Heisui’s Thoughts: Negativity in drama reviews – how much is too much?
So have you ever had that experience, when you wholeheartedly believe that this one drama is super amazing and then you come across someone else’s negative comment/review/recap about it and you realize that other people think the drama sucks? Chances are you probably have; I’ve had this experience too. I remember this one specific time back when I was not a blogger yet..I was so excited about this one drama and then I looked up this review for it. Well guess what the review basically said that the drama sucked. Me: “…….Oh.” AND I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED, MY DREAMS WERE SHATTERED IN THAT INSTANT. (Just kidding.) *overly dramatic* No, it wasn’t that life-shattering or anything, it didn’t make me suddenly turn my back on the drama..but there was a little something about it that affected me. There was that niggling feeling that made me feel a bit more down afterwards. O_O”
Of course, we all read reviews/recaps/comments about dramas to hear other people’s opinions and different interpretations. But there is also that desire to read things that affirm our own views on the drama/episode. For me, I enjoy hearing other people’s takes on the same drama because it helps me see things I didn’t notice before. But sometimes when I read very negative opinions about certain dramas, it kinda dampens my mood if you know what I mean. It’s hard to draw the line, but there is some difference between fairly criticizing a drama vs. being so overly negative that no one even wants to read the review anymore because it leaves a bad taste in their mouths.
^Last Cinderella. Oh dear. Does this bring back memories for you? 😛
Well of course, it’s more complicated than just ‘don’t be negative about a drama’. I thought back about my own reviews & comments and yeah, I too have been very negative about certain dramas, even to the point where I am still watching, but instead of wholeheartedly enjoying it I am complaining to all of my sympathizers (aka people who are stuck watching the same sucky drama) about each episode. T________T That, everyone, is where I think to myself, is there a time when I went too far? Is it even worth writing about a sucky drama only to spend the majority of the review complaining about the drama’s faults?
It is quite the dilemma. Being negative about dramas stems from a number of different motivations. First things first, maybe the drama actually sucked. Or maybe it started out good but then got worse and worse as it progressed. Either way, both make me just want to either 1) not write about it at all or 2) rant about it for a long time and share my pain and suffering with everyone. #1 is often the most obvious route (why write about it if you don’t like it) but actually #2 is a very attractive option! Good dramas have a lot to write about, but sometimes bad dramas do too! O_O” I usually choose #2 (stick with the drama and rant about its faults) if I’m determined to finish watching it ’til the end or if I ended up dropping the drama.
Also, I don’t know if it’s just me, but sometimes it is actually fun to be following a not-so-good drama if a lot of other people are watching it along with you. It’s like we are all suffering through the drama together (UM……) so then we just band together and poke fun at it. O_O” Ok that sounds worse than it really is but it’s like this feeling where we’re all in this together. Classic example of all these 3 reasons? Well I will always always bring up this jdrama from spring 2013……..LAST CINDERELLA. OMG. This drama had a very large following because of the cast and I FELL FOR IT. *shakes fist at drama* Once I started watching I thought it was amazing and I was totally into it, writing about it every week..until slowly episode by episode I watched the drama head towards its demise. Every week, me and the other readers who were following Last Cinderella would have long conversations about how frustrated we were with the drama & how the OTP that was never going to happen SHOULD happen. T___T It was quite the memorable experience, not because the drama was good..but more that it was actually fun to discuss the drama with other people. O_O
^Nam Gyu Ri as Soo Min in Cruel City
Of course, there are also other instances of being negative about elements of the drama and not the entire itself. For instance, it’s pretty common for people to dislike a certain character or actor, particularly if that character is a meddlesome 2nd lead or the evil villain. I too have these times when I will just have to complain about one character in particular. T__T” The most recent example that comes to mind is Soo Min in the k-drama Cruel City. Ah yes, I complained my fair share about Soo Min mainly because she was a very inconsistent character and I also felt that she was not portrayed/written very well. But my point here is..that a lot of people made this into a bigger issue than it really was, taking things beyond the character/actress’ abilities and making things personal. Perhaps the line between being fairly critical vs. being too negative overall is more blurred..but with characters or actors I think it is pretty clear. The moment it becomes bashing, that’s when it’s gone way too far.
^I poked fun at Lan Ling Wang so much.
Well back to my main question of this post..”how much negativity is too much?” I DON’T KNOW!!! 😛 I think for me, the main key is to try to have a balanced view of both the pros & cons of the drama. Even if you can only count the good things about the drama on one hand, hey, at least it counts for something. No one wants to read a scathing (<I’m being overly dramatic here) review or comment only to leave feeling downtrodden and even more negative about the drama than before. I know it’s not possible to go around accommodating EVERYONE..and I won’t..but I do think it is possible to find some middle ground…to assert your own views without offending others/making them feel worse about the drama.
Also, I know I mainly focused on drama reviews here but I always wanted it to include comments as well. If you are not a reader of drama blogs & not a drama blogger, perhaps you may think this does not apply to you. But I think it does, because comments are just the same! So have you ever had this experience where you read a review with negative opinions & felt surprised or less positive about the drama afterwards? Do you think there is a limit to how critical you should be about a drama?
*Update: Ok you should probably just read all the comments because many people have answered this question wonderfully. I was kinda unsure about how to approach this issue but it is great hearing others’ views about it!A few things I have taken from the comments:
- If you don’t like it, don’t read it. (Alua)
- Haters gonna hate, ignore them. (ME. LOL.)
- The tone of the post matters A LOT, particularly if you are poking fun at something or being sarcastic. If someone doesn’t know you’re being sarcastic or just poking fun, then they might take it in a wrong way. (ddee)
- If you don’t have anything good to say OR if you don’t have any explanation for your criticisms, then don’t say it. (Neenee /Kat)
- Once comments get personal they can significantly affect whoever is caught up in that comment-war. So remember what you say does matter, yes we should not feel the need to ‘censor’ our opinions or anything like that, but that doesn’t mean we should go “SCREW IT ALL, WHO CARES WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT MY COMMENT!!!!!!” (Jedmed)
And I will close with this nice quote from Neenee, HEHEHE.
“Opinions differ. Take it with a grain of salt. One opinion is not the be all end all and at the day’s end lets agree to disagree and move on instead of spending time attacking others for their own opinions.”