Tyler Has Words is the blog of Tyler Patrick Wood, a writer/musician from Texas. You'll get free book excerpts twice a week. On the other days, you'll get words. If you would like an original take on everything by an expert on nothing, this might be a cool place to hang out.

About Sense And Consensus

About Sense And Consensus

Post 151:

            Sense and consensus. Sounds like Jane Austen without the romance. Anyway, I’m old enough to remember the days when you just went and saw a movie or read a book. Maybe some friends told you it was good, you got to see it for yourself, it drags here, it’s cool here, but whatever, you walk in or crack the first page and the thing is pretty much unspoiled.

            Now we have the age of consensus.

            No, I don’t think consensus is a bad thing. It’s…okay. But this shouldn’t wholly dictate what you think or are going to think of a movie or book.

            It’s a bit tricky, because Rotten Tomatoes is a useful guide…sometimes. Other times, it’ll give something like 17% to a fairly entertaining flick.  Just to check, I give this supposed garbage a shot sometimes. Yeah, it ain’t gonna be a masterpiece, but 17% is a bit harsh.

            Meanwhile, another superhero movie with invariably the same plot points and giant headache-inducing fight at the end will consistently score in the 90 percentiles. On what basis? Frame density? The amount of computer animators? I’m not maligning these movies. Seriously, I’d like to know.

            And here’s the thing I don’t think gets mentioned. If 90% of critics like something 50.0000000000000001% then the movie will get 90%. Everybody will thus call it a universally accepted work of proficient and well thought-out artistry. But that’s just not true.

            And it’s not always this way. Sometimes things are just undeniably good and nobody but an idiot would say otherwise. I’ve got no evidence and I don’t plan on finding any, but I think this is why the quality of TV is so strong and movies keep getting (for the most part) formulaic and banal.

            Example. Lion, a movie-type-movie with a unique story, has 86%. All said, a very good consensus score. It looked hard to make, locations, real depth and emotion to the characters. All that crap.

            If they’d only tried harder. They could’ve made as good a movie as the latest Captain America…90%

            Look, If I sound like sour nuts, maybe it’s because the shoe fits. I only hope that people like the stuff they like because they like it. I hope that most of the critics have written something of their own out of nothing and tried to make it. I have no idea because being around people talking about showbiz all day sounds like a good way to suck all the fun out of life.

            And I know there’s a season for everything. I know that pretty soon all the smartphone-streaming-obsessed people out there are going to chuck it all and go back to reading legends off of parchment scrolls. Maybe sitting about campfires listening to a guy with a harp singing a song of yore.

            Yep. I’ve been right so far. And I’m like 90% sure about it. Yeah.

            See you after.

About The Laws Of Space

About The Laws Of Space

About the New Book

About the New Book