Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why Is There Almost Always A Public Backlash?

Can someone explain to me why there is almost always a public backlash against something that is really popular? You know what I'm talking about - People start complaining about something, saying things like "Its not as good as it was" or "I never really liked it anyway." Its already starting with The Office (unjustifiably) in (the sadly abbreviated) season 4 and has happened over the last few seasons of 24 (perhaps justifiably) - people are starting to turn on it. Unfortunately, if enough people start murmuring, executives could talk about changing or canceling the show. The worst part about this is that the show/movie/music probably never needed changed, people just needed something to complain about.

I myself am guilty of this - I bitch about the quality of SNL (justifiably) and Tara Reid (unjustifiably), talking about how much better they used to be. To be honest, Tara Reid was just never that good (she always had that smoker/hooker voice/hair) and I should have never been that high on her to begin with. SNL, well, that's just another story.

Anyway, Will Ferrell has had a slight backlash building against him since Ricky Bobby (I guess some people didn't even like Anchorman...you bastards) and Judd Apatow had people threatening to backlash against him this summer with 2 movies coming out. Fortunately for him and us, the movies were awesome and did really well. Even if you didn't like one of the movies, you probably like the other, and they were generally well received. Well, now Apatow has another movie coming out that you've definitely seen the previews for, Walk Hard and people are already lining up to say its gonna be a flop. We'll see. Either way, Judd is poking at his critics in this funny viral marketing video featuring a bunch of his people that have been actors in his films.

You can catch this video on Funny or Die as well. Anyway, I hope Daryl from The Office (whatever his name is) starts to get a bigger role in these movies. He always makes me laugh.


Ross said...

I'm a big fan of Apatow, I'd be surprised if anyone who reads this blog has watched more of his stuff than me. I've got a theory on the backlash and I'm going to try to avoid great detail, as I could start to ramble. Anyways, he's got a lot of factors working against the simple fact he makes very funny things. You'll notice a lot of these points are slightly related as I haven't really polished this theory.

1. Things become "played out" and people want to move on to the next trendy thing. Dane Cook is a great example of how quickly this can happen. In case you haven't heard yet he hasn't been cool for quite some time. Not to long before that everyone loved him. The mainstream doesn't like to be mainstream. Very Catch-22.

2. He's churning out movies like crazy now that he's big. He's slated to release 5 movies between now and the end of 2008. People start to question if someone can maintain quantity vs. quality.

3. The premise is stupid. He's had great success with dumb premises in the past, but every time people ask "Can you really make a funny movie about that?"

4. It seems to be a parody of a great film. Spoof comedies are often seen as dumb, awful and low-brow.

5. He's been around a while, but he's finally getting name recognition, if not entirely in name, as the guy who did [x]. This isn't as good for comedy as it is for other genres. Kind of like we had the Adam Sandler movies, Chris Farley movies and Will Ferrell movies (all actors) we now have the Apatow movies. This leads in to my next point.

6. I know it's not for lack of creative talent, but for whatever reason it is Hollywood can't seem to sustain multiple groups of top comedy actors. Right now Apatow and his troupe are the big name. Recently it was Stiller and the Frat Pack (which yes, Apatow is involved with). Go look at recent big names and when they were really on top. Ben Stiller, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey- their big movies if not in the same year, were often in back to back years. Apatow's name is now subject to this affect.

So to tie this all together which maybe I could have just said in the first place and saved some time: Although Apatow has been around for quite some time, he's getting the name notoriety that comes with being the hot ticket in comedy. Although this never seems to be a career breaker, people get tired of the same thing and look for something else. Apatow is feeling this effect because he uses a lot of the same people. However, the actors he is working with are slowly expanding and I think he'll achieve Lorne Michaels status where he can just kind of continue to do whatever he wants and hang around forever.

I have some thoughts too on how SNL plays into all this, but this is already probably your longest blog comment.

More succinctly: People get tired of the same thing, whether or not it's any good.

Double M said...

Longest. Post. Ever. Perhaps even longer than the post itself. You're correct though with respect to Apatow. But I still don't understand why people get tired of good things.

I guess it goes back to the old saying "Give me a hot chick and I'll give you a dude that's tired of f-ing her." I don't necessarily agree with it, but I understand.