There’s nothing more satisfying than being tagged in one of these writing challenges! The last one I braved, all about the 1990s, was an absolute blast and made me realise that the ’90s wasn’t all bad!
Today’s challenge might be a bit… divisive, to say the least. Just remember, these are merely my opinions, if you don’t agree then that’s cool and I totally respect that, all I ask is that you respect not only my decisions, but the other writers who take this on!
Check me out, being all brave! Anyway, let’s bloody do this shall we?
A Popular Series You Don’t Like
Nice, easy one to get us rolling. Game of Thrones.
I loved the books, absolutely devoured them over the course of about a year (and they’re hefty reads, folks!) it’s got it all, a massive cast of mostly detestable characters, fantasy battles, a rich world, allegories to real-world events (the series is based on the Wars of the Roses) and more swearing, sex and scandal than you can shake a broadsword at. Oh, and dragons.
Then, in 2011, broadcasting house HBO announced that they would be making the books into a big-budget, star-studded TV series, starring such notable thesps as Peter Dinklage, Charles Dance, Mark Addy and, for one season at least, the mighty Sean Bean! Yep, Boromir himself was on board for this and lasted just about as long as Ned Stark. I worked away more days than I was home back then, and a friendly co-worker gave me a USB stick with season 1 (gloriously ripped from torrent sites, obviously) to watch. I enjoyed it! It was very close to the first book, plot wise, and everyone did a great job of selling the universe to me. There was a bright future for this series for me, I could see the boxsets lining the shelves in my room!
And then season 2 came along and, as time passed, more characters were cut out, more side stories simply disappeared and more alternate versions of events crept in, sending it spiralling away from George R.R Martin’s vision and further into the tepid swamps of my indifference.
But that alone didn’t kill Game of Thrones for me, dear reader. No, the whole obsession surrounding it drove in the final nail. If you looked anywhere in the years between it getting popular and the apparently disappointing finale, the pure amount of hype, vitriol and, yes, hate surrounding HBOs baby was off the charts and it all just kind of… smooshed together into a horrible gooey paste in my mind.
In the end, only two good things came out of televising Game of Thrones in my mind: that wonderful intro theme and, as it crashed and burned right at the end, HBO releasing Chernobyl in it’s wake (because Chernobyl is a bloody tragic masterpiece!).
A Popular Film/Show Everyone Else Hates But You Love
There is one absolutely epic TV show that I’ve championed for years, which very few others ever seem to agree with me on. It’s (comparatively) cheap, nasty, full of gratuitous nudity and the likes and you definitely wouldn’t watch it with your parents or your gran. But it’s also entertaining, dramatic and has Xena bloody Warrior Princess in it!
I speak, of course, of SPARTACUS!!! (you have to shout it).The tale of a Thracian mercenary who gets on the wrong side of a particularly asshole Roman general and ends up a gladiator, fighting for his life in the arena of Capua, Spartacus rocked my world when I was introduced to it, the (tragically late) Andy Whitfield was a powerhouse in the eponymous role and John Hannah knocked it out of the park as the foul gladiator master, Batiatus. In later series, when poor Whitfield was succeeded by the worthy Liam McIntyre, things only got crazier, with big battles galore and a finale that was all of the emotions!
Yes, the CGI blood and gore was schlocky as hell, and yes the gratuitous boob-fest sometimes got a bit awkward, but this series also had a script which tried to recreate the sentence structure of latin (there is, apparently, no yes in latin, so no-one ever says it), drops some of the best insults and one liners of the ancient world and has characters you can really root for (Spartacus’s rival, the mighty Crixus, has the arrogance of Ivan Drago, love him!). It also had tons of body oil (willing to bet the show runners spent most of the budget on it), awesome battle sequences and there’s a bit where Sparty cuts someones face off like a disc… their face! Like a bloody disc!
Er… CGI gore alert, I guess!
A Love Triangle Where The Person Ended Up With The Person You Didn’t Like
Firstly, I must respectfully defend Peeta Mellark from Heather, he was a wholesome boy and definitely the right choice, Gale became consumed by hate and sulked a lot!
With that said, I’m having trouble thinking of any other love triangles! Oh, I know, bloody Harry Potter! Why in the blue blazes didn’t he end up with Hermione? Not only do they have chemistry aplenty, but she’ super smart and literally does most of the legwork in every book, what a bloody idiot Potter is!
Good for Ron, though, he had the right idea.
(Also, sod the author of these books, trans people are accepted and welcome around here!)
A Popular Genre That You Hardly Watch
Horror movies. I watch most movies with my wife (we’re both movie fans) but she isn’t a fan of horror, so we don’t watch them, simple as. Not that I miss them, really. The only 2 horror movies that ever meant anything real to me were Alien and The Thing. I also quite enjoyed The Exorcist, to be fair.
A Beloved Character That You Don’t Like
I’m actually scared to post this. Remember, this is purely opinion, please don’t hurt me…
There, I said it. I just don’t like Batman. He’s edgy, grimdark, has billions of dollars to back him up and, even if it would save the entire world, he just won’t strangle the Joker to death. I mean mate, come on, Joker’s killed how many now? Escaped Arkham Asylum how many times? Just knock him off, I won’t tell. And instead of chucking shurikens shaped like bats about, just bloody shoot them or something! But to be fair, Joker is an idiot too! The only good thing about him is Mark Hammil’s superb voice work in the animated series!
So, yeah, I suppose my days are numbered now. I’m sorry world, but Mr Wayne just had to be called out, this once. Not that Superman is much better, OP bugger that he is… I’ll stop now.
A Popular Show/Series You Can’t Get Into
Like Heather, I agree that The Walking Dead never really lit a fire under me. We persevered with it til series 4 (I think) but it really was the odd good bit interspersed with hours and hours and hours of tedium. Once Jon Bernthal’s excellent slow-burn baddie Shithouse Shane died it got really dull, then the Governor came along and made it fun for a bit, especially when he had a tank, but then it was just dull, dull, dull again. They weren’t zombies, just really, really bored people!
A Popular Trope You’re Tired of Seeing
The one trope that always gets my eyes rolling so hard that they’ll pop out of my head? The classic where the geeky girl, mocked and reviled by all, has a makeover to make her look acceptable and she immediately lands some fit jock boy, or a prince or some nonsense or other. Princess Diaries, Breakfast Club, I’m looking at you!
I love geeks, be they male, female and everything besides. Dress how you like, be into what you like, you don’t have to look conventional and act conventionally to have a good time gorramit!
A Popular Show or Film You Have No Interest in Seeing
Lost. It sounds overly long, padded to hell and more tedious than filling out application forms. Ooh, the hatch… is that a polar bear… was it all a dream…
…honestly, who cares?
A Movie Show Or Adaption You Prefer More Than The Book
Ready Player One. I know, I know, the movie has its flaws. But the book has more!
The protagonist, Wade, is liekable in a goofy sort of way in the movie, but is an insufferable arsehole in the book. All he ever does is spout smug, pop culture knowledge all the way through, using it to laud over the other characters, like, duh, it’s a DeLorean! Hello! It’s clearly a Firefly class transport vessel… Christ I hated him!
Movie Wade was so much more palatable, and didn’t spend a few paragraphs explaining how he pleasures himself whilst wearing a VR haptic feedback suit, which is an absolute relief! The movie’s only downside is that it pulled the metaphorical teeth of the female lead, reducing her from a tough, independent character to a bit of a damsel in distress by the end.
That’s unforgivable, but so is a smug get describing how he gets his jollies off in a haptic suit.
Over To You
So, come on, let’s hear your popular opinions in the comments! All thoughts are welcome and I do love a good respectful discussion about these things!
And, because I’m evil, I’m going to spread the love in tagging format! Heather already tagged most of the “gang” so I shall complete the set by tagging in Ms. Luna! I’ll also take a gamble and reach out to my good friend Gem too! She doesn’t usually write about this kind of thing but she’d be amazing if she did ‘cos she’s a powerhouse!
Thanks for reading everybody! Until next time!