Most people will know what this means.
At some point in your life there is probably a book or game series that you love that got the big screen or smaller screen treatment. You ignore that gut feeling that it won’t be what you expect and end up leaving pretty disappointed.
Some of them work. They might not be the best but they don’t suck either, some are magnificent in their own way so that the cut content and usually added new content doesn’t bother you and others…
Others suck balls.
I find myself in a funny position where I, a Discworld fan, have finally found the one thing that I cannot help but be upset with.
Being told that it is INSPIRED by the books and not BASED on them isn’t helping either!
I tried not to rant about the new Watch adaptation when the casting was announced because I was worried with emotions running high I would say something without explaining it and come across as being… Not a very nice person. The world of the Discworld is changing so much for this adaptation that every time news of it surfaces I die a little inside.
At long last I feel how my mum feels about the Lord of the Rings movies, you know those world renowned movies that most people think are still to this day some of the best movie adaptations ever made.
Thing is sometimes there is something that just touches you so much that you can’t let go of how hurt you feel when it ends up not being what you loved.
With my mum it was the cutting of many of the parts of the books that she loved out, mainly I think Tom Bombadil, they needed to be cut else those movies would have been about 12 hours each but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t hurt her not to see the magical parts of the books she remembered brought to the big screen. Add this to the fact that some of the biggest set pieces in the films were made up for various reasons and she can’t bring herself to love them as much as she wants to.
Similarly I personally don’t like watching the Prisoner of Azkaban.
One of my all time favourite books but the adaptation of it baffled me, the casting, pacing of the story and complete lack of sense of some of the cutting up of the time line just makes it a bit of a sad watch for me but it is still a must watch in a Harry Potter marathon because why would I miss any of those films?
We have this new Sonic movie coming out that, you know, everyone is a little worried about and for probably good reason. That being said… What is the story of Sonic? What source material is really being ruined? It is just going to adapt a game that doesn’t really have a story.
Hell my favourite game series is Mortal Kombat and I love the stupid MK films. Or Doom, people hate Doom but I love it. Super Mario Bros… Fav film.
Thing is it happens to all of us.
If we hold something close to our hearts when it gets adapted there is a part of us that want it done right.
You don’t go to see a movie or sit down to watch a TV show based on something you love to see something you don’t understand or remember ever being a thing. You watch it to see those stories and characters brought to life.
Usually I will give a pass to just about anything because at the end of the day there are time limitations, people interrupt things differently and sometimes it is fun to out your own spin on things.
Inspired by instead of Based on is a easy way of telling people that you have picked what you love about something and taken it to make something of your own. Or in some cases you’ve taken a popular IP to bring in fans of the series but have no intention of actually doing anything with the actual IP itself other then rip the names and places from it.
Today I have been accused of all sorts from being a Stig in the Dump, backwards thinking as well as being accused of Gatekeeping the fandom.
Because these books mean so much to me that I was kind of looking forward to seeing the characters who saved my life in many ways portrayed as the characters I knew and loved. I’ve not said anything negative about the casting or even said anything horrible about the actual show. All I’ve done is state my unfortunate opinion which is to me this is not The Watch.
Does being Inspired by it make it better?
People don’t read the fine print.
Fans aren’t tuning in for something “Inspired” by these books to find out that the time line has been changed, characters identities have been modified and the world itself is completely different.
For a change I am one of those fans.
I’m usually on the other side saying give it a chance but for the first time ever I’m actually looking at it from the heartbroken side of the fence and can now understand why people get so upset by these things. For the first time I looked at the excuse that this is INSPIRED by a great series of books and get angry.
Is this Gatekeeping?
Am I backwards?
I’ve never in my life thought that of anyone who is simply upset about something that means so much to them being changed drastically. Specially not someone who might have been looking forward to something for a very long time. Where fans go overboard for me is when they act like the sky is falling, insult everyone and everything and refuse to watch but continue to act like it is the worst things they’ve ever seen even though they haven’t seen it.
There is a fine line I guess between being upset and stating that and going over the top about it.
We have a right though don’t we?
That simple right to say “this isn’t what I wanted and I’m upset.” In no way is my disappointment that one of my literary heroes (Lady Sybil Ramkin) is being turned from a crazy, Dragon Lady who turns her nose up at doing what she “has” to do and instead does what she wants into a young crime fighter vigilante. Such a beautiful love story between two outcasts, a larger older woman who in many ways helps save the day and gets the happy ending most people dream of being wiped away for in many ways a “sexier” version of that.
Why can’t I be upset by that?
In book form Sybil Ramkin was a character whose appearance kind of mattered to me as someone who has always been on the bigger side, has given up on ever finding love but who is passionate and wants to do the right thing. In my darkest times I turn to the Watch stories to read her story over and over and remind myself at some point down the line I might too one day find my own Sam Vimes.
Why can I not be upset that in some ways my representation, the character who saved my life and who means a whole damn lot to me is being wiped away for a better looking version that looks to have little to do with the classy wonderful character I grew up inspiring to be like?
It isn’t just Sybil though.
For me the Watch meant so much as a outsider. Seeing them fighting against the world as the world turned their backs on them showed me that it didn’t matter if I didn’t fit in I still had a place in the world.
So what the series isn’t going to be about that can’t I find something else to love about it?
Does it make me a bad person that before I’ve even seen it I get upset that they’ve taken such a important part of what made the books special to me away from me?
I don’t want to watch it for many more reasons then that but I’m one of those people who won’t be able to help themselves when the series gets here and I know I’ll be disappointed no matter what happens next.
I think the problem is sometimes people can’t take away the thing they loved and see something for what it is.
Some people don’t want to give things a chance not because they are Gatekeeping or being awkward but because they are genuinely hurt. Of course at the end of the day everyone should give all of these things at least the decency of a chance before they write it off but for the first time in my life I see the very tempting side of just being grumpy about it forever and never actually watching it.
I guess sometimes even if you think you are open minded something touches a nerve so deeply you just close yourself off to it.
Maybe for your own good.