So I was digging through my Google Now updates while lying in bed, as I am want to do, and noticed it was full of articles that CBS’s Supergirl and CW’s The Flash have officially announced a crossover. I’ll get it out of the way and quickly state my opinion on the matter as being oficially “Yay! I love those shows and seeing them together will be super fun.” Now, on to the point of my post.
I was reading the news on comicbook.com (a great, if ad heavy site) for all things comic book and pop-geek (I am trademark in that term) related, and I made the inevitable choice of reading the comments section on the article. In just the first five comments I saw a range of opinions, as you would expect, and came to a realization about getting older. The comments quickly went into differing opinions of “They are just trying to boost Flash ratings.” and “They are just trying to boost Supergirl ratings.”
It then quickly devolved into which show was better, had higher ratings and how the everyone who didn’t agree was wrong. Reading through all of this I quickly realized that I really don’t care who was right and that getting involved was a silly waste of time. That is when it occurred to me that I am getting older and (hopefully) wiser. I really didn’t care who was right. It meant nothing to me. I like both shows for different reasons and a crossover between the two could be fun, and I had no inclination to argue about it. For me, this is a huge turning point. I used to be that guy that would sit up until 2 am arguing with every Internet troll I disagreed with to the point of trolling all on my own.
But something has changed. I like to think maybe age has taught me that arguing with some stranger on the internet with intense determination really changes nothing. Their opinions don’t change if I like something and I am never going to change their minds. All I am going to do is get all riled up over what, end the end, accomplishes nothing at all. I won’t change their mind, they won’t change mine, and I will have wasted hours I could be enjoying myself.
All these comments boiled down to was “I like this show/that show/neither show” and they were all determined to prove why their personal preference was better. So why the argument? Yes, TV is a business, and the crossover is seen as both sides as a way to make a buck, but why should that matter to me or anyone else? Honestly, the only reason I care about ratings is that if they drop for a show I like, it could get canceled. But it is not a score to show that a series I like is imperically proven to be better than another. All that really matters is if I like it. If I do, yay! If I dont, then I don’t watch it.
After all, I loved plenty of shows that were canceled due to poor ratings *cough Firefly cough*. Ratings are proof of nothing except how many people are watching, not quality or how entertaining a person may find them. And why would I want to sit and argue something as subjective as that?
At the end of the day, I get why people argue. It’s what fans do. My wife made a comment after The Force Awakens about how Captain Phasma, someone we were cheering for before the release as a possible strong female character in the franchise, wound up being a pushover with no role other than to roll over at the first sign of trouble. I tried to make the point that it was basic storytelling made from the perspective of having just introduced the character, but the filmmakers knew it was a trillogy and they would have more time to flesh her out later. So it was OK that they had her make a strategic choice to survive the encounter and live to fight another day. She immediatly shot me down telling me she wasn’t looking for a fight, she just stated her opinion. And I get that. I was just looking for an old fashioned geek debate.
But the comments sections of websites have taken that to a new level of “If you don’t agree with me, you can burn in hell!” And honestly, I have grown past that. So maybe I am getting old. Maybe I just want to sit and judge on my own “This show/episode is good/bad.” but I like to think I have grown wiser with age and realized, other people don’t have to like the things I do in order for me to enjoy them.
I could be wrong, and there could be merrit in a knock down drag out internet troll-a-thon, but that doesn’t mean I still want to be a part of it. I no longer see the value in trying to change some random strangers mind by beating my head against a wall. Maybe 900 years taught Yoda a thing or two, and there is a deeper meaning to “Do, or do not. There is no try.” I can’t change their minds, so why waste my time when I could be doing something happy and productive?