Going against the grain.

[Note: I wrote this post awhile ago, but didn’t publish it. Then I was reminded of it by thingy‘s comments on this post combined with reading this post by Nameless Cynic.]

Do you have any favorite works of art, music, literature or entertainment that you really like, but that the vast majority of critics hate? I’m not talking about stuff that’s “so bad, it’s good” here, I’m talking about something where you and a friend can be talking about this thing, and it’s like you’re talking about two different subjects. Your friend hates it for reasons you just don’t see, and you can’t make your friend see why you like it.

I think I might have some sort of mental issue with this, because there are all sorts of examples I can think of from my life. For example, remember those Star Wars prequels that everyone hated? Yeah, well… I loved them. I think they’re honestly better than the originals. [Prepares to be flamed.]

Take another example: Obsidian Entertainment‘s video game Alpha Protocol. The critics and videogamers generally hated that thing. Destructoid gave it a 2 out of 10. That just isn’t done in game reviews. I, meanwhile, thought it was an excellent game–in some ways, better than Mass Effect 2, even. [Prepares to be flamed, again.]

Even in my enthusiasm for Gilbert and Sullivan, this issue crops up. The Grand Duke was G&S’s last operetta, and the only one to be an utter failure. And despite the lasting popularity of Gilbert and Sullivan’s works, The Grand Duke has been ignored from its 1896 premiere to the present day. Most G&S fans hate it. And yet I love the thing. It’s my third favorite of their 14 operettas. [I probably won’t get flamed for this, but better safe than sorry]

It’s not like I don’t realize there are flaws in all these works. Yes, the dialogue in the SW prequels is very weak. Yes, sometimes the textures in Alpha Protocol don’t put in an appearance until you’re well into a mission. Yes, it occasionally seems like W.S. Gilbert utterly lost his knowledge of how rhyme and syntax work for The Grand Duke. But somehow, these flaws just don’t bother me like they do most people.

But anyway, enough about my eccentricities. I’m just curious if anyone else has ever experienced anything similar to this.


  1. I'm going to go the other way with this- one everyone else loves and I just don't get…Glee.Talk about suspending belief. People keep insisting I give it another try and it just grates my last nerve. LOLI think they have surpassed the Beatles in record sales, by doing covers. Ugh.

  2. I don't know about how much against the grain I am from the general population. There are some things that I really love that drive my wife and kids up the wall.Les Miserables 10 anniversary concert. I have the soundtract and listen to it while driving and love watching the concert. I enjoyed the Liam Neeson/Uma Thurman movie.Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band. When I want to pump myself up it's Old Time Rock and Roll. The start throwing things at me.Same for Iron Butterfly's InagoddadavidaMovies that I enjoy watching repeatedly that the critics panned:Meet Joe Black, it has the best soundtract for relaxation.Legend Of Bagger Vance, what can I say, I'm a golf addict and it's by far the best movie about golf ever made.

  3. Well, I like Lady Gaga, which is a major no-no among the intelligentsia of which I'm a part, since she is supposed to be emblematic of the vapidity of American bourgeois youth culture. I don't bring this up with people irl.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?