Jeffe Kennedy Blog
RITA ® Award-Winning Author of Fantasy Romance
There are multiple issues at play.
1. If you include something, like a TV show, that is very popular at the beginning but ends poorly people retroactively “hate” it because thinking about it brings up the dissatisfaction of the ending and colors their view of the whole show. This can also occur if a series is canceled after a season cliffhanger (TV) or a trilogy only has 2 books, etc. so the show/books do not have a proper ending. One’s feeling about the lack of resolution has a negative impact on the earlier work. So if these shows are mentioned in another book that can cause a ripple effect.
2. Even if something is very popular, doesn’t mean every reader likes it. This is particularly true in books where an author describes a character as looking like a particular actress or actor. Personally there are numerous books where super popular actors I do not think are attractive or who make my skin crawl are referenced. As a reader that does throw me out of the book.
3. As far as dating a book, I think that these types of references often does so. There are actors who were popular in the eighties and nineties who don’t look so good now. So if a younger reader read a book for the first time and came across such a reference they would wonder what the author was thinking. This doesn’t even address popular actors, singers, etc. who we later learn are actually creeps in real life. Better to just describe characters with hair color, eye color, etc rather than compare them to actual people in my opinion.
As for society deciding to hate things that used to be super popular, I’m old enough now that I don’t care what others think. Plus, as a woman, I’ve been told too often things I like are trash be it movies, TV, books, and anything else.
It still has an impact on me in so much that because things I like are devalued that affects their availability. As an example, TV series where the lead characters are happily married/together don’t often get made anymore (unless they are inept parents in a sitcom) so that does have an impact. But that’s a whole other conversation.
Oh wow, I got behind!
1. I think this is a super good point. That comes back to a lot of things I think about how endings affect the story.
2. Also true
3. this is also sadly true. Fine – you’ve convinced me!
And yeah, I do think defining oneself by love/hate in popular culture is an occupation of youth. I would love to see more stuff about existing, long-term couples!
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