Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

How far

We were talking at lunch about Buffy fans, into which category none of us falls. And some of them quite reasonably recognize that Buffy is a matter of individual taste, that some people like it and some do not, but others insist on knowing which episodes one watched and then protesting (no matter what episodes are up for discussion) that that wasn't one of the really good ones.

So it makes me wonder: how far would you go to get at a good show or a good book or even a good fragment of stuff?

I think that most of us will read past a bad first sentence, paragraph, or even chapter if someone we trust has given us reason to believe that the book will be a good one and worth our time. I think, on the other hand, that anyone who wants me to read the ninth Robert Jordan book, on the theory that it will get "really good" very soon and I just read the first bad eight, is smoking crack.

But where's your personal middle ground? A mediocre episode of a television show your friends swear is great? A boring first book of a trilogy that's supposed to be really fascinating in books two and three? How far will you go to get to "the good stuff" before your internal critic decides that the payoff can't possibly be worthwhile? Say for a TV show or a book: when does the off switch get used or the book get sent back to the library? And is it different if you paid to rent a movie/buy a book/get into a movie in the theatre? Is it different for music? How much of your time is worth waiting for the big payoff without little payoffs in the middle?

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