Why we shouldn't settle for bad film
One of the many things I love about film is its versatility. Within one medium lies the potential for us to experience laughter, sorrow, love, and empowerment or simply get lost in a fantastic story. There are so many options out there, and our reasons for exploring these emotions can be just as varied. Whether you are looking for the chance to live vicariously in another's shoes, to be blown away by blockbuster visuals, or to contemplate a filmmaker's philosophy, our screens at home, and in the theater offer unlimited possibilities.
With so much potential, why do we settle for movies or shows that don't embrace it? There are so many options that seem like mediocre filler. Movies that are cobbled together from old clichés and cheap emotional appeal, or shows whose characters remain stagnate, without ever showing any development.
Let's ruffle some feathers and take a look at "The Big Bang Theory" for a moment. The bulk of the show's humor doesn't require much wit or creativity to appreciate, but being accessible isn't necessarily a bad thing. The issue is their lazy approach to writing. The go-to formula for jokes seems to be blunt delivery of pop culture references, while the characters fulfill their given stereotype. It certainly doesn't help that there's a nearly omnipresent laugh track informing you, 'Hey look! That was funny!'
Shows such as " The Big Bang Theory" are easily palatable, and I'll admit enjoyable to watch, but they just seem cheap compared to other choices out there.
If you want a show that embraces nerd and pop culture without mocking their own demographic, check out "Community" on Hulu and Yahoo Screen. If you want a show about quirky friends trying to live together that has genuinely funny humor, try "New Girl" on Netflix.
What we should be on the lookout for are movies and shows that know we're an intelligent audience, and offer characters that we can identify with on a deeper level. "Interstellar" is a fantastic example of such a film, so if you still haven't seen it go treat yourself as soon as you can.
If you have had the chance to see the film, think back to the scene where Matthew McConaughey's character, Cooper, watches the video logs from all the years he missed with his family on Earth. He gives an incredible performance that allows us to share his heartbreak and grief.
We don't need to be told, 'This is important,' because his performance clearly communicates the pain he's experiencing. It has a level of authenticity that is difficult to achieve, and is too often replaced with gimmicky plot devices.
I don't think you should abandon your guilty pleasures for the world of art house film. I'm still down to watch "Mean Girls" any day, anytime. However, there are so many great movies and shows out there, that it would be a shame to settle for less.
Look for movies that you can identify with on more than a casual level. Follow a show with characters that grow and develop. Search for writing that is able to engage your mind, without resorting to cheap clichés. Develop a craving for authentic storytelling that can show you parts of the human experience you may never have.
We've all got a long year of procrastination ahead of us, so we owe it to ourselves to get something out of it.