I remember when I was younger I was introduced to two franchises with zero prior knowledge: Harry Potter, and The X-Files. Back in 2001 when The Philosopher’s Stone was released in theatres, I had zero knowledge of the franchise – I simply never grew up reading those books. I guess it just wasn’t on my radar.
Same thing with the X-Files – my friends in high school got me watching it in order to start a website – and we started with 8th season, ostensibly the worst of the series, the One Without Mulder. I went into it without any knowledge of it beyond remembering being scared of an earlier episode that may or may not have something to do with cockroaches – I’m really not sure at this point, because I don’t think I’ve watched it since.
The point I’m trying to get to is that the experience of going into these franchises blind was pretty great. Since then I’ve read all of the HP books, seen the films, and watched quite a few X-Files episodes. But my first experiences with these franchises were without any previous info and my friends got to laugh at me at some of my questions and observations. It was fun!
I miss that feeling. It’s hard to re-create too, especially since there are references to just about every major franchise (literary or visual) online every day. And I listen to a lot of pop culture podcasts, so somehow, somewhere, little nuggets find their way into my head and just sit in the back of my mind.
I almost had that feeling with Game of Thrones, but it’s not a show I’ve watched with other people. I share the ‘new’ experience with David Chen on the podcast A Cast of Kings, but that’s the closest I’ve come. But the feeling of experiencing a new series of books or TV or film isn’t the same thing I’m referring to; it’s hard to describe.
I’ll try to give an example: I really want to read the James A. Corey novels starting with Leviathan Wakes; there’s a TV series that started last year called The Expanse that I’d watch after as well. But I don’t have anyone in my circle of friends to watch with or have them watch my mind explode at whatever plot twists may turn up. Luckily, I still know nothing about the series, so there’s still a chance I could share that experience through this blog.
What series or franchise did you discover blind that you ended up enjoying? What about one that you absolutely hated despite hearing it being talked up a lot?
Coming up this Thursday: Monthly Podcast Update