Down on Sequels

There is yet another fucking Batman film out, The Batman. I gather that this one extra gothy and emo or something, but I don’t know, because I haven’t even been interested in watching the trailers. I have already written plenty here about my distaste for sequels ad infinitum, so I won’t repeat myself. My point in this post will simply be about how many franchises I have let go, not so much because I made a choice, but because I am genuinely not motivated to watch them.

There is a fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery and a second season of Star Trek: Picard airing right now. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is about to air. There have been two seasons of Star Trek: Lower Decks released already, and while I am mildly interested in checking it out, I haven’t. There is also Star Trek: Prodigy, which I am even less interested in. I wouldn’t hate watching any of these, but I am far from having a burning desire to do so. I am not motivated enough to subscribe to the streaming service or dedicate the time to watch them.

There are many reasons for all of this. For one thing, I am just watching little of anything. I was binging The Expanse, but after getting through the third season, I sort of forgot about it. I took a similar, inexplicable break after the first season of Westworld before recently resuming the next season. Instead, I have been reading more, biking more, hiking more, and I’m not sure what else.

When it comes to films, the pandemic has much to do with it. I’m not going to sit in a theater to catch the plague. I sympathize with the film industry (more so the people doing the work, and less so the producers lining their pockets), who wants to be back to making films. I don’t sympathize with film audiences, who would like the pretend the pandemic isn’t happening, or is over, or is no big deal. I waited for No Time to Die to come out on disc, and I paid to stream Dune, so I could watch them at home. I am doing the same thing with other recent films.

However, a significant factor is that I am turned off by media companies who treat film franchises as some kind of cash cow. As long as they make the least effort, audiences are expected to flock to the next Batman, Spider-Man, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Fantastic Beasts, etc. When I see marketing for these things, it immediately strikes me as cheap and insulting. I don’t want to watch “The Batman” because it offers nothing to interest me, but also because I am not in thrall to the Batman franchise.

Thank goodness there hasn’t been a Transformers or Terminator film lately, and even the Marvel universe has been fairly toned down lately.

Update: I forgot to mention that I haven’t watched The Book of Boba Fett, either. However, there is a teaser trailer for an Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series, and I’m totally interested in seeing that.

Update: I’m also done with the Potterverse for another reason: J. K. Rowling’s transphobic activism. The Fantastic Beasts films have been mostly ho-hum even before they decided to swap out Grindelwald. However, what has decided it for me is that I’m not going to give any more money to that woman as long as she is going to use it to finance support for anti-trans legislation.