Of Tears and Hurts | Some Self Discovery on Films and Fandoms


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The past month I’ve come to some awareness to certain aspects of my life in regards to movies and TV, and writing about my thoughts is great therapy for me, so I thought I’d write this post up and share it.

Well, the last week was brutal fandom-wise for me; The Walking Dead mid season finale was devastating; I had tears in my eyes the entire last half of that episode and was very distressed.Β And as all my Twitter followers should know πŸ˜‰ I flew through Season Four of Doctor Who and had to say goodbye to Ten, David Tenant’s Doctor.Β Through three seasons I got attached to him and his last farewell was very sad. I didn’t want to see him go. I did cry but it was after I shut down Netflix and walked away because Eleven’s sudden appearance broke the build of emotion (which I did not appreciate, by the way.)

But when I did cry, I cried hard because I felt I had once again lost another friend and that’s a veryΒ devastatingΒ feeling to me. I cried and cried in the bathroom for probably two solid minutes and then came out all red eyed. Kayla was very supportive of me that night and I ate sugar and watched Downton Abbey with Mom.

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But it felt good to cry. And I’ve been crying more over movies and TV recently, which for a while I thought was rather weird. But I’ve realized that I feel better afterwards when I do. It’s because I am acknowledging that I am sad and am expressing it in a healthy way. It doesn’t stay pent up in me forever; I grieve because I care and when I’m done grieving I can pick myself up and move on. I think it’s been a healthy step for my emotional side, to become more in tune with my feelings and let them come out more.

That’s not the only thing I’ve realized in regards to myself with movies and TV the past few weeks. I’ve realized how I feel about Christian critical ‘thinking and sharing’ about films and TV, especially here on the Internet, for me personally. I’ve come to some conclusions.

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For most of my teen years, my family spent all it’s time in a very conservative, small church circle. Movies and talking about movies didn’t really mix there. One of the reasons was because it was considered good thing to ‘think critically’ when it came to films. In many ways talking or sharing about movies with those kids became a very distasteful thing; it felt as though, if I or my sister spent more time talking about what we liked about a movie and not what we discovered was wrong about a movie, it felt like we weren’t quite as up to par as the rest of the children. This was part of the problem, of course, that I felt like I had to be up to par compared to other childrenΒ who were being raised differently then we were.

And ‘thinking critically’–or rather ‘sharing critical thoughts out loud‘ rubs me the wrong way now because of those experiences, which includes experiences with my dad when he still lived with us because he really liked tearing movies apart. He nearly ruined our first viewing of Iron Man because of how much critical speech came out of his mouth the next day. It made watching movies almost a dread because I felt like I couldn’t enjoy the experience when I was going to have to tear it apart right afterwards.

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Even though I’ve been away from that atmosphere-that more extreme thinking-for quite some time, I still sometimes feel that I must include with my movie reviews ‘warnings’ and/or proof that I still am up to snuff. And that’s burdensome. It weighs down on my spirit, being busy worrying if I’m spiritual enough for some people. I feel as though I am still stuck in the old even though I’m not.

And so I recently came to to the conclusion that from now, until I feel better about the entire matter, I will no longer write anything about a movie unless I want too. I won’t include or acknowledge un-biblical issues in movies on my blog UNTIL I have been able to recover or unless I really want to. But at this point I don’t want too for most cases because I feel like when I do, I’m only doing what some people expect me to do, or prove myself worth something in some sort of twisted sense that is not biblical at all.

I feel as though the only way I’ll ever be able to get back to real, biblical, properΒ criticalΒ ‘sharing’ isΒ to not do it at all.

(This would include me feeling responsible for warning people of anything distasteful in a movie; do your own research on a movie before watching! Everyone’s standards are different and what I might findΒ except-ableΒ might not be inΒ your book.)

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Don’t get me wrong, I do understand the importance of thinking critically in regards to media and entertainment. But feeling like I HAVE to share my critical thoughts is horrible. I need to get back to just talking about movies and enjoying the good in them without an unhealthy old burden from three years ago still weighing on my head.

Coming to this realization has been very freeing. My mom is very supportive of my discovery of this and with support, I hope to be on a road to real recovery in this area in my life in the future.

In conclusion: I would like to encourage anyone who hasn’t done so already, to do some soul searching of your own. Come to grips with some things that you might be doing only out a fear and see if you can get to the place where you can either stop doing them or can do them for the right reasons. It’s very freeing, lemme tell you!

PS Short movie reviews Β now coming!

~Jamie

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12 thoughts on “Of Tears and Hurts | Some Self Discovery on Films and Fandoms

  1. It’s very hard to realize that some of our ways of thinking that affect us negatively originated with one, or both of our parents. It’s even harder to overcome that early conditioning. You’ve recognized the problem and are well on your way to overcoming it. I wish you all the best.

  2. Amen, Jamie!

    I can so relate to this post. {And so will Holly, who will love your thoughts on this!}
    I’m currently on a Hill Street Blues kick, another cop show from the 80’s, set in the inner city of Chicago. There are so many things about it that make me cry and make me smile, and I love so many of the characters: Henry, the Jewish negotiator who gets nervous around authority and yet who is so brave when he needs to be…
    and Andy Renko, the Irish cop who gets in fights and who seems rough-around-the-edges but who is really very sensitive and as loyal as can be {and who had his heart broken in Season One, in a scene that tore my heart too}….
    And Detective J.D, who is a guy that I started off hating in episode one.
    {He was too slick!} and yet when they revealed the sad soul under that facade of carefree jokester, then I really started loving J.D….
    And Sgt. Esterhaus who leads the morning roll call and always ends it with “Hey, hey, Lets be careful out there!”

    And Officer Lucy Bates, whose new partner Joe is falling in love with her and she doesn’t know how to handle that. And there’s so much goodness in this show, 80 percent of the time, for at least the first three seasons.

    When I discuss Hill Street, I want to focus on the goodness. I want to talk about how Andy wears cowboy boots with his uniform and how he and his partner are completely lost without each other. I want to talk about Lucy and how I admire her strong femininity.
    I want to talk about Mick Belker, the detective who keeps a pet mouse in his pocket and about Lt. Howard Hunter, whose solution for everything is to shoot it down or blow it up.
    I don’t want to talk about the other 20% where stuff that didn’t need to be in there was in there. If it’s really bad, I just skip over it and pretend it isn’t there, because it usually doesn’t fit the character anyway. πŸ˜€

    Watching this show together gets me and my Mom and my Sis all onto the couch, with blankets and pillows and Sam the Cat and a laptop, and off we go to Hill Street, to Roll Call with Sgt. Esterhaus and then out to street patrol with Renko and his partner Bobby and Lucy and her partner Joe, or we end up on an undercover operation with J.D Larue and Neil Washington, maybe have a stop for lunch at the diner these cops favor, where Mick sits calmly eating smoked fish heads or cabbage and onions, while everyone else opts for cherry pie and sandwiches. πŸ˜€

    Next time I discuss my two favorite fandoms with somebody, I’m stealing your quote right here: “Don’t get me wrong, I do understand the importance of thinking critically in regards to media and entertainment. But feeling like I HAVE to share my critical thoughts is horrible. I need to get back to just talking about movies and enjoying the good in them without an unhealthy old burden from three years ago still weighing on my head.”

    I think what you’ve got here is a really balanced approach. It allows us to delight in the good, and to let the good shine in our memory when we think of our favorite films.

    So thank you for outlining this wholesome approach, and thanks for letting me give you a ramble about Hill Street Blues. πŸ˜€
    Hoping your day is awesome!
    ~Faith

    1. I’m so glad you’ve found another great show that you and your mom and sis can enjoy together! It sounds like the perfect show for you guys!! πŸ˜€

      Steal away, I’m so glad it my post clicked with you!!! I hope you’re days is awesome as well!

      ~Jamie

  3. I WEPT when Ten regenerated!! It’s Tennant’s big eyes 😦 Recently, I watched “Reichenbach Fall” (again) and then watched “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2” in the same night. Needless to say, it was a very soggy evening πŸ˜›

    Now, to the body of your post: kudos to you for recognizing what hurts and how to fix it! It’s one thing to exercise discernment, another to look for problems, and another again to have to prove your discernment on every single movie!

    I don’t know if, down the road, this idea might help you, but my rule of thumb is that I mention the bad only to younger people or to parents considering allowing their kids to watch the show/movie. “Thor 2” WAS AWESOME….had a couple bad words. Ordinarily, I’d take the good, toss the bad, but my younger siblings want to watch it too, so I made it a point to catch the objectionable stuff. Among peers? I’ll mention only the stuff I know they might stumble at.

    And finally, for the record, “Iron Man” rocks. As does, surprisingly, Iron Man 3!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment–I was pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who sobbed when Ten left us!!!

      Your rule of thumb is awesome and pretty much what I would usually off the Internet for sure. I’ve not used it in a while since I have no social life right now. 😦 And I’m definitely careful about what my younger brother watches, but that’s a given. πŸ˜›

      YES IRON MAN ROCKS! LOL Iron Man 3 was fantastic, I thought. I even enjoyed Iron Man 2, which I know is rare, but it was a fun ride even thought it is NOT Marvel’s best. πŸ˜›

      ~Jamie

  4. How well I know this tension…the struggle between being discerning and throwing the baby out with the bathwater, between respecting others and being yourself. How well I know it.

    I *like* analyzing movies. My brother says I “over-think” them too much, haha! (Meaning, I think about every little nuance and intricacy of the plot for days–or weeks–or months–afterward πŸ˜‰ ) That doesn’t mean I’m bashing them senseless, though–unless it really IS a stupid film and I can’t even remember the last time I watched a film I absolutely hated. Usually I watch a movie the first time with my antennas on high-alert–but then by the second (or third, or fourth) viewing I’m enjoying myself immensely. I just want to be able to say, “Okay, this is what I like, this is what I don’t like,” because I *enjoy* being balanced and I want to have a good, reasonable perspective.

    But I DO get frustrated with people who throw the baby AND the bathwater halfway to the moon! I’m even beginning to question some of the negative things I’ve heard about certain films, because these particular critics have recently been shown to be outrageously hypocritical and/or unbalanced.

    Take “Catching Fire.” My dad was telling me about a podcast from a certain prominent teacher who reviewed the film, but I had to stop him halfway through the telling and say, “Oh, no, Daddy, I’m not even a Hunger Games fan but I can tell you right here and now that THAT negative statement voiced by this teacher about Katniss Everdeen isn’t true at all.” I understand if someone doesn’t like THG but don’t run around making slanderous statements about it.

    And at the same time I’ve struggled with being afraid of what others might think of me if they found out I liked this or that book or movie. For a long time I kept my movie likes “private” on Facebook, but there came a point this year when I made them public. You know what, this is who I am, this is what I like; if I keep my interests secret, how is anyone ever going to get to know me? If you want to discuss the film or novel, by all means, let’s do it and with enthusiasm! But I’m not going to live in fear that someone will stumble simply by discovering that I like The Lord of the Rings or that I’ve been a die-hard fan of Lois Lowry’s books since I was 9.

    Apologies for the long comment πŸ˜‰

    1. πŸ˜€ I like your long comments, you always have something good to say! πŸ˜€

      I think you easily have the right personality for movie analyzing AND I think you still have a way better balanced view of analyzing movies then other people I know.

      OH MY GOSH. I had hoped Catching Fire wasn’t going to get put through the wringer like The Hunger Games did. That made me so mad the first time because I knew so much of what A Certain Pastor was saying about it was wrong and said out of almost out of spite. My dad wouldn’t even watch the movie after hearing that talk about The Hunger Games, even when Kayla and I told him it was completely inaccurate. That made me so angry. And Catching Fire was a fantastic movie and the messages in it are excellent. I don’t know how any conservative can not like it since it’s about young people rebelling against an unbiblical, ruthless, tyrannical government! HOW DOES A REPUBLICAN OR CHRISTIAN NOT LIKE THIS MESSAGE?!?!?!?!? πŸ˜›

      I’m so glad you’ve been able to make the step to being more open about who you are! That’s fantastic! I’ve had a hard time doing that too, but I’ve been using Letterboxd’s film diary I keep to practice publicizing the movies I’m watching even if I feel like people will judge me because I watched it and or liked it. πŸ˜€ So, you and me both!

      Love you, thanks so much for commenting!

      ~Jamie

  5. I can’t really say much about being emotional during movies/TV/fiction since I almost never am, at least in a sad way. I have felt sad when certain characters die and when shows end (although I a used to it since the majority of my favorite shows are canceled without proper conclusion), but I’m a man so I don’t get emotional.

    However, that is good that you are not going to be critical about the content in movies and such. In my reviews, I usually tend to avoid comments on content as well because everyone’s opinion of what they want to watch is different. But I do have limits, and if I were to directly suggest something to someone, I would give warning about the content. If someone recommends something to me, I always check it out for myself to see if I want to watch it. In my reviews, I just give a general warning if a movie is rated R, or if a PG or PG-13 movie should have an R rating I might mention that. Also anime is one area where I feel the need to warn people due to the preconceived notion by Americans (and other westerns) that animation is for kids, and from what I have seen with anime, that is CERTAINLY not the case. Same for comic book.
    If there is a some thing in a movie and such that I disagree with a lot, I usually just avoid ever writing about it or mentioning it again since I typically did not like the movie in general.

    But what I am trying to say is that I am glad that you have made a decision about that and I like how you are going to handle it, and I fully support you in your choice. πŸ™‚

    On Tennant’s departure, just think once you reach the Day of the Doctor, you get to see more of him. πŸ˜‰

    I can’t wait to read more of your reviews!

    PS: I hope to watch the Walking Dead mid-season finale tomorrow! πŸ˜€

    -James

    1. I think it’s pretty normal guys don’t get that emotional over entertainment but I wouldn’t consider it a bad thing if some did. πŸ™‚

      I think you do great with your moderate warnings; it kinda comes with the territory with running a movie review blog. Warnings are good, like you pointed out, when there’s a general misconception about something and you know a lot of people don’t fully understand something right–like with your example of Anime. But anyway, thanks so much for supporting me, that really helps a lot!!

      I know! It’s been nice seeing new gifs of him as Ten on Tumblr; I can’t wait to see the special myself though.

      OOoooh, goody, then we’ll both be completely caught up! I hope you fare better watching it then I did. 😦

      ~Jamie

  6. I love stories – as you know πŸ™‚ – and I love movies as a format for telling them. I love thinking about stories, all the different parts (lots of ‘love’ going around here!). If I don’t like a movie it doesn’t hold much interest for me so I just don’t care to spend time writing about it on my blog or anywhere else. But I agree with you that it’s important as Christians to recognize both the good and the bad in a story (or in real life, or anything). But certain ways of “recognizing” good and/or bad just aren’t Biblical, obviously, and I think you’re smart to be concerned about finding the right balance. πŸ™‚

    xoxo

It always makes my day to see your messages! Don't forget to check back, I try to write back to you too! <3

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