|Image courtesy Katelyn Jade|
The short answer is all of them. In following lots of lovely people from different "geek blogger" groups, I've learned that I'm just not that much of a geek these days, or at least what seems to be the Internet's idea of one. There are a lot of reasons at play in that, but the biggest one is: I have less than zero interest in fandom. Fandom as a concept bothers me and has bothered me for years. It's not because I'm on the geek hate train, either. There's something inherently consumer capitalist about fandom and about how it makes the core tenets of someone's identity based around consuming, whether in a literal sense (collecting ALL THE THINGS) or in a more metaphorical sense (i.e. media), that puts me off.
But I can give a long answer, too! Be prepared: I probably hate everything you love.
1. Harry Potter
The breathless claim that "Harry Potter is getting kids to read again!!!!" was never true for me because I already read a lot. I only picked up the series at age 14 to see what the fuss was about, and walked away very thoroughly unimpressed. (This was in 2000, so my entire Harry Potter experience ends at Goblet of Fire.) That was when I learned I was allergic to hype, and I've only become more cynical as I've aged.
I wouldn't have even minded the series so much if I didn't hear endless gushing praise over it. What started as a dispassionate indifference—"It's just not for me."—became a burning hot rage of righteous indignation—"There is so much better fantasy out there! Why this one?"
This is the point where I will probably lose a chunk of what few readers I have, but I'm standing by my unpopular opinion: even if J. K. Rowling is a really cool, progressive person, she's a mediocre writer at best and Harry Potter deserves maybe a fraction of its accolades.
2. The Hunger Games
I had a lot of thoughts on this one.
3. Literally any superhero you can name
There is a soft spot in my heart for Batman, especially 1960s campy Adam West Batman, but otherwise I'll take a hard pass on traditional superheros and traditional superhero stories. Exception granted for experimental work or clever reimaginings, a la Mark Millar's Red Son or Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol. Otherwise: not my bag.
The ensemble superhero titles like Justice League or Avengers are even worse. I can buy one superhero, if you play your cards right. An entire cast? No way. At least X-Men has the "superpowers come from random genetic mutations" conceit, which makes sense and explains why there are so many. Also, at least X-Men has a history of being a morality story about acceptance and tolerance. I'm never going to get into the series, but I'll give Stan Lee credit where credit's due.
4. George R. R. Martin
Other people have picked apart both the original novels and the show for its treatment of women, so I'm not going to add anything. But I will say that Martin is a boilerplate, pedestrian writer and I gave A Game of Thrones my best shot (at the recommendation of people whose taste I trusted) and could. not. do it. Even if he were the best, most unproblematic progressive-minded author in the world, he would still be a dull-as-dishwater writer.
5. Joss Whedon
Every heroine he writes reminds me of the legend of Pygmalion: these are characters crafted not to be interesting or well-rounded, but because Whedon can't stop compulsively creating his own perfect vision of womanhood. Since she happens to be a ~~~strong female character, he gets heaps of praise for it. The Mary Sue covered it better than I could, because I can't bring myself to watch that much of anything Whedon.
What fandoms do you just not get?