When Entertainment Loses Value

May 12, 2021

When you read a book or watch a scripted TV show, you are often looking for entertainment and escapism. A touch of educational value or morality can add depth as long as it doesn’t take over the story. Recently, we watched a couple of episodes in a TV series we like. Or at least, we had liked it up until now. But it devolved from a fantasy action hero show into a reminder of all the social issues in the news. In these two episodes alone, at least five hot topics were addressed.


These important issues shouldn’t overwhelm the tale and thrust us out of the fantasy. This TV show is supposed to be about a female hero with martial arts abilities and the search for a set of mythical swords. The original Star Trek, for example, was a perfect blend of science fiction and morality. Despite the lessons, it was always highly entertaining.

Somewhere along the way of this new show, the fantasy element took second place. In the most recent episode, the heroine’s boyfriend asked a shady contact for information on the swords, and this person immediately found where one was located. Where’s the fun in that? Our heroes had one adventure of breaking and entering and did research in the library. Otherwise, the answer was handed to them. There was no quest, no riddles to solve, no puzzle. And no escapism. It was like watching the news with the focus on social issues instead of pure entertainment. It that’s what you prefer, go for it.

The mythical element was the main reason I started watching the show. But then they added a fight scene in one of these two episodes on a flimsy excuse. “Fight me,” the heroine told a collector of artifacts. “If I win, you keep the box and the key, and I’ll keep the contents.” That’s a paraphrase of the conversation. But all she had to do was negotiate. Instead, the writers used it as an excuse to show off her martial arts skills. The ploy was so obvious as to be laughable.

This show has forgotten its audience and has turned into a family drama filled with social commentary.  As writers, we are always taught to meet reader expectations. The same goes for TV viewers. Explore one issue per episode if you like but don’t hammer us with several together at once. Then the show loses focus unless this was its purpose from the start.

I’ll give it one more chance. If it doesn’t get back on track with the fantasy elements in the next episode, I’m done. And that would be sad, because I like the characters and the premise and the cast.

I stopped watching the current incarnation of Nancy Drew for this same reason. Instead of a fun, light series of Nancy and her friends solving mysteries, it is a dark, supernatural story with monsters. If you like horror rather than cozy mysteries, it would have appeal, but the genres couldn’t be farther apart.

How about you? Are you disappointed when a favorite show steers off course?


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• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , |  4 Comments

4 thoughts on “When Entertainment Loses Value

  1. Yip. Dr Who went the route of political correctness and totally lost me. If I want morality lectures, I’ll go to Jewish TV. LOL Otherwise, let me have fun exploring new worlds.

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