If there’s something that I’ve become increasingly impatient with in pop culture spaces over the past couple of years, it’s an attitude that can best be summed up by a quasi-mathematical mad-lib formula: “[Pop Culture Property X] was good when [I was young], but now it’s bad because [it’s not aimed specifically at me and what I want from my nostalgia].”
I try to stay away from people who offer up this line of thinking as much as possible, because it’s exhausting and disappointing — especially when coming from people whose golden era for whatever they’re complaining about was as dissonant from an earlier incarnation as whatever they’re complaining about. It’s a common complain inside sci-fi circles, especially: you can see people saying it about Star Trek and Star Wars and Doctor Who all the time.
That’s not to say that I’m a fan of all of those things even today; I was left relatively cold by recent Doctor Who and I thought The Book of Boba Fett was pretty much a mess, and I’ve been disappointed in the current season of Star Trek: Discovery as much as I’ve watched it. (I’m weeks behind, I shamefully admit.) But in each of those cases, I find the easiest thing to do is just… move on and look for something else to watch, instead?
Here’s the thing: I can always go back and rewatch the episodes that I do love whenever I want. (And, in the case of Doctor Who, at least, I do.) Even if I didn’t want to do that, though, there’s so much out there that I do want to watch and enjoy that I don’t feel the need to hatewatch anything to fuel my anger. Instead, I can just go, “well, this really isn’t my bag” and leave it to those who really love it.
This is either maturity, or a sign that I’m a really bad nerd. Not that those two things are mutually exclusive, of course.