody else.
Something that you would think I’m familiar with and yet am not: There’s a lot of such stuff I could list here, mainly because I tend to be really scattershot with my approach to pop culture, rarely troubling to explore what’s popular at the time it’s popular. But there is some stuff that’s been highly regarded for sufficiently long that you’d think I would have explored it by now. Examples:
The Paul Simon album Graceland (which Roger just blogged about). I have heard nothing but praise for this album and citations of its enormous influence on music since its release…and yet I have never heard it.
Every Steven Spielberg movie since Saving Private Ryan. This, frankly, shocks me to consider it. I need to get off my arse on these.
Any Kevin Smith film after Clerks. What the heck is wrong with me?!
Teevee shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Farscape; Doctor Who; and so on. I’m working on it, folks. I’m already watching the Battlestar Galactica reboot show (and loving it, but that’s another blog post).
I’ve only read one book in the Wheel of Time series and didn’t think it was awful, but not good enough to keep reading that series. I’ve never read anything by China Mieville, and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is pretty much a staple on my “Wow, I gotta read that someday” list.
So, what are your True Geek Confessions?
I loved Dune every since I saw the movie and HAD to know what the hell was happening on screen. I read the book in three days and it has remained my favorite to this die. I am a sucker for anything with complex characters and a complex story of political gamesmanship that encompasses a whole universe.
I can't get enough of Resident Evil Moves or The Hunt For Red October. No matter how many times I see them on the sattelite.
I can't get into Game of Thrones and the latest incarnation of both Battlestar Gallactica and Caprica enraged me with how they ended..
I still am hurting from the premature loss of Stargate Universe…the coolest of all the Stargate franchise.
Never saw or watch to see more than 2 episodes of Farscape. The muppets pull me totally out of that universe.
Can't watch Babylon 5 because it's just goofy.
Man, I should just BUY you Graceland. (Or buy myself the new one and send you my existing copy.)
At least you caught up to the Beatles.
I don't get The Hunger Games, nor Kristin Stewart. I loved the final season of Enterprise. I think it was a shame that they cancelled it just at it was hitting its stride.
I did not get Firefly for the longest time. The juxtaposition of Cowboys and Spaceships just would not let me "enter" until I read one name: Ben Edlund. I loved his Tick comics so I had to give Firefly one more try and I'm glad I did.
So if the muppets turn you off of Farscape, I understand, but, honestly, you're missing out!
Yeah, I'm a bit spotty with Spielberg movies. I saw Saving Private Ryan but I still haven't seen Schindler's list.
And Avatar. Haven't seen it. Probably won't.
This is hard for me because I don't always know what's popular and what's popular to hate. One thing comes to mind that I think a lot of people hated but I liked was Star Trek: Enterprise. But I didn't love it, I just liked it, so I don't know if I can count that or not.
BTW, China Mieville – I recommend you start with Perdido Street Station.
My favorite Trek series is Enterprise (from Episode 1 onward). My favorite Trek movie is Nemesis. I am a minority within a minority.
My favorite mid-range weapon in the video game series Halo is… the needler. No joke. (Yikes!!!)