I bring this up a lot when I talk about projected audiences, but a lot of media comes down to the “ice cream problem”, you tell a huge group of people they can have free ice cream as long as they all agree on the same flavour, that flavour will always be chocolate or vanilla
Almost no one gets their FAVOURITE thing, but everyone is okay with it. This applies to so many areas, because the more passionate and unique something is, the more divisive it will be. The more flavour there is, the more that flavour will not be to someone’s tastes
Many metrics we use to evaluate media have tricked people into thinking that the most agreeable option equates to the highest quality piece of art. Sites like Rotten Tomatoes exist entirely to evaluate how agreeably vanilla a piece of media is.
A 100% RT score means that 100% of people thought the movie was fine. No one has to love it, but if everyone says “yeah it’s okay I guess” that is held up as the metric of a Perfect Movie. It’s a database for evaluating the Most Vanilla Ice Cream Movie.
Unfortunate this “best = most mass marketable” has trickled down from big companies, who make these choices to maintain profits and returns on investment, to individual creatives and audiences, who now have the idea that only the most unobjectionable stories should be told.
A combination of the hustle culture that says “I can’t justify making this if it isn’t profitable” and the idea that if something is not to your taste as an audience member, it is a failing on the creator’s part for offering it to you.
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