Nov 7, 2008

[What's the Deal With Twilight?]

  My personal feelings about this series' popularity are summed up in this comic and in the hilarious book reviews by Cleolinda.

  I mean, vampire romances are legion. There are lots of far better written stories out there with characters that are not TSTL (too stupid to live) abusive, shallow, and mary sue-ish. Yet, just like with Eragon, magazines went ga-ga over it (calling it the next Harry Potter? Seriously?!) and it's fans squee over it's mediocrity with frightening intensity.

  Is it just because its fans have never read a good paranormal romance, or are that many people's idea of 'romance' really that screwed up? If Edward wasn't a vampire, would the reactions even be so intense? Because if you remove all the paranormal trappings (and rainbow glitter) the relationships in these books are just plain dysfunctional, and only get worse as the series goes on.

  In an environment where there are so many better paranormal romantic books out there as alternatives, why is Twilight singled out at the one most worthy of all this praise? I just can't understand it.

Extra: A fun podcast about fandom in general, Twilight, relationships, feminism, and a slew of other things. =)


Eleniel said...

lol. It is the exact same situation with Eragon. I think it's because the fans just don't know better, and they'll find better books and eventually look back on this time with amused embarrassment. At least, that's what I tell myself.

Pai said...

The thing that bothers me about it isn't so much that they're mediocre books, as much as they romanticize abusive behavior (stalking, controlling, pedophilia, etc) and never seem to realize how sick that really is. And that the fans of the book likewise seem to think all that stuff is 'so sweet and cute' too, and the books are marketed towards younger girls who can be influenced to see such things are desirable 'ideals' in a relationship... it just disturbs me.

Elizabeth said...

YOu are right about TWILIGHT - but book popularity is not too predictable, even with planned marketing.
And surely all vampire fiction involves controlling? For some women that`s the attraction of it...being controlled, being owned..

Pai said...

Well, the tendency to want a vicious, dangerous man 'who is really a nice guy on the inside and would never hurt ME!' is shown, in real life, to lead to generally unhappy resolutions. I think romanticizing that kind of thing isn't good. I wish that premise was challenged by more people, though from interviews with Robert Pattinson (who plays Edward in the film), it seems he at least 'gets' how screwy it is, instead of thinking it's sweet. He actively tried to play his role as 'creepy' instead of romantic, but that seemed to go over the heads of most of the fans.

Though I do personally like vampire stories (they're my guilty pleasure), I'm just disappointed THIS one gets so much praise when there are so many better romances in the genre out there, which actually deal with vampires more honestly and have more interesting relationships.