Thursday, September 3, 2015

Worried I won't hate Entourage enough

I saw a higher number of the summer blockbusters in the theater than usual this year, in large part due to acquiring my Australia film critics card in July, which enables me to see movies for free. One movie I did not see was Entourage, and not only because I didn't get the AFCA card until six weeks after its release. I probably would have felt like boycotting it even if I'd been specifically assigned to review it.

See, douchebags are no longer a draw for me.

Not that they ever were. But I am one of those who watched about half of the run of Entourage. I didn't start at the start, nor did I go back and catch up with those episodes. But I did start watching it at some point, and then stopped watching it at another point. So I saw three or four seasons somewhere in the middle of its run. More seasons than I care to admit nowadays. It was one of those "habit shows." You watch it not because you are particularly getting anything out of it, but because it feels harder to stop watching it.

Nowadays, I know better. This show was just idiotic. I never really liked any of the characters, not that you were always supposed to, or even regularly supposed to. Or really, I guess you were supposed to like them if you were of a certain mindset that appreciates mild to heavy misogyny and "boys will be boys" hijinx. But there was something slick enough about Entourage to hide those machinations and make even self-actualized human beings kind of enjoy the show. I mean, my wife watched those episodes with me, and she's no slouch when it comes to feminism.

Nowadays, we both know better.

But now that it's getting into the final third of the year, and I'm starting to make determinations about which films I will prioritize catching up with before I close my annual rankings in January, I've got Entourage staring me in the face. Will I or won't I?

The reason I'm writing about this today is that I am belatedly catching up with the Do You Like Prince Movies? podcast. On the episode I listened to on the train this morning, they discussed the finer points of the Entourage movie. And by that I mean they displayed their usual disregard for avoiding spoilers. I have to be really careful with this podcast with things I want to see -- I madly fast-forwarded through a spoiler-heavy discussion of Game of Thrones, for example -- but Entourage decidedly did not fall into that category. So now I know some things that happen in the movie that the filmmakers would probably have preferred be surprises. And it does indeed seem like I would hate the Entourage movie as much as Wesley, Alex and their special guest did.

But what if I don't?

And that's what scares me in particular about a movie like Entourage, which I ordinarily might watch just because of a general interest borne out of the seasons of the show I did watch, and failing that, just to have a movie for the bottom of my list to righteously hate on.

But what if I like it? What if I watch this movie I've been boycotting, and I actually like it? Do I want to be the guy who liked the Entourage movie? Do I even want to put myself in a position where that could possibly happen?

The right answer is, of course, "Yes." I have always tried to mold my viewing schedule after that of a full-time critic who might be assigned any movie for any reason by his editor. If you're assigned a movie, despite what I said in the opening paragraph of this piece, you are usually compelled to watch it. Besides, the critic's creed involves giving every movie the benefit of the doubt, and giving it the chance to succeed or fail on its own terms with no other baggage.

But the fact of the matter is, an editor is not assigning me this movie, so I have to make this call on my own. And I guess I would probably admit that I am curious enough about the Entourage movie that it feels like watching it should be part of my 2015 movie year.

And if douchebags do prove to be a draw for me, I'll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

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