6 Things I Love That Everybody Else Hates
Wow, people really seem to hate Ben Affleck. When it was announced last week that Affleck had been cast as the new Batman, the Internet exploded! And after that, I think there were more articles about the negative fan reaction than there were articles about the actual announcement. It seems the Internet really, really doesn’t want Ben Affleck to play Batman.
But why not? I like Ben Affleck just fine, and I’m excited to see what he’ll do with the character.
So that got me thinking, what are other pop culture things that I love but everybody else seems to hate? I know there are more than a few movies on that list, but what else? Being the student of the Internet that I am, keeping track of the various hate rage is just something that comes gradually. We all know that the Internet loves bacon and Joss Whedon, and we also know that everybody hates the Star Wars prequels and, apparently, Ben Affleck. These are just accepted facts of pop culture society these days.
Well I’ve put together a list of six things I absolutely love that everybody else seems to hate. And I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments.
6. The Clone Saga
All you need to know about The Clone Saga in the mid-90s is that it went on forever with no end in sight. The writers and editors at Marvel Comics came up with this big story idea where Spider-Man has to face off against a clone of himself, one with all of his memories and powers, and where nobody can tell the difference between the real Spider-Man and the clone. Fans loved the story in the beginning, but it sold so well that Marvel just kept it going for years, long after anybody even wanted to hear the word ‘clone’ again. Marvel’s writers just kept adding more clones and more surprise twists until the whole thing was a gross experiment in seeing how much the fans could stand.
Nowadays The Clone Saga is regarded as the worst Spider-Man story ever written, and one of the biggest mistakes of the 90s – which is already regarded as the worst decade in comics history.
But here’s the thing, young Sean Ian Mills didn’t start reading comics until the 90s. My brother and I picked up the hobby right in the middle of the Clone Saga, and Spider-Man was our comic of choice. We weren’t around to see the start of the Saga or understand how it had disrupted the natural order of Spider-Man comics. All we knew was that Spider-Man was engaged in a pretty awesome battle with a lot of cool characters, like the Scarlet Spider, Kaine, the Jackal, the new Green Goblin, and more!
To this day, I still fondly remember diving into The Clone Saga and scouring my local comic book shops for any and every back issue I could find. Some of our all-time favorite comic book characters were born in The Clone Saga, and I still love following those characters today. The Clone Saga helped introduce me to the fun of comic books, especially Spider-Man. I have nothing but love for the worst Spider-Man story ever written.
Why does everybody hate Scrappy-Doo? Well, I mean, the answer is pretty obvious, but I thought he was awesome when I was a kid. I wasn’t around to watch the original Scooby Doo cartoons in the 70s, but you better believe they filled my afternoons and weekends in the 80s, when Scrappy was first introduced. He was funny, he was tough and he was designed to appeal directly to a cartoon-watching kid like me. I wasn’t old enough to understand the whole Cousin Oliver Syndrome, so I just didn’t understand Scrappy’s apparently detrimental place in the larger Scooby world. Plus I absolutely loved The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, so there’s that. P-P-P-Puppy Power!
4. 1996 Godzilla
I was a huge Godzilla fan when I was a kid. I watched every Godzilla movie I could get my hands on. Whether he was fighting smog monsters or Mothra, I was in love with the big lug. I even liked Godzilla vs. Barkley! So when Hollywood made its own Godzilla movie in 1996, you better believe I was excited – and sure enough, I loved it! What was not to love? Godzilla looked pretty cool, even if he looked nothing like the classic Godzilla, and was clearly an attempt to replicate the raptors from Jurassic Park. I thought Matthew Broderick’s character was fun, his girlfriend was cute, and everybody loves Hank Azaria. I thought Jean Reno’s Frenchman was a total badass, and I loved the climactic chase through the city streets with Godzilla.
Say what you will about the movie – and many people have – but I loved it. I still feel it was a pretty awesome take on the classic giant monster genre. Godzilla came out around the time of Independence Day, Twister and Armageddon, and it fits in with those movies as a big, bombastic blockbuster. At least it does to me.
3. The Matrix Sequels
I love The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions just as much as I love The Matrix. So sue me. But here’s the thing: I never saw the original Matrix in theaters. I was still in high school at the time, and I didn’t get out to see any movies in theaters all that often. I didn’t see The Matrix until long after it had come out on home video, and by then it had already become a pop culture touchstone, with parodies and copycats everywhere. So when I saw The Matrix for the first time, it wasn’t a mind-blowing experience. It was an awesome movie, sure, but it didn’t suddenly change movies forever for little old me. But I liked the story, I liked the characters, and I liked the world – all of which are continued in the two maligned sequels.
I don’t know what people were hoping for in Reloaded and Revolutions, but I got exactly what I wanted. The story of Neo and the others is continued and expanded, and we learn more about the Matrix itself and the world they all live in. I loved the revelations of the Architect at the end of Reloaded, and the idea that ‘The One’ had already come and gone six times; that everything we were witnessing was part of yet another kind of program. And I especially love that it was ‘love’ it self that broke the cycle, that Neo’s love for Trinity somehow changed everything, so much so that Neo could interact with Squiddies in the real world.
I found all of this fascinating, and Revolutions carried it to its obvious conclusion. The race through the tunnels to save Zion was very exciting, as was Trinity and Neo’s attempt to sneak into the Machine City. And who didn’t love that scene where Trinity flew above the clouds and saw the sun? That was awesome! But people hated these sequels, possibly because they weren’t exactly like the first film. I don’t blame them for that. The story is grittier and dirtier than the crisp, clean world of the first Matrix, and I’m happy to have seen it through to the end.
2. The endings to Lost and Battlestar Galactica
Lost and Battlestar Galactica are the two greatest television shows I have ever seen. If I ever do a List of Six of my favorite shows, those two will be in the top two spots. They are both brilliant, character-based dramas that will forever define TV for me, probably for the rest of my life. Any and all new shows are judged against Lost and Battlestar Galactica. That’s how good they were. No TV shows before or since have so expertly captured the human experience in the face of overwhelming odds. No characters on any show before or since have been so human or so engaging. Lost and Battlestar Galactica, for me, are the pinnacle of television, is basically what I’m trying to say.
But everybody hates their endings, and it boggles my mind.
Of the two shows, I’d say that Lost is the better one. Lost stayed consistently good through all six seasons, whereas Battlestar Galactica got weaker towards the end. But I think both shows had amazing endings! Battlestar Galactica had an awesome attack on a Cylon base in order to rescue baby Hera, whose story I loved from the very beginning. I hated that whole Final Five Cylons thing, but the human story was good all the way to the end, when the surviving fleet finds Earth and settles into their new lives. Baltar’s line about knowing how to farm was a brilliant cap to the show.
And Lost, wow, I have no idea how or why people don’t like the final episode of Lost. Are they all really that bitter about some of their questions not being answered? I thought Lost was amazing from beginning to end, including the sixth and final season. I loved the trips to the ‘other world’ and how they allowed us to say goodbye to characters who had long since left the show, and they had some really great goodbyes in that final episode. I loved the battle of Jack vs. Evil Locke, and the fact that some people do make it off the island in the end. And I definitely loved the ending, and the revelation of what exactly the ‘other world’ was supposed to be.
Plus, honestly, if you know where to look and are willing to make some educated guesses, most of the mysteries on Lost have answers. They just didn’t spoon feed them to us.
1. The Star Wars Prequels
Oh yes, I’m going there. Buckle up, everybody, because I am not holding back. I like the Star Wars prequels. I like The Phantom Menace, I like Attack of the Clones and I like Revenge of the Sith. There, I said it. And I’m not even ashamed to say it. I also haven’t lost my mind.
I explained in a List of Six last week that I never had much connection to the original Star Wars trilogy growing up. I didn’t see the full films until well into my teenage years. But I was a big enough fan to eagerly anticipate the new movies, and they did not let me down. Simple as that. I saw every single prequel in the theaters and I loved each and every one of them. I understood that most people didn’t, and I understand, in hindsight, that there are a lot of problems with the movies. They’re not well-made movies and the acting is wooden. But I still love the films and what they bring to the Star Wars mythos.
Just look at all the Jedi!
I don’t hold the original trilogy up as some kind of sacred cow. So I don’t mind seeing Yoda fighting with a lightsaber, and I don’t mind that Darth Vader started life as a whiny little kid. We all started life as whiny little kids. I liked the exploration of the Jedi Order, I loved the increased use of lightsabers and those gloriously crafted lightsaber battles. I’m a huge fan of of the world of Star Wars, and that’s exactly what the prequels delivered. There were Jedi, spaceships, aliens, and cameos by all of the popular characters and concepts. The mystery of the Sith was fun to watch across all three films, and who doesn’t love Darth Maul? Seriously, you can’t say with a straight face that Darth Maul wasn’t awesome.
The prequels are not well-made movies. And the reasons for this – George Lucas’ directing style – are well-documented. But as movies, as bits of entertainment to watch and enjoy, I love the prequels. They’re big, fun films, and they’re filled to the brim with all of the characters and concepts I love from the Star Wars universe. The prequels don’t diminish the power and glory of the original trilogy. They don’t even necessarily have to have anything to do with the trilogy. They stand just fine on their own.
I don’t even mind Jar Jar Binks.
Ouch. I hope that wasn’t too painful to get through, and I hope you all still willingly read my blog after this. But we all have guilty pleasures and favorite things that everybody else seems to hate. What are some of yours? Let us know in the comments!