Quotes / Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy

Newspapers

That things happen as they do in Shuttle I suppose is true, however rarely. But a film can have an opinion about them. This one simply serves them up in hard merciless detail. There is no release for the audience, no "entertainment," not even much action excitement. Just a remorseless march into the dark.
Roger Ebert on Shuttle.

Web Animation

The characters have achieved nothing, learned nothing, and will hopefully now jump into a big black hole and RETURN to nothing! Just as the visuals succeed too well at being deliberately hideous, the protagonists succeed too well at being deliberately wankers! There's nothing fun about the game, no light relief; just one piece of nauseating unpleasantness after another, like a roadside café breakfast special by Jeffrey Dahmer!

Web Original

Iím pretty sick of tortured characters being depressing. Too many stories seem to revel in the second act at the moment. Iím not a fan of the second act.
Tom Taylor, IGN Comics interview on Injustice: Gods Among Us

By all means, writers, let your story wander around the dank, twisty little passages. You may even permit that journey to come to a bad end. But without some light source, your story will be eaten by the Grue of Indifference.
The dePlume Dimension, "Always Keep a Door Open"

This entire show is so amoral that it had to be pulled off the air after one of the contestants murdered and dismembered a woman who later had to be identified by her breast implants. And what's crazier than that is that given a choice, he wouldn't even be the first one you execute. Megan Wants a Millionaire is a Greatest Hits of man's inhumanity to man. They probably burned down an Indian reservation to build the set, and during a few scenes you can see the altar of panda bones where Megan has congress with the Beast.

My real issue with "Everything Changes" isnít the childishness of its nature but how none of the characters are especially likable. If Davies really is a fan of Joss Whedonís work then he really hasnít taken notes on his ability as creator of a agreeable company — Whedonís gift is giving the audience a way in to an absurd premise like Buffy through hilarious, flawed but fundamentally decent characters. Davies in comparison fills his show to bursting with unpleasant people; morally bankrupt, egotistical, smug and self important. They arenít people that you would want to spend any amount of time with and that is a real problem when you are trying to endorse a pilot for a longer series.

It's like the absurdity of the '90s fucked the grittiness of the '80s and then they both doubled-teamed decency until... you know, I could go on here but then I'd be getting as graphically vile as this title itself.

You half expected them to turn their guns on each other. Not that you'd know which cop to root for if it did come down to that, as there was zero character development and the whole thing looked like it was shot through a rusty window screen.

Thunt hasn't shown much ability to make the audience sympathize with the characters by fleshing them out (certainly not with the "main" group of characters), so his only recourse is to constantly shit on them so that the audience sympathizes with their plight. In fact, Thunt is so adamant on this tack that he pursues it even when it results in phenomenally bad narrative decisions, like killing off a main character for no reason at all and with no payoff or flushing several months of character development down the toilet... And if the characters keep getting the rug pulled out from under them, what reason do I have to remain invested in their plight?

Watching cardboard characters meet horrible fates can be entertaining, but where's the fun in watching real human beings die in what you thought was going to be light entertainment? A certain plot development in one of the films mentioned here made me sob so convulsively it almost washed my contact lenses away, and, honestly, I'm not sure how much of that level of cinematic trauma I could take. The better-written the characters, the harder their deaths are going to hit us Ė but how grief-stricken do we really want to be?

By the time you get to the game itself, it's just this ugly game filled with mean things that happen to people you don't care about.

Web Video

Making every hero on earth as dark as Batman? That was your master plan? Great. So, after the audience gets bored to tears by every hero being just like every other hero, they'll be so depressed over how freakin' BLEAK they are, they'll KILL THEMSELVES!

All that happens is that Picard discovers that if he grew up in a space mine, he'd just turn into a raging psychopath that pulls a spike through his guts. Gee, how uplifting. But couldn't they've ended it like the show ended? With a nice game of Pinochle? somethin' where ya don't feel like slitting your wife's wrists?

(oh and in related news: Bambi killed herself in the bathroom after I found out she was TAKIN' MONEY OUTTA MY WALLET I guess she felt guilty about it.)

Is every single character in the film a loathsome cad?! Did Governor Schwarzenegger just designate Visalia as a haven for assholes that were too assholian for greater Los Angeles? Is the town built over a hellmouth that attracts people who are less appealing than Richard III?! I don't want to sound callous, but... I want to see this place become a crater!

Mr. Enter: This movie here is just a 30-minute heartbreaking moment with very little relief anywhere. It becomes a slog.
Leaf: [crying] I think it's about time I will be flying with the wind again.
Mr. Enter: All right, see ya! Have fun dying! Oh, what? I'm supposed to feel sorry for the leaf? Well, I can't. To protect them from being abused, my emotions have detached themselves from this animated film. I can't care about shit if I wanted to, both literally and figuratively.

Don't have a point and be as raunchy as fuck, you'll be hated, despised, and yes, deserve to be ERASED! [...] Why should you have a point? Because when you don't have a point you go around disgusting people and BORING PEOPLE! When shows exist just to shock, they always turn out terrible. Always!

"One of the big reasons I tend to stay away from triple-A games is because they're dark, gritty, and hopeless nature. These games are constantly showing you just how worthless, evil, and monstrous humanity can be, and in many circumstances, there's no hope for them, or even you. There's simply the somber and sobering story of 'life is cruel, then you die'"

Real Life

Gotta have opposites. Light and dark, dark and light... You have light-on-light, you have nothing. You have dark-on-dark, you basically have nothing.

Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.

And what are we left with? Monsters killing monsters?
Todd MacFarlane, on Spawn's depiction of Heaven.

It's the monotone crapness of everything — governments, cultures, people, Exalts, gods, the cosmos, everything. No redeeming features, nothing worth fighting for, nobody who'd bother to get up off their ass or stop filling their pockets to do the fighting even if there were. Dark and shitty.
Exalted freelancer Holden Shearer, defining the term "shitdark"

I would watch every episode, and afterward, I would just feel like I couldnít sleep at night, it was so dark. I guess that was instructive to me. That show told me, ďBe honest with your show, make it as dark as it needs to go, but youíd better find a way to leaven it with humor, otherwise people are going to want to slit their wrists after they watch it.Ē
Vince Gilligan on Millennium

Both the story and the score were deliberately nerve-jangling and harsh; Grind was a show about violence, and it was frequently ugly and unpleasant. So Grind was not the kind of musical audiences took to their hearts.
Ken Mandelbaum, Not Since Carrie


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