Musings: Wait, People Liked That?

Have you ever had those things that you used to like in pop culture that now you would like to forget you ever did? (Famous examples include the “Twilight Saga,” or maybe even “The Barbie Movies.”) I for one, certainly have.

[Disclaimer: If you like any of the mentioned mangas, dramas, etc., please do not be offended. This is just my opinion.]

It’s kind of entertaining to go back and look at what has been something you once enjoyed and struggle to figure out why you actually did in the first place. I was thinking back on all those Vampire Knight and Naruto that I had read, and I certainly can’t see what I seemed to have thought was great about those two mangas. Naruto had a somewhat interesting plot-line with annoying characters and zero development, while Vampire Knight had unlikeable characters, beautiful art, and zero plot. Honestly, I think I was enamored with art for the latter and was interested in the mainstream popularity of the former, so I guess they had their merits. Actually most of these kinds of media do—there must be something that is bringing in the popularity, right? (And it just can’t be vampires.) Remember Yu Gi Oh, and Pokemon? Though they have had some utterly terrible moments, they have definitely been a defining component of pop culture from my childhood.  Odds are, it’s probably the same for a lot of other people as well.

I think that “disliked, but popular” is something you see all the time in popular culture. One of my favorite examples would be K-ent’s “Boys Over Flowers” phenomena, which was a inexplainable craze for drama based on Hana Yori Dango that aired in 2009.  You can see the drama fully subbed here, if you haven’t already, or just want to re-watch it. Dramabeans also posted a great commentary for the first episode that you play simultaneously with the show.  It really makes the viewing experience better as the plot was kind of terrible for this drama, and well, the acting from second lead Kim Hyun Joong was not exactly the best either. Nonetheless, I, and many others, watched the Whole. Entire. Thing, glued to our television/computer screens. It’s inexplicable, I tell you! I don’t know why I watched it, nor do I know why I read the entire Twilight Saga, okay? (Wait…did I just admit that….??) If anything, we got Lee Min Ho and Kim Bum out of Boys Over Flowers, so it can’t be all bad, right?

Anyhow, I wanted to say that some of the least liked components of popular culture are often the best pieces of popular culture to talk about. When opinons are strong about something, whether it’s liking the object in question, or disliking it, vibrant conversation tends to stem from it.  There’s nothing more communal than simultaneous spazzing and loathing. Trust me.

If you want proof, try it out in the comments! In the meantime, I think I’ll be posting a list of my “Loathed Favorites,” sometime soon. (As to when this is happening, is beyond me.)

Side Note: I may have had a shallow look at the problems of BOF, but this piece by Dahee really says everything I didn’t.  I highly recommend you read it, because it truly speaks to some of the larger problems with the show and other forms of media like it (Twilight, Vampire Knight, etc.)  All of these stories share one huge flaw; glorification of an abusive/unhealthy relationship.  I would not wish upon any girl (or boy for that matter) what we see happening to Jan-di (BOF) and Isabella Swan (Twilight) or even Yuuki (Vampire Knight). 

(Images belong to respective owners)

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