Nostaliga as a weapon, plus Come See me at Dallas Strip-Con this Saturday!

I will be at the Dallas Strip-Con this Saturday for anyone who wants to meet me.  We may even record a live episode there!  Come see me, I may even draw something for you.

But back to the topic at hand:  Nostalgia being used as a weapon.  Nostalgia is a funny thing; something that can’t be measured, intangible, and full of good feelings.  But, because it cannot be measured, it should never be used as a way to rate a show.

Believe it or not, there is actually a way to measure how a story is written:  It’s by using things like plot points, characterization/character growth, plotholes or lack therefor of.  And no, there is no “And that’s fine, but…” because a story is a story is a story.  Ultimately, we go into these cartoons for the story.  Even if the animation gets dodgy, if the story is good, we stick around.

As I detailed in a comment earlier, using Nostalgia is a weapon against criticism is like using a feather pillow against an armed attacker: it’s full of good feelings, may actually feel heavy in your hands, but will have a feather-light impact.  I know what nostalgia is, and believe me, I have felt nostalgia in the past.  I had great memories of watching the Critic when it first aired…

Then I watched it again and I cannot believe what dreck it was.  Badly timed jokes, full of ‘Murphy Brown’-esque period jokes, and bland animation.  It’s not Family Guy bad, but it’s certainly not good in the least.  The difference is, when watching The Critic again, it’s badness was so apparent, that nostalgia withered away on the vine.  For anyone else, that nostalgia will somehow, magically, elevate a turd into gold.  I’m just saying that, looking at the actual work itself, minus the nostalgia, that won’t happen.

The same for Fox’s X-Men.  Someone not blinded by Nostalgia cannot possibly say the animation was ‘as good’ as Evolution.  Like storytelling, animation can be judged by scientific qualities such as being on model, good use of frames per second, good color models, good use of backgrounds….  Against Evolution, Fox fails in all these properties.

So we ask you, listeners and future guests, that when we rate a show, you keep in mind that nostalgia doesn’t exist for a new potential viewer.  A new viewer will not absorb your childhood feelings from Saturday Mornings long past through contact.  If you insist on making someone new watch these shows simply due to your own nostalgia, you will put them through a lot of pain.

— Ben the Host(NOT a Nostalgia Critic).

4 thoughts on “Nostaliga as a weapon, plus Come See me at Dallas Strip-Con this Saturday!

  1. Ben and I actually DO experience nostalgia, but we don’t let it cloud our judgment. For example, my favorite show growing up was Transformers, but I would never put it on a top 20 list, unless I was just blatantly admitting that it only applies to me and my tastes.

    We have to remember that most of what we liked as kids is locked in that generation’s frame of reference. We didn’t have a bajillion cartoon channels like we do now. Cartoon time was special. We got about six hours on Saturday Morning and a couple hours on weekday afternoons, but that was it. And if we missed any of it, we were out of luck until the reruns.

    Kids today just don’t give a crap what our favorite shows were back then, because it’s a completely different market now. If you’re going to recommend something, it had better be good, because they’re going to be a lot more harsh than we are. They just won’t watch it. The more you have to EXPLAIN it to them, the more disinterested they’re going to be. And you know what? They have every right to do that.

    On this show, we mostly like to talk about what makes a good cartoon work. Not what we liked as kids.

  2. Fasinating, you guys certainly up the anti on standards. It seems what Blanchard said really got to you, and I can understand that dilema since no matter what you said, there was no changing his mind on the subject. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind for future reference and an open ear for your next podcast of course.

    • ‘Up the anti’? It’s not so much Blanchard, but something Neil and I have been hearing from multiple people, you included, that nostalgia is this warm, fuzzy, feeling that negates all wrongs a show might have. The thing is, nostalgia is as easy to defeat as finding someone born 5 years later than yourself.

      This goes back to a phrase I’m sure you’re familiar with: ‘the test of time’.

    • I believe that’s supposed to be “up the ante.”

      The Blanchard thing is another matter, actually. That was just him not understanding the purpose of the episode.

      We have our nostalgia. I don’t hide. I embrace it. I have shows that are guilty pleasures. There’s one that I know will surprise Ben.

      Our standards are pretty simple. We don’t want to be the naked emperor.

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