It’s been a while since every morning is Christmas, audiovisually speaking. As Bo Burnham said, apathy is a disgrace and boredom is a crime. There is no time to be bored, we have more things to see than ever, and they are all appetizing! We cannot finish a series without having another eight new pending, and streaming services do not stop arriving with more and more striking things. Have you finished ‘Succession’? That’s great, because you can’t miss ‘Severance’. Neither ‘The white lotus’. How come you haven’t seen ‘Ellas da el coup’? Not keeping up with ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’? And with ‘The House of the Dragon’?
At least you must have gone to the cinema to see the new A24, right? No, not the one in Filmin, the other one. Y be sure to take a look at the latest remake of an animated film, since it’s on Disney+. Did you skip the new Jordan Peele movie? Don’t miss the new one from DC, this one is really good. The hammering is constant, as is the passivity of the public in the face of so much essential novelty: maybe every day is Christmas, but we were more excited when there weren’t so many things trying to get our attention at the same time.
Do you remember the time of ‘Lost’? Each new episode was an event. Pages were created to unravel every minute of its mysteries (the already mythical Lostzilla), the cliffhangers left us on the edge of the chair and between seasons nothing else was talked about. Imagine what would happen if ‘Lost’ aired now, a time when there is no time to waste theorizing because another new series or movie came out recently and can not wait. It probably would have gone unnoticed: The only speculation that exists now is to try to guess the Marvel projects. The rest is circumstantial or borage water.
Of course there have been unexpected phenomena (there are ‘Stranger things’ or ‘The Squid Game’, without going any further), and much has been said about them, but not from the innocence, respect and weekly emotion that we live with ‘Lost’, but from an a posteriori analysis that can be interesting, but is devoid of any kind of emotion. A few years ago (if you’ll forgive me for the old reference), we were happy with a Scalextric and a Ninja Turtle for the whole year. Now we have a whole mansion full of new toys so cool we can’t really focus on any of them.
Consume. Look. More. Are you still there? If you like this, you’ll love this one. Overdose culture hasn’t made us smart bystanders.but in people with increasingly larger swallows, of those who follow series and movies not because they are good, but to not be left out of the most perfidious audiovisual concept of the last decade: The conversation. Don’t you know why everyone is talking about someone named Megan Thee Stallion? Wow, it looks like someone is a day and a half late watching ‘She-Hulk: Lawyer She-Hulk,’ and her punishment is to be left out altogether.
“Being okay” is no longer okay
A simple stroll through Twitter can lead to the stress of looking at your shiny new toys and not knowing where to start, if everyone is the eighth wonder of the 21st century. To draw attention to something that we liked, we have to use more exaggerated hyperboles every time. ‘The essays’? You have never seen anything like it. ‘WeCrashed’? The best comedy of the last decade. ‘The white lotus’? A masterpiece of satire. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’? The best blockbuster ever made and a point and apart in the history of cinema.
One already knows that, in the face of the unstoppable and indecipherable crowd of premieres and recommendations, an “Okay” is not going to make anyone want to see anything. We no longer live in the time when ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ “it was fine” and it was more than enough reason to go for it. Exaggeration is rampant, every week the best series or movie of the year is released and, in the end, saturation is real: We have so many things to play with that sometimes we just want to take out our battered old Raphael doll and give it a few spins to get rid of the FOMO.
We have never been happier audiovisually than when we only had three or four weekly series and movies to watch., but we squeezed them like never before. It’s the video store syndrome: you don’t yearn just to go back to your childhood or to a simpler time, but because everything was lived more intensely, movies and series were an event. A real event, created by the people, and not promoted by a marketing campaign or because a mediocre product has a very pretty bow with the name of a well-known franchise, ensuring a percentage of the box office.
The event is the announcement
Haven’t you noticed? The premiere of the films is already secondary. What is important in mainstream products, what moves people, the real event is the ad. Confirmations for D23 this week are going to matter a whole lot more on social media, Reddit, and news websites than the movie or series itself. It is the following evolution: we don’t even want the toy anymore, we just want confirmation that this toy is going to existand when he leaves, ignore him or give him distracted attention.
In the past, the fact that ‘Iron Man’ existed was a reason for jubilation. ‘The Avengers’, an event. It was the equivalent of going from having a couple of toys to being given the PlayStation. The problem is that all the studios have been dedicated to pampering ourselves, to give us exactly what we ask for. All. At the same time. Out of control. We let ourselves be driven by the machinery of hype so much that fabulous movies without much anticipation like ‘3000 years waiting for you’, by George Miller (who two years ago was the darling of Twitter and everyone promised to “protect him at all costs”) passes without regret or glory because We’re all talking about She-Hulk shaking her ass for five seconds. and there is no time for everything.
Years ago, when you only had a toy, you wanted to live like this, surrounded by opulence. Having it all. Being able to see everything. And yet we are, as much as we want to pretend otherwise, bored with so many movies of the year, so many essential series, of so much prefabricated event, that they constantly consent to us. Because, just like Mr. Burns, maybe the only thing we want now that we have everything was our teddy bear.