Popular Nerdy Franchises You're Too Embarrassed To Admit You Hate
Everyone loves the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), right? It's like how there are no detractors of the Harry Potter films or Game of Thrones. Though each of these series is well loved, they are also examples of nerdy franchises that some people secretly hate. Those who fall out of line with the majority often get dismissed as antagonistic, counterculture malcontents. There are valid criticisms to be made of each of these notable franchises no matter how much your nerdy soul may ache.
Even objectively good entertainment is not immune from critiques. While most people may adore these films and franchises, there are always those who detest them - and not only because they wish to be contrarians.
- Photo: The Walking Dead/AMC
The Walking Dead reached its ratings peak in 2015 with Season 5, which averaged 14.38 million viewers per episode. As a result, the higher-ups at AMC created the prequel named Fear the Walking Dead. If it seems like a bold reach to produce a prequel series while the original show is still running, it's because it is.
Fear the Walking Dead's debut season had low ratings when it debuted. The prequel series steadily dropped in viewership with every season; Season 3 had a mere 2.36 million viewers per episode. The Walking Dead had a correlating decline in viewership, with the show's eighth season pulling in only 7.82 million viewers per episode just a few short years after its zenith.
According to Rolling Stone, the Walking Dead creators fail to evolve and highlight their most compelling characters in lieu of maintaining the status quo with tried-and-true elements.
- 2461 VOTESPhoto: Legends of Tomorrow/The CW
The CW's DC Universe - dubbed the Arrowverse for its effective leader Arrow - has seen better days. Arrow kicked things off back in 2012, boasting a viewership of 3.68 million in Season 1. For the first couple of seasons, critics were impressed, peaking with Jeff Jensen's EW review of Season 2, which reads:
Arrow posses an intelligence that shines through its TV-budget production values, which aren't too shabby. The writing is adult and witty, the action is exciting, and Amell holds the center with well-cultivated ease.
The Flash marked the height of the Arrowverse's success, posting the highest average viewership of the CW since 2009. However, even this show has declined every season since the first season. Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and Black Lightning each followed the footsteps of their predecessors with steadily falling ratings.
In the case of the Arrowverse, Arrow's increasingly outlandish narratives may have spread DC fatigue to viewers of the CW. Viewership will likely continue out of loyalty more than anything else, but the Arrowverse is well past its prime.
- Photo: Terminator: Genisys / Paramount Pictures
The Terminator cinematic franchise appears to have experienced a steady decline in quality ever since the first movie, leading to some genuinely paltry reviews for Terminator Genisys, the lowest-rated film of the bunch. Despite this downward trend, which gets reflected at the box office, each new installment seems to make huge news. Sure enough, there is another Terminator scheduled for 2019 - and hopes are high, as James Cameron will once again be at the helm.
But do we need more Terminator movies? Cameron's return has sparked speculation about the new film's potential quality, but the franchise peaked in 1984 and fans still wonder whether or not any of its sequels were necessary.
- Photo: Prometheus/20th Century Fox
In 1979, Alien blew the world's mind away when it proved sci-fi could make legitimately great cinema. Its successor broke the mold again when it flouted the prevailing wisdom that sequels are always worse. Today, the two boast impressive 97% and 99% Rotten Tomato scores, respectively. Many forgettable installments in the franchise have emerged since, remaining in the forefront of pop culture and leading to a resurrection with 2012's Prometheus, the beginning of the prequel series that continued with 2017's Alien: Covenant.
While Prometheus had a decent showing at the box office, pulling in $400 million, Covenant only made $240 million. And yet Ridley Scott is planning on two or maybe even three sequels to Prometheus.
Dedicated nerds will continue to flock to these flicks, but it's only a matter of time before the movies lose all viability. In the shadow of the originals, the newer movies pale in comparison.
Harry Potter defined an entire generation of readers, remaining an ongoing global phenomenon. The first movie debuted in 2001 - only a few years after the book became noteworthy; critics and audiences warmly received each film - the lowest-rated installment is Order of the Phoenix with a 77% Rotten Tomatoes score.
J.K. Rowling has expanded her multi-billion dollar empire with the Fantastic Beasts series, the first of which raked in over $800 million at the box office. However, the cinematic Fantastic Beasts pentalogy is off to a somewhat inauspicious start, earning a 74% Rotten Tomatoes score despite a star-studded cast. David Edelstein of Vulture wrote of the film:
The Dickensian simplicity of the Harry Potter films has been replaced by a lot of desperate mugging. Part of the problem is that Rowling and her studio are not so much telling a story as erecting another "tentpole," the Hollywood name for a "franchise" that becomes a virus.
For some, it's hard to ignore the feeling that Fantastic Beasts is a money-grab, inflating a world that should perhaps be left in its pristine condition - from a storytelling standpoint at least.
- 6418 VOTESPhoto: Doctor Who/BBC
To earn the ranks of nerd nobility, you must be an avid viewer of Doctor Who and become intimately familiar with the program's entire history, including - and especially - those 37 years prior to the turn of the century. You know, those hundreds of episodes that are functionally unwatchable?
With 50 years of history, Doctor Who is bound to have some low points, but those are arguably becoming more common. Abigail Chandler of The Guardian said:
Essentially, Doctor Who must become new again. It's a program built on the concept of regeneration, and if the showrunners aren't as willing to change as the Doctor is, what's the point? The show cannot stand still. Fans are already looking ahead to what Chibnall will do, who his Doctor will be - but he faces something of an impossible task. We're hungry for the new, yet [we] constantly complain that today's fare isn't as good as "our" era. We've basically created a paradox for ourselves. How very Whovian of us.