Main Darkness Induced Audience Apathy Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

05:48:30 PM Jul 5th 2016
I think this trope either needs the examples cut or a complete clean up because its becoming Complaining About Shows You Don'tLike because people just use this trope due to a particular scene they don't like or just flat out hate the show to begin with.
06:05:03 PM Jul 5th 2016
How many examples of misuses are there? Why are they misuses? You're going to need those in order to make the case for an overhaul.

If you think you have a case, take it to Trope Repair Shop.
02:25:43 PM Aug 22nd 2016
I saw The Room listed as an example. Despite that the fact that movie is the definition of So Bad, It's Good and thus, can't be listed as it isn't a movie that is unwatchable due to how dark it is.
06:47:37 AM Sep 4th 2016
That's one, have you seen any others?
10:26:28 PM Oct 10th 2016
I've seen Jessica Jones and Daredevil listed as examples but the series still has it's share of sympathetic characters and enough of engaging plots to keep viewers in suspense.
06:57:44 AM Oct 11th 2016
I listed Daredevil S1 despite the fact I loved it because of the fact You Can't Thwart Stage One is in heavy play and for over half the season, every individual episode ends on a Bittersweet Ending at best. It's genuinely hard to watch when you can expect "this will not end well."

... and this is before S2 happens and things don't end well for other reasons...
11:46:34 AM Oct 11th 2016
I find the whole unfortunate implications regarding Daredevil BS but that's just my opinion. There have been ninjas in asian cinema and we can't ignore that asian gangs do exist. But that is another topic entirely.
12:04:54 PM Oct 11th 2016
That... is woefully missing the point of said implications. But you're right, that's neither here nor there.
11:35:34 AM Oct 13th 2016
Given that it depends entirely on audience perception, isn't the entire trope built on YMMV? A fair number of entries on the page includes qualifiers explaining why some people might feel this applies to a given work, or cite a reviewer; I wonder if that should be the baseline for what deserves an entry. Or maybe take it further and require that entries include something more specific than "many people feel...".
01:23:20 AM Oct 17th 2016
edited by Hatari05
This whole trope sounds like an excuse for audiences not to try and connect or empathize. Unlikable characters can still be connected to if you just use a little empathy. A dark and unrelentingly bleak story can highlight how important ideas like faith are which is exactly what the DCEU does. Good things are meaningless without bad things. Hope is useless without despair. This whole trope for the most part is misguided an ideal or moral can only be explored if it's tested.

A grey and grey story by it's nature needs to be dark and bleak because if a conflict has both sides having a point then all you're watching are a bunch of good people killing each other and all that remains is who loses their way first or do both. Going by this pages examples every grey and grey story would count for this trope. So this trope is in my opinion pretty stupid, i mean listen to this brief description. The plot's too dark and the characters too mean i can't enjoy it, it even sounds whiny and closed minded.
01:25:20 PM Oct 27th 2016
edited by eaterofworlds
Which is exactly why I propose examples be cut, especially since the "lack of connection" is based on ones personal taste of the matter. Especially since most of the examples are just tropers whining about a particular series.

Bojack Horseman was even listed as an example, despite the fact that the person posting the example completely missed the point about the series.
05:39:09 AM Sep 12th 2017
Yeah, honestly most of these examples come across as "It's Dark, So It Sucks", essentially the polar opposite of True Art Is Angsty. Not helping matters is that most of these examples are fairly popular making it even more questionable why they're here. Ah, the beauty of loopholes
06:14:17 PM Sep 15th 2017
Here's a part of a example that bugs me right now:"Part of the reason the James Cameron/Guillermo del Toro film of At the Mountains of Madness was canceled (the other part was an out-of-control-budget)—it's an R-rated horror film about two races of fighting Eldritch Abominations who pay no mind to the doomed humans, and, unlike, Underworld there isn't even a romantic plotline to root for.

Except it's Lovecraft so putting in romance is DRAMATICALLY missing the point.
01:20:54 PM Jan 15th 2016
edited by danime91
Could Event Horizon qualify? The more it fleshes out how The Company operates, the less I start to root for The Company. Okay, scratch that, I never rooted for The Company, but I did root for the characters. But the characters are shown doing shady, downright unethical stuff as well. And since the opposing side is Chaos and Mordor, I'm not exactly rooting for them, either. At the least, if it's not DIAA, it's starting to go that route, in my opinion.

In fact, if you set aside the large amount of HFY and future vs past curb-stomping present in these fics, I'd almost prefer that The Company fails utterly.
12:35:13 PM Jul 17th 2016
If it's characters that's the problem rather than situation it's plan and simple Audience Apathy. DIAA can appear in two situations: If the situation is so hopeless that you stop believing good guys can achieve any meaningfull victory, or there aren't any good guys to root for in the first place. Haven't seen that particular fic, but situation you describe seems to fall more under Black and Grey Morality. While it may cause DIAA it's not DIAA in itself.
08:11:04 PM Dec 29th 2015
Ask The Tropers has confirmed that DIAA can apply if a work has characters audiences would root for, except their efforts are futile, their successes fleeting, they screw things up "worse", and/or they are irrelevant in the story compared to the unlikeable factions.

Many examples of DIAA seem to fall under this. Should the main page be revised to reflect this?
01:40:42 PM Dec 23rd 2015
Can this trope apply if there are those that audiences would root for, except that they fail to actually achieve anything worthwhile?
02:46:47 AM Dec 24th 2015
Something for Trope Talk, I would say.
10:19:26 AM Dec 15th 2015
edited by CabbitGirlEmi
I have never seen ANY of Darren Aronofsky's movies, but I can tell that he is prone to this trope.
02:27:18 PM Aug 22nd 2016
Requiem For A Dream is depressing and dark sure but i don't feel this trope affects his other movies (Yes even Black Swan).
10:08:03 PM Nov 14th 2015
I want an opinion on replacing the current page quote with this:

"Ruined World + cast of jerk = I don't care what happens to these guys"
10:10:25 PM Nov 14th 2015
I like it more than the current quote. It's short and to-the-point and conveys the idea more clearly.
08:15:16 PM Aug 9th 2015
edited by manhandled
Is it possible for writers to deliberately invoke Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy (especially the hopeless variant) to make a meta-based point or comment?
06:49:29 AM Sep 4th 2016
04:58:10 AM Feb 5th 2015
Delteted this, beccause the period (2003-2007) is actually full of popular, financially successful, and fondly remembered storylines. The DCU had a period like this, from approximately the Graduation Day storyline (the Sudden Downer Ending of Young Justice) to the Sinestro Corps War. Geoff Johns (who wrote both the aforementioned storylines, though Graduation Day was mandated by Executive Meddling) may have slipped a bit of meta-commentary on this into his Infinite Crisis, as this trope is essentially the reason why the villains of that story want to destroy the universe and remake it in their image.
08:06:19 AM Dec 29th 2014
I think this page needs some seriously cleaning up, to be honest. The examples seem to have progressed from "It's set in a world completely without hope, filled with completely unlikeable characters engaged in a conflict that will have no meaningful resolution however its resolved" into "well, some dark things happen sometimes, and the characters are sometimes a bit unlikeable". Several of the examples are questionable (the Community example seems to be just complaining about one of the characters, the The Critic is apparently this because the main character was an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist for a season, etc.).

In short, one way or another I think this page needs a bit of an overhaul.
07:59:19 PM Dec 9th 2014
Removed the Final Fantasy XIII entry. The entry was:

  • The plot of Final Fantasy XIII is one of the most depressing of the series. The central theme of the first game is dealing with imminent death, and how to deal with the loss of someone you care about. By itself, that wouldn't be so bad. But, the game is so persistent about making its characters miserable and its setting more and more increasingly hopeless that, when everything does turn out okay, it feels like an Ass Pull. On top of that, the sequels retcon the plot of the first game into a "Shaggy Dog" Story, since they reveal the fal'Cie's plan to summon the Maker wouldn't have worked, which means all of that suffering the characters went through was for no reason.

The FFXIII-2 entry is:

"Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy occurs when a conflict exists that simply lacks any reason for the audience to care about how it is resolved. This is often because the setting is extremely but meaninglessly Darker and Edgier, and/or all sides are abhorrently, equally evil — or at least, far enough gone that any difference between the two is splitting hairs."

In neither case are all sides are abhorrently evil, the protagonists are protagonists, the setting is not meaninglessly Darker and Edgier (even if you did compare it to previous games).

There is dramatic tension. The situation isn't hopeless, and the Hope Spot, Ass Pull or not, is still a Hope Spot. The plot is bleak at points, but not apathetic.

XIII-2 is much closer, but the majority of the game/it's entire theme is overcoming a person's fate, the protagonists end up doing a lot of good, and it's only a plot twist at the end that turns things around. A good portion of the game is quite hopeful.
01:50:18 AM Dec 10th 2014
"the protagonists are protagonists". "Protagonist" not means "hero" but yes "main character".
04:01:26 AM Dec 10th 2014
We need a page Main Character to describe all the meanings that get applied to it.
06:12:30 PM Sep 25th 2014
A long time ago, I posted that Grey's Anatomy was prone to this trope. Why did someone delete it?
12:32:30 AM Sep 26th 2014
This was the entry.
  • It seems that Grey's Anatomy can't go one episode with nearly every doctor wasting their time arguing when they could be trying to save a patient from dying.

Zaptech removed it with the reason "Not even slightly an example of this trope."
10:17:52 AM Sep 26th 2014
How could it not? It can get annoying so easily.
01:27:14 PM Sep 26th 2014
You'll have to message them.
03:57:49 PM Sep 23rd 2014
  • What few setting spoilers are available for Third Edition Exalted hint that this problem may continue, given that they heavily emphasize that the Realm is going to lose what little moral ambiguity it still had, and become an explicitly horrible empire of horror founded on exploitation and rape. Ironically, Holden Shearer wrote this part.

Not an example of the trope. Having one ruthless, imperialistic power is not the same thing as everyone being ruthless and imperialistic; it's not even a guarantee that every member of that power is ruthless and imperialistic, nor does it ensure that said power cannot be reformed or defeated. If they set it up so both the Realm and the people opposing it are utter bastards and there's either no hint that it can be improved or no out-of-character reason to try, then we can list it here.
01:22:56 AM Sep 24th 2014
Also, I don't think that "Hints" is enough evidence to add an example on its basis.
07:53:36 AM Jun 19th 2014
Under Film we have a line about drugs/drug use... whoever the editor was that put that in, I think they were probably thinking in terms of dramas like Requiem for a Dream- but, if you count stoner comedies, then the vast majority of "drug use" films would not qualify. Cheech & Chong, Harold & Kumar... whatever Anna Faris is called in Smiley Face, those are clearly protagonists we are supposed to be cheering, and unless your audience is a bunch of hardcore prohibitionists, simply doing drugs (and acting dumb on drugs) doesn't really lead to this trope.
05:24:53 PM Mar 30th 2014
edited by
It hasn't even aired yet, but Gang Related seems to absolutely reek of it. I wish FOX would never make those kinds of shows again because that's why Lone Star failed.
05:30:39 PM Dec 8th 2013
Why was Sidekick deleted?
12:19:54 AM Dec 8th 2013
Seriously guys, can we have some neutrality in the Spec Ops the Line entry? I get it, the some people feel the game is Rail Roading or unfairly judging the player, but that's on the game's YMMV page for a reason.

Yet we keep getting nattery edits that go on tangents about it or say that the game sold poorly.

The entry says that the game mocks the player and gives some quotes as examples, we don't need people adding "But it really, REALLY mocks you and it's totally unfair"
02:10:22 PM Sep 10th 2013
I'd like to contest CatDog being on here... Especially since, after watching the series, there were many episodes where CatDog won. And I believe it may have been the point to have CatDog as the lone good guy in the show. It was in the theme song: "Alone in the world is the little CatDog... Out on the road or back in town, all kinds of critters putting CatDog down..."

Now, even though I liked the show, Ed, Edd n Eddy probably should be an entry here because there ARE people who feel that there are no likable characters in the show and that the stories are mean-spirited, like Rowdy C of TV Trash. Is that OK?
09:03:23 AM Mar 7th 2014
It's. A. Kid's. Show.

I'm pretty sure its intended audience are perfectly fine laughing at the jokes and not caring how unlikeable anyone is. I'm also pretty sure this doesn't apply when drama isn't actually the point of the show.
11:45:35 AM Jun 20th 2016
edited by Eyorecomedy
"It's a kids show"

Really? You're using that excuse?
03:01:33 PM May 31st 2013
I really don't think that Darker than Black should be in here. None of the major factions are actually "evil", and while there are unambiguously evil characters, they all get defeated. The first season even has a pretty happy ending. The second season might fall into this for the first couple of episodes, but this changes when more of the story comes out.

I'll wait and see if anyone wants to contest this though before deleting the entry.
12:34:17 PM May 30th 2013
I'd contest Codex Alera. The entry admits it's only based on the first book, but doesn't really seem to understand what was going on. Threats of rape? Performed by one guy, Kord, who never gets a chance to go through with them (though he has in the past) and is killed off karmically at the end of the novel. Odiana's backstory is horrible, but is also exceptionally crappy by the standards of the setting and not really indicative of what the world as a whole is like. Too many antagonists? While the aforementioned Kord is pretty much totally evil, the three main antagonists are Fidelias (a Well-Intentioned Extremist), Aldrick (a Noble Demon) and Odiana (a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds). Most of the ordinary Alerans we meet aren't evil at all, just people trying to live their lives, and even Kord's eldest son wants out of the "family business" as a slaver. The same is true for the Marat- though intially played as brutal barbarians, it's eventually revealed that this is just one particularly cruel leader and his followers, and most Marat aren't any more malicious than anyone else; by the end of the novel, that leader is dead and his replacements are far less bloody-minded and willing to work for peace. At the end of the story, the day is saved, the Big Bad's plan is spoiled, the two most evil villains (Kord and Atsurak, the Marat war leader) are dead, and things are really looking up. The very worst thing that happens in the novel is that the Vord wake up thanks directly to our protagonists' actions, but the true significance of that won't be apparent until later in the series. Alera is a deeply flawed society, to be sure, but I'm not sure where the person who added this entry got the idea that it's such a total Crapsack World.
05:04:25 PM May 1st 2013
I'd like to contest the Ultimate Alien example. The way I read it, this trope is not just a general trope for "dark" things, but specifically about works where both sides are so abhorrent the audience doesn't care who wins. Ultimate Alien simply does not fulfill these criteria - we always prefer Ben and his team to whatever villain they are facing this week. The only episode which even comes close to this is the Absolute Power two-parter, and even that isn't really an example.
12:11:22 PM Apr 28th 2012
edited by
In the Fallout 3 example, it's mentioned that you often have to side between factions who are both scumbags. When does this happen? Almost all of the quests have a clear 'good' faction, and the ones that don't are done well.

In the Tenpenny Tower quest, the leader of the ghouls turns out to be an asshole, but the player doesn't know that until after the quest is complete. Before that, he agrees to try and compromise with the tower residents.

The only two other times I can think of that qualify (in a very long game with lots of decisions) are the main quests of The Pitt and Point Lookout. Desmond is a demanding jerk in Point Lookout, but he keeps his word. In the Pitt, there's a whole lot of Gray and Gray morality, but I think it's done well enough not to qualify. Both characters have plasible, realistic reasons for doing what they do, and it makes sense for the player to have to choose.
11:12:43 AM Apr 25th 2012
edited by R.G.
Pick a 2000 AD title.

Any 2000 AD title.
03:15:35 PM Dec 19th 2011
Could we possibly remove the idea that the Eastern Front was a case of Evil vs Evil? I'm not Russian and I absolutely despise the Soviet Union, for the most part, but it seems utterly wrong to state that the Soviet Union was just as bad as Nazi Germany, especially since the former was never as close to being as aggressive as the latter. I want to avoid a edit war, which is why I'm asking first, but it seems like a bad idea to have any real life examples anyway...
03:39:59 AM Oct 11th 2012 "The Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомор, 'Морити голодом', literal translation Killing by hunger) was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian SSR between 1932 and 1933. During the famine, which is also known as the "terror-famine in Ukraine" and "famine-genocide in Ukraine",[2][3][4] millions of Ukrainians died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of Ukraine.[5]

Early estimates of the death toll by scholars and government officials varied greatly; anywhere from 1.8[6] to 12 million[7] ethnic Ukrainians were said to have been killed as a result of the famine. Recent research has since narrowed the estimates to between 2.4[8] and 7.5[9] million."

Probably why evil vs evil. (I wasn't the one who changed it, and this is a while after the fact...)
08:20:17 PM Sep 22nd 2011
Can i talk to someone about this? It's from the Code Geass entry:

It's already going that way early in Season One; the very first episode features Lelouch mind-controlling a platoon of soldiers into suicide and doesn't seem at all moved, and a few episodes later he carries out an operation which involves sacrificing his own troops without their knowledge as well as endangering and killing numerous noncombatants, making it rather difficult to sympathize with the protagonist.

Okay, i'm not going to try to deny that Code Geass fits this trope, because from what i can see, it does. But i am going to say that this particular entry seems a little harsh. Lelouch does some evil things, i can't (and wouldn't try) to deny that either. But other than the fact that it leaves out some information (like the fact that the Mooks were Asshole Victims). And most importantly: that part about him sacrificing his own troops a few episodes later? That's not even true.

I'm guessing that the person who posted that was talking about the battle of Narita, where he did not sacrifice his own troops, he sacrificed the JLF's troops. A dick move? Yes, but the only time he knowingly sacrificed his own soldiers was waaaaay at the end of the series. And he also didn't realize that his actions there would indanger the innocent civlians.

Basically, i'm asking someone to tone down the message and make it a little less biased against Lelouch. I'd do it myself, but as you can probably tell, i'm too biased towards Lelouch, therefore i can't really be trusted to edit it fairly. either.
07:00:46 PM Feb 20th 2013
In fact code geass not qualify. For this trope apply, the two sides must be Equally bad, while Lelouch is a manipulative bastard, he's a Anti-Villain / Type V Anti Hero.

Code Geass is Black and Gray Morality. To qualify for this trope should be Black And Black Morality.

06:28:17 PM Feb 5th 2011
Remove Ninenties Anti Hero, Because they are still far less evil than the villains.
09:33:43 AM Feb 7th 2011
edited by Natsu
No, not always. They were recurrently full-stop Psycho for Hire The Comedian-style character types, and yes they did breed extreme Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy in many readers (and even creators for that matter). There is no getting around that fact. Of course, nowadays video games recurrently take this just as far, or even further, so it's not as if it has ever been limited to one medium.
12:43:36 PM Mar 24th 2011
nineties antiheroes vs villains is Black and Gray Morality, while the darkness induced for the apathy is of Evil Versus Evil
01:59:34 PM May 5th 2013
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy can, however, set in in a work that tries to be black and grey but allows the grey to become as dark as the black.
08:55:40 PM Sep 11th 2010
edited by joeyjojo
''One of Yahtzee's common criticisms of video-games with Black And Gray Morality is that often the writers fail to give either side of the game's conflict any sympathetic qualities, leaving the player fighting for/as an unlikeable group/character, against a group/character that are even worse. As mentioned in his review of Bad Company 2: Yahtzee: Is there not some third side to this conflict I can join? Preferably one that isn't full of dicks?''

that's not really true. it's more when gameplay and story fail to intersect resulting in Moral Dissonance. like In Bad Company where your own side are firing on you just to make the game harder or like in RPG where no minds you nicking stuff. He likes games where the hero is a bastard and the game knows it.
08:34:32 PM May 16th 2010
Cutting The Great Gatsby as an example, sice it seems like the person writing it hadn't actually read the book.
03:24:19 PM Sep 20th 2011
i have, and i think it should go their. all the characters, with the possible exception of the viewpoint character (and he isnt much better), are assholes, and all end up miserable or dead by the end.
11:55:45 AM Mar 4th 2014
There's also a short story called "Paul's Case", which also qualifies. I was so frustrated with that story that I skimmed through it rather than read it. It's basically about some teenager who causes trouble at school, and either his dad hates him or he hates his dad, and also, he happens to be gay. Why not just have him be gay? He would be easier to sympathize with if he wasn't a Jerk Ass!
03:38:32 PM Apr 10th 2010
hey hey my friend-nice site!
08:03:28 AM Dec 29th 2014
edited by
[whoops — hit reply to this post instead of create a new topic.]
Collapse/Expand Topics