Total Nerd

Popular Nerdy Franchises You're Too Embarrassed To Admit You Hate  

Zack Howe
3k votes 522 voters 8.4k views 14 items

List Rules Vote up the popular franchises you secretly can't stand.

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.

The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Popular Nerdy Franchises You're Too Embarrassed To Admit You Hate
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 Stonethe Walking Dead creators fail to evolve and highlight their most compelling characters in lieu of maintaining the status quo with tried-and-true elements.

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The Terminator Franchise is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Popular Nerdy Franchises You're Too Embarrassed To Admit You Hate
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. 

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Arrow is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Popular Nerdy Franchises You're Too Embarrassed To Admit You Hate
Photo:  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. 

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Alien Franchise is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Popular Nerdy Franchises You're Too Embarrassed To Admit You Hate
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.

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