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Quotes: Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy
Alice: I like the Walrus best because you see he was a little sorry for the poor oysters.
Tweedledee: He ate more than the Carpenter, though. You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn't count how many he took: contrariwise.
Alice: That was mean! Then I like the Carpenter best, if he didn't eat so many as the Walrus.
Tweedledum: But he ate as many as he could get.
Alice: Well! They were both very unpleasant characters.

"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!"

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

"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.

"When there's no hope — and there is no hope for any of these characters, trust me; they all die, they all die in every flick — When there's no hope for any of the characters, and they basically know there's no hope, I can't get invested in any of them. I don't care if they live or die cause they're all going to die."
Noah Antwiler, in his V-Log discussing Final Destination 5

"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 caf breakfast special by Jeffrey Dahmer!"

"For every story this season you can safely assume that everything that went wrong in the Davison era happens about twice as much, and everything that went right happens at best half as much. You can take for granted that references to the past abound for their own sake, that the stories take active pleasure in violence and pain, and that Baker is interminably unpleasant due to writing that has the childish tendency to assume that less likable characters are inherently edgier and thus more dramatic."

People generally remember two things about the show Miami Vice: ridiculous, now-hilarious pastel suit jackets, and the warm, sometimes homoerotic, chemistry between Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. Not only were the pastels removed, but thanks to Michael Mann's "style," the entire movie was so fucking dark and gritty, you could barely tell who was Crockett and who was Tubbs. Speaking of whom, the reassuring "buddy" feel that accompanied the show was completely absent from the movie Vice, and you got the impression that Farrell and Foxx genuinely hated each other. They didn't enjoy one another's company on screen and rarely made eye contact. 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.

"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"

"Is every single character in the film a loathsome cad?! Did Governor Schwarzenegger just designate Visalia [where the film is set] 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!"

I don't know why this show always has to go for sensational stuff like car accidents, attempted rapes, and shootings when it's the storylines with realistic problems and real emotion that are so much better and more effective.

An interesting interlude, but Id just like to say, I hate your ending.
Im waiting for the final interlude to make my final judgement, but Worm was a spiral of never-ending depression, every fight was worse than the last, and every moment of drama was more emotionally damaging, so really, in the end, I hoped wed finally get to see the ray of sunshine. I waited for the final emotional payoff, the moment where it all became worth it.
And the sun never really rose. It never happened.
In other words, a masterful piece of writing, but depressing as hell from start to finish.
(...)
A bullet to the brain and an unmarked grave was so sadly predictable and depressing that when I finished Worm and while earlier chapters literally left me shaking with excitement and sweating at their climax- I felt nothing when reading the ending. I completely lost my emotional investment in the series. And while my investment is no doubt less than yours, I definitely noticed the loss.
I suspect the ten thousand incidents where generosity and kindness and genuine heroism were spat on, leading up to the ending, just finally struck me all at once as Contessa shot Taylor. For a moment, I just hated every single member of the cast.
— Commenter Fantastico on Worm's ending note 

I get that we are establishing this to be a brutal world where no weakness can be shown. Fine. But you're still trying to create drama that appeals to an audience that does not live in that world. When a character kills like it's goin' out of style, do not ask me to sympathize when they themselves - or someone close to them - is being threatened with death. 'Cos that just makes them hypocrites. They're saying "This is the only death anyone should care about because this one adversely affects me."

"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

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. [...] Well, you can't take shortcuts like that and expect it to work. It's like watching a bad slasher movie (i.e, pretty much any slasher movie): if I don't care about the characters as people, then why should I give a shit what happens to them? And if the characters keep getting the rug pulled out from under them, what reason do I have to remain invested in their plight?

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