Monetary transactions should be a no-brainer, right? Someone has something you want, you pay them money, and they will turn over ownership of the item to you in exchange. However, things aren’t always that simple. Sometimes, the proprietor runs into a shipping error or perhaps they oversold their stock. Then there are times in which it turns out the item you purchased was, in some way, a fake. I know I have, on occasion run into situations in which I have come across some less-than-scrupulous sellers.
With the last question I proposed about a month ago, we discussed the times in which we got into a work long after its release date. As I said at in that post, the phrase “You had to be there” exists for a reason. Sometimes what made a work so special at the time is difficult to appreciate even just a few years later. Avatar may have been quite the spectacle when it was released, but as time marched on and the only way to watch it was in one’s living room on a smaller screen, people began judging it on the merits of its storytelling. The result? The film that grossed over two billion dollars in the box office left almost no impact on pop culture, demonstrating its lack of staying power. Not helping matters was the release of films such as Blade Runner 2049 that could easy match or surpass Avatar in terms of visuals in addition to providing a lot more substance.
This time, we will be discussing a similar, yet distinct topic. Getting into works late is inevitable whether it’s because one slipped past our radars, we were indifferent at the time, or the work in question was made before we were born. As discussed previously, that can be to our detriment. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes we don’t get into a work until after years or even decades of hearing critics and fans alike raving about it. Out of curiosity, we finally decide to see what the fuss is about only to start praising the work ourselves when all is said and done.
We’ve all had a time in which, for whatever reason, we didn’t check out that one landmark work when it was released. Maybe you were too busy at the time and forgot about it until years later. Perhaps you weren’t in the mood to see what it had to offer. It could’ve even resulted from the decidedly strict limitation of not having been born yet. Whatever the case may be, I’m positive we’ve all had that experience in which we didn’t get into a work months, years, or even decades after the fact… sometimes to our detriment. Ever hear the phrase “You had to be there”? I feel that applies to certain works out there. It’s not to say they haven’t held up well, but for a lot of them, you miss out on a certain something by getting into them after the fact.
With the last question, I asked you all to name an instance in which you felt a work you used to enjoy soured like old milk. This time, we will turn the question on its head and discuss which works have aged like fine wine.
Say you’ve bought into the hype surrounding a work and when you decide to see what all the fuss is about, you walk away from the experience disappointed. “How could so many esteemed critics give it such high praise?” you may ask yourself. Nonetheless, you have this inexplicable desire to try it out again. This time, you walk away slightly more impressed. Over time, you realize the critics were right all along and you find yourself praising it alongside them – a complete reversal from your original stance. Maybe you weren’t mature enough when you tried it out for the first time. Perhaps it takes multiple playthroughs/viewings/listens to fully appreciate. Either way, I’m confident we’ve all had this happen to us at least once.
With the last question I asked, we discussed the often unavoidable phenomenon that surrounds nearly all the media we consume commonly known as hype. I wanted to get this new series off to a positive start by asking you all to name works that lived up to the hype. This week, we will turn the question on its head.
Over the years, I’ve answered open questions on the blogs of others, and they’ve led to many interesting discussions. As I’ve tried out several new kinds of posts in 2018, I thought I might give this a spin myself. I will propose a question, and you can either answer it in the comments section or write your own post on the subject – it’s all up to you. Naturally, I’ll participate too by providing my own answer.
Whether a work receives universal retroactive praise or manages to achieve perfect scores across the board upon release, hype is something we’ve all had to deal with at one point or another when consuming media. More often than not, it also tends to factor into our feelings walking away from a work shortly after having experienced it. For the very first question here on Extra Life, we will be focusing on the times in which the hype was only barely an exaggeration. Continue reading