I noticed that I’ve been watching/reading and then writing/commenting on something that didn’t work its charm on me. One that would end up with an unfavorable verdict at screed’s end. I then began to wonder what makes it so difficult, lately, to find a work of art to be arbitrarily rated 4/5 or even 3.5/5… to which javabeans provided an answer:
“It’s too bad that most of the drama’s best parts were in its first half. […] Sadly, order matters: When you end on a lower note than you started on, the overall trajectory is still pointed downward. I’ve watched subpar dramas—dramas much worse than this one—that pulled out a satisfying finale, and ending on an upswing has a palette-cleansing effect. You forgive a lot when that happens.
When the opposite happens, however, no matter how much your brain tells you that the overall quality remains fairly high, your heart can’t get over that taste of disappointment. Pacing matters. Trajectory matters. Because once you start falling out of love, momentum slows and you start checking out, and then it’s all over.”
(writer’s note: I misread the first sentence as “it’s too bad that most of dramas’ best parts were in its first half” instead of “the drama’s” – referring to Flower Boy Next Boy she’s commenting on – because I do think the alternate premise is more applicable to dramaworld in general.)
Spot-on, isn’t it? She does a great job at assembling words in a succinct, well-written manner to get her point across. Both hosts of dramabeans are great writers, hands down.
Back to the question above, this is probably what happened to the unmotivatingly poor ratings I gave out recently – I do weigh something after everything folds out and base it on the aftertaste. I went through the list of “what I’ve watched/read” the other day and was surprised to see how, for the past two years, the numbers steadily dwindle and those which made the list largely fell under 2-3/5 category with nearly no 4’s. Am I such a hard marker, so have I simply hand-picked the wrong titles?
Hmm… I too want to find something gripping and stirring enough to keep me excited and invested till the last drop. Something that doesn’t have to be quirky or thoroughly novel but one that hits all the right (soft) spots. Something new to shift and shake up the order of my favorites. Which I haven’t found in a while. And definitely NOT something that deserves “why did I care? Why did I even bother to start this?” remark at journey’s end.