YMMV / The Lottery

Regarding Shirley Jackon's The Lottery
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The lottery's ultimate victim is a murdered innocent... who, one hour ago, had no apparent problem with the Lottery itself when they and their family were not in immediate danger. Should the reader pity them, or do they get what they deserve? Jackson provides a very clear example of what complicity with a corrupt system looks like.
  • It Was His Sled: Is there anyone who's been in American high school that doesn't know what the titular lottery turns out to be?
  • Jerkass Woobie: Tessie Hutchinson is a hypocrite who attempts to throw her own daughter under the bus in an effort to save her own skin when she realizes she could be this year's victim, and only protests the lottery as being unfair when it becomes clear she's in danger. It's still easy to pity her, since, hypocrite or not, she's still correct about the lottery not being right. It helps that she dies via stoning, which is a terrible (and gruesome) way to die.
  • Misaimed Fandom: While many readers were outraged by the story, others wrote to Jackson asking where they could watch a lottery. Jackson wasn't pleased by this.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The reason behind the lottery. A wife and mother is killed simply because tradition says so. And it could just have easily been a toddler.
  • Not So Crazy Anymore: The story was written in 1948-15 years before the murder of Kitty Genovese and the coining of the "bystander effect," the Stanley Milgram obedience experiment, and Hannah Arendt's book on the Nazis' "banality of evil." Jackson was impressively ahead of her time for writing about a group of average non-evil citizens who are willing to murder a neighbor with their own hands just because of peer pressure and because it's traditional.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: So says Old Man Warner in-story.
  • Vindicated by History: At its publishing, The Lottery had some criticism. Today, it's taught in school literature classes and considered one of the best American short stories ever written.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?

Regarding the unrelated 2014 TV series The Lottery
  • Idiot Plot: The series starts with Dr. Alison Lennon successfully creating 100 fertilized embryos for the first time in ten years. She tells the government that she isn't entirely sure how it happened and more research needs to be done. The government fires her under suspicious circumstances, which starts her on a long path of distrusting the government and finding ways to subvert them. After a whole bunch of drama (and even water torture), the government decides to hire her back the very next episode and force her to...continue the very research she was planning on doing anyway. Seriously, all the subversive things that she does in every episode that follows wouldn't have happened had the government not decided to fire her and then forcibly rehire her a few days later.
  • Too Good to Last: Sadly despite having a relatively interesting plot and that the final episode ended with the possibility of a second season, it was not renewed for one.