I’ve noticed that I get sick of long running franchises (and even entire genres) a lot more quickly than most of my geeky friends seem to. I’ve always known that there was a point at which I would just be “done” with something and not be able to tolerate watching, reading, or even really hearing much about it anymore. The first time it happened to me was with He-Man and She-Ra back in the 80s. As much as I loved them, I Just. Couldn’t. Take. Anymore.
In fairness, that might have had to do with how often they were on and how many different stations were running the SAME EPISODES. My siblings are quite a bit younger than I am, and if they were left to their own devices, we would have watched the same four episodes 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. There’s only so many hours of pink furry underwear and sparkly horses a kid can handle before her brain implodes.
Maybe I just got conditioned to have a low tolerance for repetition. I do eventually get over my “done-ness.” I rediscovered He-Man and She-Ra in the early 2000s and I even blog about them now. Still, once I’ve reached the burn-out point, I need a long time to recover (longer, it would seem, than most folk) and I have a shorter tolerance than I did before.
To give some more recent examples, I was reaching burn-out with urban fantasy and particularly vampires around the time that Twilight first caught on. At this point, if I hear or see mention of a vampire/urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, I actually feel vaguely queasy. What I would like to say is, “Seriously? Are we done yet? What else can POSSIBLY be said with this subject?” I know that’s not fair or polite. I’m sure there’s plenty left to say and do with it. Several of my writing friends are still working in this genre, and my tongue has its own suit of armor now.
I don’t know exactly when I hit the burnout point with superhero movies, but the last one I actually liked was released in 2006. Iron Man, if anyone’s curious. Since then, my reactions have ranged from indifference to a desire to hit myself with a hammer. Obviously, most of my WP friends are pretty rabid about comic book tie ins and the superhero genre right now. (Again. Tongue. Suit of armor. Possibly an Iron Man suit.)
If you know me at all, you know I love Star Wars. I think I hit the burnout point on the franchise around 2010 after I spent several years involved in collaborative fan projects. I’m touch-and-go with SW now. I can blog about it or read about it in spurts, but I’m having a very hard time working up any enthusiasm for new SW media. I just…don’t care, even though I should.
Last year, I discovered the Disney Fairies franchise. I watched the first four movies in rapid succession and loved them enough to blog about them. Some of my friends did as well. People started sending me links to other blogs about them as well. Then, the fifth movie came out, and, I realized I just didn’t give a shit anymore. I’m sad about that, but I’m pretty sure that at some point in the next couple of years, I will care again. I hope so.
My point in writing this is to say that I’ve observed that most geeks seem to decide they like something and want to read/watch/experience every possible permutation of it and analyze them all, sometimes for years at a time. I think I do that, but I seem to want to do it in smaller doses. I need a lot of time and space between doses, too. It makes me curious. Where is your burn-out point and what will trigger it?