"Hey, let me tell you something. I just finished this show/movie/book, and it's awesome! You'll totally love it! It's so artistic! You'll fall in love with all the characters, and when you see what happens to them it will just break your heart! If the last part doesn't make you cry for weeks, then man, you have no soul!... Hey, where are you going?"
Art is often seen as a reflection of life, for good or for bad. Thus, it is not surprising that much of art contains elements that may be considered, well, downright depressing and full of Conflict that grabs the attention. Everyone agrees that artistic creators should have access to the wide range of human emotions in the characters and events depicted within their works, and no one blames them for attempting to inspire the same range within their audience. Indeed, one of the things most disquieting about Plato
's The Republic
is how Socrates
bans any emotional art from his supposed utopia
. Without the influence of the tragic, we would not be able to experience some of the most critically-lauded works that have ever been created.
However, art is also seen as Escapism
, and rightfully so. Everyone agrees (or perhaps should
agree) that people are allowed to have their own tastes in the media they consume, and to have their own particular limits in how much fictional sadness and "interesting" conflict they are willing to put up with
, simply because how everyone has their own real life problems to consider. It is not too much to ask for entertainment to be entertaining
! If someone prefers a Warm And Fuzzy Feeling
over how the realism and catharsis of a tragedy or Current Events-based dystopian
literature allegedly gets you to "think" (or enjoys either one depending on their mood), then more power to them. Only a very few wants a world where everyone believes that "Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!
" and that the only True Art Is Angsty
, and anyone who thinks happy art cannot be good art is certainly not understanding enough. Angst Aversion
then is the situation occurring when these two conceptions collide: The personal tendency for a person to avoid a work once they hear it has an unhappy ending, or is generally filled with sympathetic characters that will be put through hell.
is likely the number two reason for Executive Meddling
, behind the belief that Viewers Are Morons
. People like (and will pay for) happy endings
, and executives know it.
This should not be confused with Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy
, though both can be caused by the same general issue.