Monday, December 3, 2012

Patience, me boyo

By Dave White

"This sucks."

The easiest two words in the English language.  Too often we lean toward the negative.  Fans are always willing to tell creators, athletes, actors, and artists that they suck.  Their work is terrible.  They're never going to succeed.

All they want is a good story, fans say.  Just tell good stories.

But, when someone does that, and shakes up the status quo, fans are the first to say something sucks.

But what surprises me the most, is the lack of patience.  Take the recent comic book hubbub with Dan Slott, writing of The Amazing Spider-man.  Slott is taking some big risks with his story and comic book fans (shocker, I know) are up in arms.  But here's the thing... the story isn't over yet.  Hell, it's not even halfway done.

Can't you wait?  See how it plays out?

I remember the same with THE SOPRANOS.  If someone wasn't getting whacked every other episode, fans were pissed.  People whined and whined about season 5, but by the time that season was done, it was probably the best story David Chase and company told.

We need to learn patience.  We need to have optimism.  Wait and see how something plays out before bashing it.

Or am I completely off here?

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we slowed down a second and let stories, art, sports seasons run their course before damning it??


Dana King said...

I used to finish every book I started. Now I finish about 90% of them, but i'm not ashamed to walk away from one I don't like, though I always give them quite a good chance before I bail.

That being said, you make a good point. When I bail on a book, about half the time my reason is, "I don't like it." Not that it isn't good. It might even be great. (I walked away from CRIME AND PUNISHMENT last month. I know that's on me, but I found myself thinking "Get on with it!" too often while reading.)

We do ourselves a disservice if we decide something sucks before we see where it's going. You're dead on about Season 5 of THE SOPRANOS. I didn't like it most of the way through, until i saw where he ended up. Same thing with Season 3 of JUSTIFIED. The end ws worth the wait, and made more sense because of what came before.

That's what too many people for get. We get so accustomed to fast paced stuff, where the set-up and pay-off have to come within a few pages or screen minutes, we forget how a proper set-up build to a satisfying climax. (Yes, I realize I'm probably true of the same failing with C&P, but I already admitted my bailing there says more about me than about the book.)

Thomas Pluck said...

You can only ask a reader to be so patient. The Spider-Man thing isn't story, it's a fundamental change, like when a band changes their sound. You are going to lose some of them no matter what.
The Sopranos, for me, lost its way around that time. It wound up being a strong season, but earlier there were tangents and missteps (the whole Christopher Hollywood thing, for example) and they lost the core of the show- Tony and Melfi. I did watch to the bitter end, but as with Lost- I have little interest in what the creators have gone on to do next.
They abused my patience, in my opinion. You can't ask a reader to bear with you while you get on your feet anymore. The benefit of a serial story such as TV or comic books is that you can get the reader/viewer back later. I skipped a lot of season 2 of the Talking Dead, and don't regret it. It's still awful writing, but at least this season is moving and showing us the rest of the dead world.