Have you ever been in a situation where the hype has ruined something for you? Where something you might have liked turns into something you actively dislike because way too many people are singing its praises? I fall into this trap all the time. I try not to be influenced by what other people say, and to make my own opinions about things, but I’m almost always put off by too much hype.
It’s silly, because hype is often a good thing. It means a lot of people like the movie, TV show, song or book in question, which makes it more likely that I myself will enjoy it. And honestly, I’m not the kind of person who thrives on liking things other people don’t – I’m not part of the “liked it before it was cool” crowd. So, really, I don’t understand what it is about over-hype that puts me off, to the point that I even dislike things that are otherwise right up my alley.
Is it that hype often increases expectations? I’ve found lately that if I want to really enjoy a movie (almost regardless of actual quality), it’s best that I go in with as little information as possible. I have had way more fun with movies for which I haven’t seen a trailer or read a synopsis, and for which I’ve heard a decent (not over-the-top) amount of praise. I’ve come away really enjoying movies that, on hindsight, might not even have been particularly good, but that I just had a good experience watching. It works the same way with TV shows and books. The less I know, the more I’m likely to enjoy it.
Maybe it’s going in with almost no expectations that leaves me pleasantly surprised, but I’m not sure if that’s all it is. Maybe it’s that knowing that a large number of people have enjoyed it puts pressure on me to enjoy it as well, which results in some kind of inward rebellion. Maybe it’s the need to offer a different perspective, to be able to say something in a sea of people saying the same thing. I’m not really sure.
I’m going to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron tonight, and I’m almost certain I won’t have very strong positive feelings about it. The Avengers franchise in general has reached over-hyped status for me. In fact, the only movies I have really enjoyed so far have been Iron Man (the first one), at which point I knew very little about Marvel or Avengers and there wasn’t nearly as much hype as there is today, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, during the release of which I was in India and managed to (unintentionally) avoid any information about it. I haven’t watched a single Ultron trailer, nor read anything about the storyline, in the hopes that keeping myself in the dark will help me enjoy it a little more, but I don’t expect it will make a difference in terms of how I already feel about the franchise.
I just hope that doesn’t become an understatement.