Don’t forget to enjoy entertainment. (Part 2)

So, continuing on from last night’s impromptu rant, do try to enjoy your entertainment. There are times for analyzing and there are times to just shut off and go for the ride. And if the ride completely sucked, then it completely sucked, and you have every right to complain and critique. (You have that right at all times, but again, saving it for after the show is just common courtesy. If you have to walk out, do it. I would.) But I promise you, even in the mediocrity of most forms of entertainment out there, there are plenty of little gems that can make it all worthwhile. An ending may be terrible and not wrap things up the way you want, or a character choice might be inexplicable, but I encourage you to try and not let it completely ruin the experience of the journey to that point.

It’s an interesting thing, that journey. I’ve always been a firm believer that the journey is everything, the destination is just a place. It’s intriguing me that this fact seems to hold more truth in reality than it does in fiction.  We are always on a journey in real life, whether literally or metaphorically, and the endpoint is usually always changing in the metaphorical journey. And even in the literal journeys, we tend to learn more about ourselves during the journey than at the end. When it comes to fiction, audiences can sometimes completely hate a story because of the ending. It’s as if nothing else of the experience matters anymore because the ending made the whole thing feel like a waste of time.

I disagree with this sentiment. I think every show has the potential to put you through an emotional ride, make you fall in love with and/or hate characters, take you to wondrous visual places, and take you to an auditory experience like no other. Regardless of how that ends, you still went through all of those things. To call it a complete waste of time because of the last two minutes, is a bold statement. It doesn’t erase everything you went through. Yes, you may leave unsatisfied, or cheated, but that’s really what you’re hating in that moment. It wasn’t the whole thing that you hated. It was the ending. It was the feeling of being bamboozled. And you have every right to be angry at that. But don’t discount the experience. We fail at so many things in our lives, but to call the hard work and character building to get to that point and fail wasn’t a complete waste of time. Entertainment as I’ve described doesn’t have to be, either. Granted, it’s more of an “outsider” experience when it comes to most forms of entertainment — video games having much more immersive experience, of course, as you have direct control of characters, and sometimes storylines — and it usually happens in a much more compact experience than reality, but in even in that truncated journey, you still feel something.

And in the end, even in the non-video game media you may or may not enjoy, you still have control. You can make it better, yourself. And I’m not saying that to be rude or mean. I’m serious. If you think you can do a better job, then go for it. Why not? So many of the world’s best ideas concepts come from an adaptation and an improvement upon an original idea. And while you may get complaints that “it’s been done before” before you even get your idea on paper or screen, the response to that, for me, is a hearty “so what?”

If your creative impulse tells you that you can make something better than the original, do it. The worst that can happen is that you create it  and it fails. And by then, you’ll have had taken another real-life journey from which you learned more about yourself and your craft than you ever have, previously.

Like how I turned that around?

A long and direct highway

– Mickey

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