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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Oh it's just like ...

Y'know what really frustrates me? When a media outlet or reviewer says 'It's just like xxxxxxx...'

Don't get me wrong, I've no problem with reviews that say things like 'and this angle reminded me of xxxxx'; it's when a reviewer compares a film or book to another because of one aspect and doesn't see the rest. I've done the first thing myself on many occasions, for example, if you read my review of Vampyre Nation you'll see that I compare it to Blade II, because there were parts that made me point at the screen at the similarity  but that's not all it it was about. It's definitely not a clone of Blade II, it just uses some of the tropes that Blade II did very well.

I've heard it said there are only seven basic plots, but since the internet can't seem to agree on what they are I suspect there are a few more than that, but it makes sense there are a limited number. What makes every story different is how the plot is implemented.
Not every story with vampires and teenagers is Twilight, in fact a lot of them were around before Twilight, so please don't make me stake you by dismissing everything vampire as a Twilight clone.

I've seen some fiction compared to Twilight before now when there aren't even any teenagers in it, just some of the fanged ones that don't remotely sparkle.

Not every spy is James Bond; not every wizard is Gandalf; not every telepath is Charles Xavier.

The spy might drive an Aston Martin, the wizard might have long white hair and a beard and the telepath might be bald, but that doesn't meant that's all they are.

Okay, so sometimes the association is deliberate *side-eyes The Asylum and their mockbusters*. If you have never heard of the Asylum, what they often do is pick the latest big blockbuster movie and make their own version straight to DVD. But even these have their own story line and characters (otherwise the Asylum would have been sued to hell and back by now :)). Guess which blockbuster the title to the right was taking off.

It's not comparisons that annoy me, it is when the comparison is as far as it goes. It is more than obvious that sometimes a reviewer hasn't even read or watched what they are actually reviewing. What they've done is skimmed and then decided the tiny parts they did consume were exactly like something else.

If the item under review is indeed a clone with the serial numbers rubbed off such comparisons are useful, when it's not, which is the majority of the time, it just misleading and frustrating. Just because one thing in a genre is popular, it does not mean all of that genre can be shoved into the same tiny pigeon-hole.

Not every vampire book is Twilight, not every erotic novel is Fifty Shades of Grey, not every alien is E.T..


  1. Hi I am Yvonne fromhttp://poetrygal21.blogspot.co.uk/
    I noticed you are doing the A to Z Challenge and hope all is well with your preparations. I am helping Arlee Bird to contact people who are taking part. Good luck with the Challenge and look forwrd to reading your post.

    1. Thank you, and thanks for dropping by. I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with during the challenge.


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