Time and time again, we hear the phrase “Change is the only constant.” And while the repetitiveness of it is shocking, it still stands true. Many things, over a period of time, start to feel boring. We lost interest in whatever we are engaging with and hence detach ourselves. But this action taken by a single individual is echoed by a mass, and soon it becomes a movement. This is reflected in many sources of media such as music, books, movies and TV shows.
For instance, pop music is criticized by many people. Some people think this is some kind of political agenda exercised by people who gravitate towards other genres. However, the pop genre has a boring and repetitive formula that can be found in almost all of its music. This makes the music boring and hard to stick to as days go by. Soon, you stop listening to that pop song entirely. The same phenomenon happens with movies and TV shows that take to the mainstream.
A show that has been around for the last 15 years, Grey’s Anatomy is a medical drama that premiered on American television. Because of the character development that took place in the subsequent years, it soon became a cult-favorite. As the show went on, however, many people started to fall off the bandwagon.
Many recent reviews point to the repetitive formula of the plot that has finally come to the public eye. In the last few seasons, however, many plot points do not stick well with the theme. Hence, the formulaic plot and the questionable plot choices finally got under the nerves of its audience.
Supernatural was a revolutionary TV show that consisted of highly nuanced ghost hunts and two really likable characters Sam and Dean. This came out at a time when the millennial generation just hit its early teenage years. The entire show was a perfect selling point for this emerging audience. Hence, it became a massive hit, especially among teenage girls in the late 2000s.
However, as the years went by, the show took many unprecedented twists and turns. The two main characters went through so many deaths and transformations that the show entered the ‘ridiculous’ territory where bizarre things happen for no reason. The show went with the same narrative of reviving and killing characters, and the audience soon fell off the trajectory that the show stuck to.
Almost everyone dislikes this show now. But when it started, it held the strong promise of well-liked characters. Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead are comic favorites from Archie’s comic series. Realizing it and adding more dimensions to the plot should have worked. At least, that is what the writers were trying to go for. However, things went south the moment they aired the second season.
After Season One, Riverdale took away everything that the original, beloved characters from the comics stood for. In addition, they put together bad writing and plot irrelevancy into a pot and stirred it to churn out all the upcoming episodes. This did not sit well with the audience who was already invested in a certain plot thread. Hence, Riverdale’s ‘experimentation’ with the characters backfired severely.
Crazy Rich Asians
This is a Netflix Original movie that premiered in 2018. Based in America, it represented an all-Asian cast, which was definitely a win for diversity. It was also directed by an Asian person, which withheld the integrity of the cultural scenes displayed. For these brownie points alone, the movie stayed a huge hit as long as it remained to entertain an American audience.
Due to its overwhelming popularity, however, it spread to a wider, and hence Asian, audience, who soon found massive flaws in the representation. While the movie did not contain any offensive scenes, the massive display of wealth and marriage dynamics were overplayed to suit a certain view of Asian families. People started to dislike this movie for this exaggeration.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a classic movie starring the legendary Audrey Hepburn. The story follows a poor girl who has many issues that she constantly tries to avoid by resorting to unethical and unhealthy methods. The main character is able to find her own ‘freedom’ by not being ‘owned’ by a man in a relationship. For the 60s, it is a bold movie with a weak but existent feminist undertone.
After scrutiny in the 2010s and later, people realized that the main character was rather selfish, attention-seeking, and vain. She also blamed others for the issues she created herself. Hence, as the feminist façade of the movie broke, people started to despise it more and more.
Well, what do we learn from all this? Is there a magic formula to make well-liked movies and TV shows? No, there is not. Most movies and TV shows that slowly turn unlikeable have some common factors such as runtime, concept-exploration, or plot. Mostly, one of these three factors goes out of favor soon. In addition, with so many good sources of media, people have rather high standards for the books, music, movies, and TV shows they interact with. Hence, going irrelevant is rather common, for all of these media. Staying relevant in a prolonged period of time is the real magic.
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