The age of woke entertainment built its castle on the sand and with every new attempt to build on it, the castle becomes more and more unstable. Studios reach for excuses as to why, and it typically involves blaming fans and viewers.
The list of social justice-infected movies and shows is a long one. Ghostbusters 2016, Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Beebop, Netflix’s live-action Resident Evil show, She-Hulk, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and now Amazon’s bastardization of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings with its “Rings of Power” show.
Each of these shows abused the source material, insulted the fans with awful accusations of bad character, and then wondered why audiences didn’t show up to support it.
With the “Rings of Power,” in particular, the accusations of racism are off the reservation. Taking the exact route Star Wars did, Amazon claims there have been untold amounts of racism pouring down the pipe towards its actors of color while producing absolutely no proof. In truth, I have no doubt there actually is racism but on the internet, trolls are going to troll, and people who hate will find a way to express that hatred.
However, much of the actual backlash coming from fans, even about the race angle, has nothing to do with racism but story structure and keeping to the logic of established worlds. Yours truly is one of those people and was featured in an article from CNN about this very thing. It was met with the exact same accusations of racism that Amazon is now throwing out.
I addressed these accusations in detail in last Friday’s episode of RedState LIVE!
In truth, it’s not about racism or sexism. It’s not about bigotry or xenophobia. It’s not even about being a gatekeeping nerd, though gatekeeping has its uses.
Outside of consistency within a story, a lot of people have trouble viewing social justice “entertainment” because of a very simple issue; predictability.
Social justice shows, movies, comics, video games, and every other form of media are effectively just propaganda with a mask. Unlike a story made for the sake of a good story, propaganda has to follow certain rules. Social justice/woke entertainment is very rigid in the rules it has to follow.
For instance, the Bechdel test has to be passed. Female lead characters must have almost no flaws. One flaw they are allowed to have is that they don’t believe in their own power enough. If she has a male teacher or leader, she must be better than him at everything from the outset.
The villain must be white and male. The villain can be black, but he or she must also have a compelling argument for doing the things they’re doing. Men must be inferior to women and/or must be stupid and/or evil. A man cannot win an argument or physical confrontation against a woman, no matter how improbable.
Casting must be “diverse,” however if the cast excludes non-white actors completely or has a cast full of one type of non-white person, then that is acceptable.
The list of rules goes on, but these are some of the most noticeable ones you’ve seen lately.
Now let’s look at She-Hulk, one of the worst offenders of message-first storytelling. In the very first episode, the main character, a female, is confronted with horrible criticism from a man about smiling more. She gains her powers through her own actions, not the actions of the male character who actually has them. She then is confronted by piggish men outside of a bar where she proceeds to almost destroy them with her newfound powers. Her teacher, a man, attempts to show her how to use her newfound powers but she is easily better than him at everything and proceeds to beat him into submission.
The show tends to follow this pattern into later episodes, but more importantly, this show follows the same pattern as previously established woke-ified works. For instance, I could easily replace “She-Hulk” with “Captain Marvel” and be more or less accurate about the story description.
In Amazon’s “The Rings of Power,” predictions that Galadriel would be a ridiculous “Mary Sue” were right on the money because we’d seen this archetype repeatedly over the past few years with the aforementioned Captain Marvel and “Rey” from the Star Wars prequels. It was guessed that she’d be far better than her male companions at almost everything, be the most liked, and be right all the time, and lo and behold, the predictions were correct.
It’s too predictable and the predictability lends to the boredom that was already present due to the limited ability to tell a good story thanks to the strict parameters set by the social justice ideology. There’s no character growth, no plot twists, no moments that really make you think or feel, and all the while you get the unrelenting preachiness of an ideology you’re not fully on board with if at all.
Bottom line? Social justice storytelling is boring and tired. Not only is it uncreative, but it also requires that all criticism be met with accusations toward the viewers or the fandoms in order to protect and support the political message the show is infected with.
The fast studios cut that cancer out of their midst, the faster they can get back to telling stories that don’t suck.