Samuel Brace on superhero centric media and sycophancy…
This may not be the right place for this, it might not reach its intended audience, but this is applicable and more than pertinent for fans of superhero content as well. It’s a good thing for us all to keep an eye on, to watch out for, as over hype or even in a lot of circumstances; false hype, is very real and we need to start calling out those responsible for spreading it.
I love the genre – when it’s good, when it’s at its best – but I don’t love every film or TV show in it, not every product is good enough to love and that’s okay, I don’t expect to love them all, I don’t expect all of it to be great content. I can hope that by expressing my opinion and when the time is right that voting with my wallet might affect change, but I know – in the world we live in, where not everyone has such testicular fortitude — that not everything is going to be great. As for media that’s focused on superhero content, it’s okay not to be in love with every movie, every new costume, every casting choice, and I would argue that it’s actually imperative not to be… that is if you want to garner good faith and trust with an audience that depends on you.
I understand why they do it however, why this behaviour has become prevalent in 2015. A lot of these people are fans themselves, fans of a genre that was in the dark for a large portion of their lives and now that they are in the light, they don’t want to mess it up, they want to be supportive, but by doing so they are doing fans a huge disservice. And we can’t forget that these shows, these podcasts, sites etc, only exist because of the superhero genre and the craze that has gripped the world oh so tightly. Perhaps they feel that if they start to be overly critical, then the very real worry that the bottom might fall out of this thing will come to fruition a lot sooner, and that they might soon be out of a job. I get that, that’s understandable, but the market dictates what it wants and if it decides this genre is no longer something it needs then there is nothing you or they can do about it. Them championing every new casting decision, praising every new trailer, saying that ‘this will be great’, when only seeing next to nothing of it, is not going to cause their world to crumble, them being honest with their fan base and having some integrity is not going to be the reason the castle falls. It might happen but it will do it by itself. Things fall. This is just how it is.
All of this isn’t to say that there aren’t any naysayers, that there isn’t a voice for dissent, for overt criticism and for censorious vitriol without any real reason. But these voices, while often overpowering, normally come from the anonymous, from those hidden by an alias, a nonsensical twitter handle, from someone that isn’t speaking for their pay check. But these people aren’t the danger, we don’t trust them with our news, with our movie and TV updates. The people we trust with this are the superhero media. They are the ones that have to value integrity and have to – as much as they might be afraid to do so – be honest, despite what they feel it might mean for the thing they love.
Pointing fingers can actually have a place in the world, so perhaps we need to start pointing at the sycophants. We don’t need them and while we might understand how they came to be, they are not helping us and are actually causing credibility in this area of the industry to fall away. We have an immense, inalienable power to create and push through change as a people. We are strong and if we see something that is as detrimental as this occurring, we can stop it. So start pointing those fingers when the situation demands it. Start calling out those that are ramming ‘good will to all things’ down our throats. Being critical of something has its place, and just because you do so doesn’t mean you hate everything associated with it. It means you want better and in this case it means we want better from this very particular brand of media. I’ve had enough of all this obsequious behaviour, of the excessive brown-nosing. Have you?