No, I’m not talking about that Maxwell House commercial. Rather, I’m talking about the response I typically get after I ask a friend, coworker or acquaintance why I should watch that show/read that book. What’s all the hullabaloo about “Game of Thrones?” Why is everyone bawling their eyes out after reading The Fault in Our Stars? “It’s good.” OK … can anyone elaborate on what that means? I don’t get any descriptors or any information what the plot of said TV show/movie/book is about. I receive a simple statement that doesn’t make me want to actually delve into those fandom scenes. Instead, it absolutely drives me crazy. And as you can guess, it’s the latest thing on my mind that grinds my gears.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Let’s do a not-so-scientific experiment. If you’re like myself and have never seen an episode of “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad,” or even the ultra-meta “Community,” go ask your friends or coworkers what they think of those shows (This can also work with books like The Fault in Our Stars or Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children). If that person replied with “It’s good,” and nothing else, you get to continue on! If that person replied with a detailed description and gave you a synopsis for the series, congratulations; the people you know are more eloquent with their words than the people I know. (Can I come hang with you guys? I’ll bring cookies.)
Once those people have given you the brief “It’s good,” try and ask why? What do you like about the book? What makes it the best movie of all time? Shrug, “I don’t know,” is a typical answer. Urge these people to give you a reason why they enjoyed that book/film/show, and maybe you’ll get an inch of leeway. I haven’t received much else. None of these responses tell me what makes that story so good.
It turns me off from even picking up a book or changing the channel (read: stream online) when this is what people tell me. Occasionally I will receive an answer telling me about the author’s writing style or how the TV show’s storytelling is beyond compare. Occasionally. My favorite retort (that has also since caused me to not engage myself in this story whatsoever) came from a friend when I asked what makes The Fault in Our Stars so compelling? This is a bit of a spoiler ahead, so tread with caution. “There’s a plot twist that you don’t see coming.” That’s great and all, but you kind of just ruined the story.
This gets a ranking of 4 on my annoyance scale because of how often I’ve heard this lately. Maybe I’m hanging out with the wrong people, but if I had a dollar for the number of times I’ve gotten “It’s good” when asking about a series I haven’t heard of, well, I’d have a lot of dollars. I understand not everyone is not as well-spoken as Roger Ebert was about movies (whose website, by the way, gave “The Fault in Our Stars” film only two stars), but I myself would be more interested in a book or film if someone at least gives me some details about the plot. Why is it good? What do you like about it? If someone were to answer those questions for me next time I ask about a series, it would definitely pique my interest.
No one (thus far) will tell me why I should read this book or watch that show other than the terse “It’s good.” Till next time, I’m off looking for other adjectives and actual concrete reasoning that may give me more information as to why I should invest my time in a series. In other words, when people give me this response, it aggravates my accoutrements.