Fiction and Fantasy

Unpopular Opinions Tag

Taking a brief break from the saccharine fanfiction to talk about unpopular opinions on media!
Saw this on my pal C. M. B. Bell’s blog Iridium Eye a few years ago and knew I had to give it a shot…
Popular series I don’t like:
Game of Thrones.
It doesn’t feel fair to say I don’t like a series I’ve never given a chance, but when something has content I know I just can’t get into, I unfortunately have to give it a pass.
Game of Thrones has often been hailed (at least until season 8) as a masterpiece of storytelling. Unfortunately, due to the adult content, especially in earlier seasons, I knew it wouldn’t be my cup of tea.
Even without sex scenes, gritty fantasy is usually not much to my tastes, as I’m more a proponent of classic Tolkienesque fantasy, which posits that fantasy stories are meant to be an escape from the everyday doldrums and cynicism about the world. Gritty, “realistic” fantasy stories just usually don’t do it for me.
(We’ll see how well this post ages when Amazon’s Rings of Power series comes out…)
Well-known movie I like, but everyone seems to hate:
Spider-Man 3.
I understand the arguments against the number of villains that didn’t get proper development time in Spider-Man 3. I agree that Sandman remains one of my less-enjoyable villains because we really didn’t get proper time to spend with this sympathetic villain who just wanted more time to spend with his family.
However, I’ll never understand the level of hate thrown at Spider-Man 3, a film that had all the right emotional beats for my tastes. The tension of the temptations offered to Peter by the black suit, the ongoing turmoil between Peter and his former best friend, threats to the people Peter loves the most… What’s not to like?
Love triangle where the character didn’t end up with the character I wanted:
Korra and Bolin (Okay, this ended up being a love quadrangle by the end, but let’s just keep this to season one here…)
I knew from the get-go that Korra and Mako’s blooming romance in season one of The Legend of Korra was to please fans who wanted Zuko and Katara to get together in The Last Airbender. Considering I wasn’t really a fan of that relationship (they barely even spent time together!), I’ll be honest that I was biased against Makorra from the get-go. To see the shipping wars that ensued afterwards certainly didn’t help matters, with fans bullying each other just because they didn’t agree who was the best pairing.
Personally, I just didn’t see what Korra saw in earlier-season Mako. He was rude, brusque, and generally unlikable to her from the beginning. Mako refused to believe Korra during an investigation even after they’d been friends for some time. Plus he was emotionally immature and generally unpleasant to be around. I was happy to see him grow quite a bit during season two onward, but by that point, Korra was being the extremely immature one.
At the end of the day, I just felt Korra and Bolin were a healthier pair and better suited to each other. They shared similar interests and had a similar sense of humor. In addition, Bolin and Korra complemented each other’s strengths and weaknesses well. While Bolin was far more emotionally open and vulnerable, Korra was the strength Bolin would have really benefited from having in a relationship.
Plus Bolin really got stuck with some stinkers after season one…
Popular genre I hardly watch:
Slice-of-Life anime.
While I don’t have anything against Slice-of-Life, they just don’t seem to keep my attention like other genres. I’m normally going to my media for a story, and since by nature of the genre, Slice-of-Life don’t really have any sort of ongoing story happening, I just can’t get as invested.
One rare exception to this is Nichijou, which is absolutely hilarious and you should go watch it (subs all the way).
Beloved character I don’t like:
Nemo (from Finding Nemo).
Another unpopular opinion: I’m not a fan of Finding Nemo. While I do love Marlin and find Dory charming, I just couldn’t enjoy the titular character.
I understand he’s a child, but his belligerent disobedience of his dad didn’t exactly sell me on his character. So I cared more about Marlin than Nemo himself when the young fry gets kidnapped by deep-sea divers.
Nemo also doesn’t do a whole lot in a movie titled after him, making it hard to get attached to him.
Popular show or series I can’t get into:
Death Note! Arguably one of the most well-acclaimed anime to date. Can you believe it?
I’ve tried to watch this show three separate times. Each time I thought my problem was just “I wasn’t in the right mood!”
Turns out, nope. I just can’t get into it.
While I’m not one to shy away from dark shows if I’m in the right mindset (two of my favorite anime are Attack on Titan and season one of Psycho-Pass), I’ve never enjoyed stories that get into the mindset of a protagonist villain (for those classic readers, think Macbeth and Crime and Punishment). This is, of course, Death Note to a T.
Alas, it was simply not meant to be for me.
Popular show or movie I have no interest in seeing:
Sherlock (w/ Benedict Cumberbatch).
I must confess that it’s very much the fandom that removed any desire I may have had to check out this adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. The enormous fan obsession with pairing Sherlock and Watson romantically seemed to overshadow almost any other discussion about the show.
Fan obsession is a fairly quick way to lose my interest in a series. It tends to get in the way of enjoying a show for what it is.
Also, as a fan of the original stories, a romantic relationship obviously was not a staple in Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales. When I want a Sherlock show, I’d rather have a more classic Sherlock story.
Popular show or movie I prefer over the book:
The Hunger Games III.
While the movie still suffered from a quick ending, at least it wrapped up at a satisfying pace rather than the book just flat-out… stopping.
The pacing of the Hunger Games III novel goes from the typical pulse-pounding Hunger Games shenanigans you’ve come to expect until it slams to a halt faster than a lead foot driver on new brakes. There’s very little time to slow down and digest the ending scenes before it’s all over. It genuinely feels as if author Suzanne Collins just got sick of the story and stopped.
Movie I used to love but hate now:
Phantom of the Opera (2004).
Hate may be a bit too strong a word here, but I used to like 2004’s Phantom of the Opera a whole lot more than I do now.
While I used to find the romance between Christine and Raoul charming, as an adult I find myself really off-put by Christine’s uncomfortably sexual obsession with the Phantom. If she’s supposed to think the Phantom is the spirit of her father, it doesn’t explain her, um… level of attraction to him. As a teenager, I chalked it up to the Phantom’s near-magical spell over Christine, but now… it’s just too weird for me to get past.
What are some media you have unpopular opinions about?
Love a favorite movie most people tend to pan? Dislike something all your friends adore? Or maybe you’re obsessed with a criminally-underrated gem?
Let me know in the comments!

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From Him, To Him


  1. Wow, I forgot that I showed you that tag a while ago. That was a very interesting read. I have no interest in seeing Game of Thrones especially how overhyped the show was. It was also annoying seeing people check out this grimdark show, but they'd be too scared to check out Texhnolyze for example. I know Spider-Man 3 wasn't the best movie in the series, but I thought the hatred was overblown. Okay, that version of Venom was very underwhelming, but I didn't think it was horrible as people said.

    Slice-Of-Life can be hit or miss, but I seem to tolerate live-action stuff especially with neorealism movies. Very good point about Finding Nemo. Even as a kid, I thought that movie was so overrated besides a few funny moments here and there. When it comes to Takeshi Obata works: Death Note<Hikaru no Go every day of the week! I get frustrated how popular it was over HNG even though I can kind of understand why it got huge given the time period it came out.

    You actually did my little bonus category! Hahaha! I saw that version of Phantom of the Opera when I was in high school, but didn't remember too much besides the songs.

    Thanks for making this post!

  2. You've definitely been encouraging people to check out Texhnolyze for a long time! Yes, it's really a shame people weren't willing to watch it. Word of mouth goes a long way, I think, and GOT just really picked up the hype train in the public eye! Even though I'm not a fan, I do think it's really unfortunate that the show ended on such a sour note for many fans.

    Venom was definitely underwhelming in Spider-Man 3, so I'd be curious to check out his portrayal in his films! I still think it's probably a very different version of the character than I remember from the 90's cartoon adaptation I grew up loving.

    Nichijou almost made me completely remove Slice-of-Life genre off my list to select something else for that entry! It's really that good of a show when you want to watch something non-committal but that still has an ongoing plot for many of its characters if you pay close enough attention. Plus its over-the-top, out-of-nowhere humor is really funny to me!

    Would you consider Hikaru no Go a sports anime? That's another genre I haven't had much interest in getting into, but I think I'd like HNG based on your articles about it.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment (and walk down memory lane with me for some of these entries)!

  3. Quite true. Then again, I'm a fan of Yoshitoshi ABe's works. Hahaha! Maybe I was over-exaggerating, but it seems like there wasn't a big rush of people willing to watch it and it does have a cerebral avant-garde presentation while mixing so many genres in-between. I heard the ending wasn't great for GOT, but I wonder how people are going to react to that spin-off that just came out.

    I hear you right there. I didn't want to see the guy from That 70s Show playing Eddie/Venom. It made no sense at all. I'm not sure about the new versions, but Tom Hardy does make a more believable Venom and he voices both Eddie and the titular symbiote.

    Gotcha. I still have to see that anime after hearing lots of good things about it. I think you'd also like Azumanga Daioh if you like Nichijou.

    More so sports/games, but the tropes are there albeit with great writing and tons of creativity. HNG is hands-down the most innovative shonen work I've read/seen.

    No problem! It's good to hear back from you on your blog.

  4. There's nothing more frustrating than recognizing a good thing that nobody seems to appreciate!

    From what chatter I've seen, it seems House of the Dragon has been getting really positive feedback! Seems like back to form for many GOT fans.

    I have to say, while I haven't always been a fan of the writing for Tom Hardy's characters, I have tremendous respect for his skills as an actor. I was really intrigued to hear that the Venom movies were actually very funny!

    I'll have to add Azumanga Daioh to my list! Thanks for the recommendation!

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