Been a while. You know how the holidays are. Plus, I have my newest manuscript to work on, but blogging is part of my job. And I know how you rely on me to fill your lives with joy and / or wisdom. So here I am.
Recently, I read a pair of articles. The first article was about how the writer didn’t like Doctor Who. The second article suggested that people who don’t like Doctor Who should just not watch it and stop complaining about it.
But complaining is an important thing. Complaining is what makes the exchange of ideas possible. Bitching and moaning is what free speech is all about.
I don’t like Doctor Who either. I find it highly overrated, dull, a rather clumsy mix of pretentiousness and humor. And did I mention how unintentionally silly I find the “science” in this science fiction show? It’s not a bad show. Certainly not even in the top 10 of unexceptional sci fi shows. But it’s just not that good, and if there were actually more good sci fi shows on television and if you subtract the nostalgia factor, I think it would’ve came and went and been quickly forgotten by now. (I call this The Dollhouse Effect.)
Maybe you disagree. Fair enough. I don’t deny you your right to like (or even love) Doctor Who. Just don’t deny me my right to disagree.
Of course, the question that so often comes up after that is “Why do you care?” And I’m going to go ahead and tell you why I do care.
I care because a bad sci fi show leads to more bad sci fi shows. And if everyone who disliked bad sci fi shows just sat down and kept quiet, then the trend will just continue. Doctor Who is an unexceptional sci fi show, but Torchwood is absolutely dreadful. And there would be no Torchwood without Doctor Who. And I’m sure whatever spinoff Torchwood manages to spawn will be even worse. (I call this The Stargate Effect.)
But perhaps “bad” is the wrong word to use. “Bad” implies badness, and since all of this is a matter of opinion, I’m just suggesting that there are qualities to these shows that I do not enjoy or appreciate. And if someone else does, good for them. But this won’t stop me from speaking up every now and then, just to register a blip of disagreement, just to let someone out there know that if they don’t like Doctor Who either that they are not alone. And to suggest that we don’t offer that opinion is just wrong.
To be sure, there is such a thing as expressing an opinion in an obnoxious and insulting way. While I don’t like Doctor Who, to suggest that people who do are “stupid” or “foolish” or “morons” would be both over the top and ridiculous. Such virulent opinions are worthy of derision. But if someone expresses themselves thoughtfully then we should at least respect their right to do so.
Every bit of progress the terran species has ever made has come from a dissenting opinion. If the people who disagreed with the majority were always silenced, then new ideas would never develop. There’s no guarantee that a dissenting opinion will be worth hearing. Most aren’t. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t let people voice them.
So in the interest of dissent, I offer the following opinons:
I don’t like Battlestar: Galactica. I found it dull, preachy, and way too complicated for its own good. And I’m pretty sure I’ll like Caprica even less because it looks like BSG if you removed the spaceships and added some Gossip Girl to the mix. Someone once suggested to me that Syfy’s ultimate goal is to remove all the sci fi from itself, just as Cartoon Network is slowly cutting away all of its cartoons. And Caprica is just another step in that direction.
I thought Firefly was okay. But it wasn’t on very long, and it isn’t worthy of the cult of personality around it.
Dollhouse was just dumb. Dumb from top to bottom. A bad idea from its inception that just kept getting worse.
Warehouse 13 was kind of cool until it was forced to fit in the generic Syfy mold.
Sanctuary isn’t good. Worse, it’ s not cool, and no matter how often they try to tell me it is, I’m waiting to be convinced. And the virtual sets just succeed in making the show seem like something filmed in front of a blue screen.
I kind of like Eureka. Not a big fan, but I can enjoy it sometimes.
I don’t read series fantasy books. There are plenty of great series fantasy books, but I just can’t get into them. It’s nothing personal, but I really like standalone fantasy novels and feel there should be more of them.
Up is the best movie of the year. It’s also the best fantasy movie of the year. Avatar was good (much better than I expected), but it can’t touch Up for sheer genius, beauty, and subtle characterization. Although Avatar did have things fighting other things, and I do love when different things fight. Still, gotta go with Up on this.
You might disagree with these opinions. That’s just fine with me. Am I the dissenting genius? Or just a loonie? Time will tell. But I just wanted to put that out there.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,