Don’t reblog and I promise this isn’t a vaguepost about anybody or a specific fandom —
Sometimes I feel like I’m a bit of an outlier in fandom and in media consumption more generally because I don’t understand how people can consume media with a main character they hate or find extremely annoying (with the exception of characters who are meant to be annoying or hated.)
It’s not that I won’t do it — I straight up can’t. I lose interest and stop, whether it’s a book, a movie, a show, or a podcast. Sometimes I can push through if I know they’ll be leaving or if people reassure me the character gets better, but rarely can I force myself to care about it if I’m too distracted by hating a character. Hell, I don’t know much about actors, but I’ve stopped watching or refused to watch movies/shows/animated stuff in which I hate one of the main actors. I cannot imagine being in a fandom for a piece of media where I had to see people like a character that I thought was awful.
I mean, I for sure like some media that has significant, obvious, non-ignorable flaws, and I think it’s good and healthy to critique media, particularly when it reflects harmful systems or values. But fundamentally if I’m consuming media for entertainment, it’s because those flaws don’t ruin my enjoyment of it (even if it’s a privilege on my part that I can consume it without the flaws ruining the enjoyment). If I’m enjoying media, I’m also not extremely angry or annoyed at it as I consume it.
I don’t know if my tolerance for annoying/bad characters is higher or lower than the average person’s (do other people get annoyed at characters as much or more than me and simply ignore it more, or do I get very easily annoyed at characters and drop way more media than most people?). And I definitely don’t have any moral perspective on it — like, maybe sometimes it’s better for one’s mental health not to watch media that annoys you, but definitey there are people with way more resilient mental health than me who aren’t so negatively affected by media, who can get annoyed at a fictional character but keep watching it and then shrug and go about their day. And I’ve definitely missed out on a lot of great stuff cause I just stop consuming it when it makes me frustrated (at least, I know my movie-buff family thinks I’m way too picky.) I’m not saying that my inability to consume certain media is good or bad or neutral cause honestly I have no idea.
But it just means that I feel like I don’t relate to people — friends, family, people who aren’t involved in fandom at all — who watch and love stuff while really, really hating key parts of it, and especially main characters. And idk, maybe I’m misinterpreting how much people hate the media (or parts of the media) they’re fans of. It’s possible lots of people are like me, but I just often feel like an outsider during a lot of conversations about media.
(Again, please don’t reblog, and if you’re thinking “oh are they talking about me or my fandom?” I promise you I’m not, this post is about me and my relationship to media more broadly.)