I know, I know, I did a list last week, but this subject was too good to pass up. My mom, for those of you who don't know, grew up in fantasy's heyday and was a great consumer of fantasy and sci-fi and here are the things that annoy her as both a consumer and a mom!
Number 1: Conversations You Don't Get
When your kids can have whole conversations in lines and jargon that you don't understand... that's pretty annoying.
Number 2: Feminist/Misogynistic Schlock.
Fantasy is usually a genre where men and women are fairly equal, not so much in the works of authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley and Tamora Pierce. The works of these women are full of rabid feminism and disrespect toward men. Not to mention in the third "Protector of the Small" book homosexuality was considered normal... in a MIDDLE GRADE fantasy. Not cool Pierce.
Misogynistic content usually comes in the form of objectification of women. Conan (above) and "Slave Leia" are just two examples of misogyny in fantasy. And, according to my mom it needs to die.
Number 3: Sexy Vampires
Sorry ladies but:
Are not things you want to marry. You don't want a vampire. Stop trying to make them "good sexy". End of story.
Number 4: Hardcore Roleplayers
You know the stereotype: Fanboys who can't tell the difference between reality and fantasy, living forever in their roleplay world. Except it's not a stereotype... it's a real thing. Now, there's nothing wrong with fantasy roleplay, so long as you realize the "fantasy" bit. Meaning it's not real. Some people fall into a trap of living there all the time, and it's creepy and disturbing.
Number 5: Sexing up classic characters/Cartoon P0rn.
I usually like to keep my blog clean, but this is an issue that gets right under the Wilson women's skin. Too many times, my mom and I have run across what can only be described as p0rn of our favorite cartoon characters. If you get your kicks out of drawing children's cartoons as pin-ups or worse, you have some serious problems, brother!
Number 6: Steampunk
What is this genre, anyway? I'm a fantasy writer and I can't figure it out! My mom doesn't get it at all.
Number 7: Makeup errors
You know, sometimes when you watch a fantasy show or movie, you notice that the there's something off about them. My mom, who did stage make up when she was in high school and college, can usually put her finger right on it. Most of the time it badly applied makeup or prosthetics! She can see that, and bad wigs from about five feet from the TV set, and it annoys the pajimminy out of her.
Number 8: "Adulting" up Children's Shows.
Related to number 5, but rarer by far is the fact that some people feel like they can take icons of children's media and make something new with them that will appeal to adults. The fiasco that was the recent Muppets show (mercifully cancelled after one season) is a prime example. The producers created a horrible, raunchy, mess with the beloved Muppets and made it a show that children could not watch. As a lifelong Muppet fan, my mom was offended, and is offended every time someone does something like this. The Live action Scooby Doo movies is another example.
Number 9: Women are Dumb
In many classic horror and fantasy movies, the main female is an ingenue who is too dumb to get out of her own way. You know the kind, the ones who come down the stairs after hearing a noise in their long, flowy lingerie with nothing but a flashlight or a candle, no weapons in sight. A prime example: Helen from the original Mummy.
Helen is the most cliche heroine (but this was before it was a cliche), constantly falling victim to the monster because she's just that dumb. Sure, some of it is definitely compassion for the monster, but you don't follow the monster into his lair! Are you nuts!?
Number 10: Stalking equals True Love.
My mom was stalked twice, and sees right through stalkers in fantasy. This trope is rampant in certain fantasy series, but most often used when the male character is immortal or close to. (Works involving elves or Vampires are most common) Most recently, the Twilight saga makes stalking look romantic and desirable. It's not, it's a crime, and if you're being stalked call the police immediately!
When I was taking world lit in college, I had to study the Indian epic Ramayana, a tale about a handsome prince who rescues his beloved wife from an evil demon. Now, it's a great story but when you read it as people who follow the Hindu religion do, you get one crazy religious text. In fact, no mythology is safe from really weird stuff! Entertaining as it is, mythology is really strange and my mom loves to make jokes about it.
I'm T.K. Wilson, Read my blog for great information and stories about dolls, toy restoration, Christian Fantasy and so much more! Blog updates Mondays and Fridays.