I often find myself reading or watching something that has a lot of hype. Sometimes they meet my expectations, other times, they don’t. But I usually find reviews giving them a low rating because they’re “overrated”.
My question is: should the hype surrounding something affect the overall subject matter? Should the fuss ruin the experience for people? Let’s look:
Book: The Mortal Instruments
I had seen this series around FOR YEARS. I swore never to read it due to the hype; I was worried I’d be disappointed. But then I read The Infernal Devices….and fell head over heels. I read TMI as fast as I could. And as much as I enjoyed certain books, some parts of the series were lacking for me. I wasn’t as invested in the majority of the characters as TID, or the main couple. I felt like, in the second part especially, arcs could’ve been shortened or condensed without the series suffering. So did I find this series overrated? Yes. But I can understand the hype; the world building is unique, the characters are interesting and realistic, and the diversity is introduced so naturally, that even if the character’s diversity was their story, I didn’t mind. Because they felt less like a symbol of some minority group, and felt like a real person, likely because the Shadowhunter culture is reminiscent of the early 20th century at best. And City of Glass and City of Heavenly Fire were amazing too. Did I enjoy this as much as TID, or even what I’ve read of Lady Midnight so far? No. But I did enjoy this, and I do think this deserves such a dedicated fan base.
Everyone has heard of this by now. Started in 2005, and the fandom is as strong as ever. I started watching this because everyone at school loved it…and after episode three, I promptly called a friend and begged her if season 1 was skippable. It was dull to me, the stories cliché. She did say I could skip season 1, told me about what happened, and I moved into season 2. Season 2 was definitely better. And yet, this show is clustered in with Doctor Who and Sherlock all the time, which I disagree with. I like the other two shows much more. Supernatural is a fun series, but I found the same problems as I did with TMI; I wasn’t as invested as I had expected to be. I felt as though it was too cliché, but I still enjoyed it. I still enjoy it now. The acting is really, really good, it can be funny and moving, the effects are cool, and I like that they use underrated monsters. I just feel as if there’s too much filler for me to be engrossed in this. However, I still watch this and like it. Just not as much as everyone else. It’s a good show, but it simply isn’t my exact cup of tea.
Anime: Attack on Titan:
I wasn’t interested in this until I saw some animation and art. Immediately, I knew I had to watch this, it looked that stunning. I seriously enjoyed this my first time watching; the characters were intriguing, the animation gorgeous, the soundtrack awesome, and the story unique. However, there are problems: there’s melodrama, the pacing is slow, characters with potential were killed off before I could become really attached to them, and I found characters like Levi and Mikasa to be really overrated. The melodrama made me feel apathetic to scenes that were supposed to be “sad” or “tragic”. The slowness of the Trost arc irritated me, especially as it introduced incredibly important details but just dragged on. While I did find Levi to be interesting, he just wasn’t shown enough for me to love the character as much as everyone else. I also found Mikasa to be a good character deep down, but she just has poor writing that makes her seem shallow, creepily obsessive, and a bit of a Mary Sue with how naturally good she is at everything. My biggest pet peeve was the character deaths: each character I started to like, or started to find interesting, died before I could have a proper emotional connection with them. This made me less worried that characters I actually liked would die. However, this anime is still amazing, and I really did love it. I find the good points outweigh the bad points, at least with me. So yes, I do think this is worthy of praise…but it is overrated.
Movie: La La Land:
La La Land was one of the movies at the Oscars I had actually heard of, and boy, I’d heard a lot about how amazing it was. So I went to see it and loved it, even if I found it a little overly hyped; it was a bit too slow for me, and while the songs were good, only a few were truly memorable to me. I don’t have as much to say about this as with others, but I can say that this isn’t for everyone. I don’t know how to describe it, it just isn’t. It’s more artsy and a character study than a story, and it is definitely a deconstruction of the classic Hollywood romance. I think that not hearing as much about this as everyone else did me good in my enjoying it.
Webtoon: Tower of God:
This is a strange choice for me to put in here, as this is the only DNF (besides Supernatural, which I’m still watching) on the article. Anyway, TOG is one of the most popular Webtoons, along with Noblesse and Girls of the Wild‘s. So I tried reading it. At first I thought it was fine: the story was interesting, the Tower was unique, there were plenty of characters, and I’d heard that the art improved drastically. Yet I never got into it for some reason. I dunno about whether it was because the world was so complicated, or because there were only three characters I really cared about or not, but this wasn’t for me. But from what I had read,I understand why everyone loves it so much. The characters were all unique, the Tower was so intriguing, and the world felt incredibly realistic. So while I just couldn’t get into it, I really wish I could; this looked amazing. It just isn’t my thing.
After writing about these hyped pieces of fiction, I’m thinking that there may be stories that fell flat for me, but it’s ultimately me: I heard the hype, elevated my expectations high, and was disappointed. But do I think that some fandoms shouldn’t hype some things up too much? Yeah. They sometimes treat fiction like it’s flawless, and can’t understand how someone wouldn’t like something. This is a very subjective, emotional area. Overall, this is an area that simply depends on an individual’s tastes, and I say: Don’t always bash on overrated things because they’re overrated. If you didn’t like something, give more substantial reasons than that. And acknowledge whether something is good, even if you didn’t like it. And fandoms: don’t treat something like it’s perfect. Nothing is, and your love of it may decrease other’s enjoyment of it.