I’ve always been a firm believer in balancing what I watch. I do love watching films and TV shows that require a lot of thinking and questioning, however sometimes I just want to relax and feed into the part of me who is, for example, a hopeless romantic who needs a Nicholas Sparks movie every one in awhile. It doesn’t mean that I am not an educated film viewer, it just means sometimes my mind needs a break from critical thinking.
Last semester I did a project on The Bachelor in which I had to read a work that actually argued the show was a feminist text. At first I questioned this, not understanding how this could be true. However, the author pointed out that maybe we underestimate the intelligence of the viewer. She believed that the over-the-top Cinderella storyline, built in drama, clear patriarchal setup, etc… of The Bachelor actually allows the viewers to not fall into the story, but instead critique it, make fun of it, and acknowledge that it is not in fact reality. Maybe more people watch the show thinking this is what not to do, not what to do. After studying this idea for awhile, it became clear that a little bit of escapism doesn’t do harm if you as a viewer are smart enough (and most are!) to not fall into the trap. Trust me, I know, for example, that Nicholas Sparks movies have an extreme lack of diversity and anti-feminist messages, but most people know and accept that Nicholas Sparks movies are not realistic but simply go to satisfy their romantic minds. I think all of this is ok in moderation and if you leave the theater or turn of your screen and don’t take the messages to the next room.