Monday, February 08, 2010

When Buzz becomes Hype

Buzz= good
Hype= bad

At least in my mind. Everyone wants buzz and I suppose should you have enough buzz that for a few people it turns into hype - well, you'll be too succesful to care.

Riding this sci-fi wave for as long as I can, I managed to convince husband to watch District 9. Academy award nominated! And don't get me wrong, good movie, AMAZING performance by the lead male. But, Adam and I sat there going - 'huh. Academy Award? Really?' The buzz became hype. And the movie just wasn't the second coming we were told it was going to be.

Simone, cool your jets.

Expectations are a tricky thing. Getting in on the ground floor of something and having no expectations and then being blown away by the little gem you managed to discover - that's the best feeling in the world. But, coming in too late and being non-plussed - no fun. And you can't control it as the writer, the quality of your work hasn't changed. It's just what happens.

So, anyone else have a movie/book/tv show killed by buzz gone bad?


Simone said...

Haha Molly!

I liked it because the whole thing was actually about race relations, and it had so many layers. And because the setting was so unusual. And they shot it in a real Johannesburg slum. And it was the director's first film. I'll stop.

That said, I've since seen Hurt Locker and now I'm torn. What a film!

As for hype - I'll just say JR Ward and duck...

Karen W said...

I had the same thing about District 9. So much build up for so little....

And holy cow - The Book of Eli. If I'd just seen that flick without any build up, I might have liked it better. Nah....

Oh, and Simone, I tried JR Ward too and couldn't get through the book.

Different strokes for different folks (kind like Bon Jovi, yes?)

Stephanie Doyle said...

Definitely different strokes... I'm that way with Sherry Thomas (don't hate me Molly). I do get her work and why people love it, but I think maybe the buzz/hype got to be too much.

And as soon as that happens... that tippig point... it's almost like I start to look for flaws.

If I had been able to read Private Arrangments without being told that it was the most amazing, the most groundbreaking, the most everything book to ever come along... I would have really liked it.

But knowing it was supposed to be the best thing ever, and not really liking the heroine as much as I should have, I felt like odd man out.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Simone - I do think District 9 was an incredibly brave and smart mirror to hold up to South African politics. Truly amazing. HAd I seen it when I wanted to at the very beginning (damn you children) I am sure I'd be with you on the love boat.

The JR Ward phenom I feel like we got in on the first rumblings so there was just buzz at that point. If I were to try it now, I'm not sure if I would love those books as much.

Victoria Dahl is another author that I'm crazy about because I picked up her first book with no expectations and was totally blown away -- it's interesting to see what's happening with this 3rd book (lead me on) which would be for a lot of people a tougher sell because of the heroine. That said -Loved the book.

I think Legion was so successful for my sci-fi hating husband because we had NO expectations. Nothing but pleasant suprises all the way along.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Oh Karen - I'm excited to see Book of Eli because I've heard such wildly different reviews, people LOVED it or HATED it and I figure something that gets that kind of reaction must have something going for it.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Interesting about the Dahl book. I had to put it down. And I knew there was "controversy" over the heroine. But I thought - I'm hip. I'm cool. I can handle it.

I couldn't. I didn't have a problem with girl's past. But I had a HUGE issue with her in the present. She picked the "bad" boy stranger to have sex with for her birthday present.

She used him. Several times. As nothing more than a sexual object.

And I know that this is supposed to be women taking charge of their sexuality and stuff. But to me it just felt... ooky. I didn't stick around for the point when she must have fallen in love with him, but at that point I hated her. And thought he was a wimp for putting up with it.

That makes me a square doesn't it?

Eileen said...

So many times that I can't count them! The most recent one might have been Slumdog Millionaire. Definitely Chicago.

OTOH, it can work in reverse. I remember seeing a movie called The Rat Race with my kids and expecting it to be really really bad. It was funnier than I expected it to be and I ended up enjoying it. I know. Totally low class, but there it is.

My late husband used to say that disappointment was just dashed expectations. Go in with low expectations and you're not likely to be disappointed. :-)

Eileen said...

Steph, I adore your squareness!

Maybe it's being the mother of boys, but there's a certain amount of what I see as reverse-discrimination that happens.

Boys have feelings. Girl power is fantastic, but not when it comes at the price of putting down a boy or a using a boy. We're all human beings first, right?

Sinead M said...

For me, the hype worked against 500 Days of Summer.. I enjoyed it, but I wasn't blown away and I expected to be.

Same with Six Feet Under, I think I got to that party just way too late..

Karen W said...

Steph, to paraphrase Huey Lewis (Gawd, I'm so old) "It's hip to be square!"

Another big disappointment (for me) was the tv show Fringer. So much build up and ... pfffffft.

Maureen McGowan said...

I think hype can totally kill things. However, one recent thing that did live up to the hype for me was Avatar... Just because it's a simple but well-told story. But so freaking spectacular to look at, you can't help but be amazed.

I was lucky that I saw Slumdog Millionaire with ZERO hype. Was actually one of the first people to see it. (Was at the premiere at the TIFF. I think a handful of journalists had seen it in Telluride the week before, and that's it). I just picked Slumdog because it was a Danny Boyle film. Had no idea what it was about going in. Thought it was going to be like a documentary on the slums of bombay or something, based on the description in the TIFF catalog. Blew me away.

I think with JR Ward... they were the first paranormal romances I really liked. I read them at a time when I as giving up on writing romance as a genre, because I thought there were too many restrictions on how characters could behave and thinking that my voice just didn't suit the genre. I was feeling tres bummed about this.

As soon as Zsadist walked on screen in the first book, I was hooked. Actually, as soon as Wrath had sex with Beth almost in the opening scene, when she was kind of entranced and thinking she was dreaming I was hooked. I was all -- OH NO SHE DIDN'T. (she being JR)

To me, she just broke so many rules I'd started to accept as unbreakable... that I fell in love.

I loved District 9 because it wasn't what I was expecting... (somewhat was, but was a more personal story than I'd expected)

But agree about the Academy Award thing. Strange with so many nominations in that category this year. SNL did a great spoof on that this weekend.

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