Crap – Too Good To Be “Bad”

Posted: February 22, 2019 in Uncategorized

‘So bad its good’ is a type of enjoyment that seems specific to film and television. You probably wouldn’t wilfully listen to a terrible album, read a lousy book or go to see thematically redundant art, and yet many of us will sit down and watch the worst movie we can find with glee.

For the first time, academics have delved into this phenomenon, with the journal Poetics this week publishing a study entitled: ‘Enjoying trash films: Underlying features, viewing stances, and experiential response dimensions’.

“At first glance it seems paradoxical that someone should deliberately watch badly made, embarrassing and sometimes even disturbing films, and take pleasure in them,” writes Keyvan Sarkhosh, postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics.

  1. Parker Law says:

    This article brings up a point that I think is very interesting: this “so bad it’s good” type of appreciation only really applies to films. I had never thought about it that way, but after I read that I realized if I start reading a book or listening to music that I think is bad, I just stop. However, I have seen every film in the Sharknado series all the way through more than once. I really enjoy movies, so I guess I like to watch the bad ones mostly to make fun of them and notice things that the filmmakers could have done better to make it less cheesy/predictable/etc. It did really get me thinking, though, about how I only experience that type of enjoyment with movies and sports. SportsCenter actually highlights the “Not-Top 10 plays” from across the sports world every week, and I usually have a better time watching those than I do watching the best plays of the week.

    • It may be that film is the most absorptive of all mediums. When we read, it takes more effort to lose ourselves in the book. With film it’s far easier. This seems borne out by the fact that it’s easy to turn away from a film and grab some popcorn or nudge a friend and then dive right back into the action on screen. Not so easy with a book. Fried will actually have something to say about this when we discuss him on a Tuesday.

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