Thursday, December 29, 2016

Suspending belief

Sometimes, getting out of your comfort zone can surprise you in pleasant ways.

I don't normally like hokey comedies, ghost stories, or bizarre supernatural tales. I'm not the biggest fan of Melissa McCarthy or Kirsten Wiig (I have come to love both Leslie Jones for her Sounders enthusiasm and Kate McKinnon for her SNL brilliance). And I wasn't allowed to watch a lot of movies "normal" kids did in the '80s, so I have still never seen the original Ghostbusters.  

But I really, really enjoyed the 2016 remake! Maybe it was the all-female vibe, or the deliberate way the gender roles were reversed, or the cheesy un-scary aspect of the ghosts, but I really liked the movie more than I actually thought I would!

In a similar vein, I'm not a big comic book fan, of either the Marvel or DC universe varieties. (However, I do love Marvel's Agents of SHIELD: even without an understanding of the Avengers' back stories, the show stands on its own.) I'm not entirely sure how Dr. Strange fits into all the nerd-dom, but as a movie it was pretty fun to watch.

The only thing I'd heard about it was the controversy regarding Tilda Swindon being cast as a character who is supposed to be Asian and male. Having no personal ties to the comic, though, made it hard for me to feel affronted, even if I sympathize with critiques of Hollywood whitewashing, and even if I generally try to support films that feature people of color.

Benedict Cumberbatch's American accent was a little off-putting, though.

...And then there are the times where you get out of your comfort zone and realize you like it nice and fine there, thank you very much.

A coworker and I were talking about bizarre mystery series we loved; I raved about Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, and he recommended the Dresden Files. So I checked out the first book from the library. It definitely sounded intriguing: it features a wise-cracking wizard private investigator. But meh, it didn't really draw me in.

Usually I give a series a second chance by reading the second book. I'm still on the fence about this one.

I believe I know what I like.