by Michael B. Hock
Bad Shakespeare is back.
I mean… ultimately Bad Shakespeare never really “went away”. I was just sort of figuring out where I wanted to go with it. When I first made the shift from “blog about anything I really felt like writing about that day” to “movie/television blog” it was sort of impulsive, but one I’d thought I’d figured out. I had enjoyed writing for Bad Shakespeare, but it was a lot. I was working a few jobs, going to school, and still trying to find myself, despite the fact that I probably should have figured it out well before I started Graduate School. But I knew I liked movies, so I figured, hey… why not pour some energy into that? Writing about movies sounds fun!
Writing about movies is a lot different than enjoying movies.
Oh, it’s not that I don’t still enjoy movies, but the advent of the internet has turned pretty much everyone into a critic. And not the good kind of critic that takes the time to look at the film. “Hot takes” are posted almost seconds after the general outline of a movie is posted, well before anything is filmed. Or cast. Or in some cases, even written. Movies are picked apart for little things that don’t really matter. And if I hear one more person talk about something that they don’t like as a “plot hole” that is not, in fact, a plot hole, I’m buying everyone in the world a book on movie terms. The first one being: That’s not a plot hole. You just don’t like it.
So yeah, it’s not like I didn’t know the internet was a basically a loose collection of bad ideas and toxic opinions strung together by electricity, it’s that I wasn’t ready for how badly it would affect me.
It started to hit me around the time La La Land was released. Now, I enjoyed La La Land. I thought it was a great movie, with an interesting use of score combined with original music to tell the story of tortured artists and the power of following your dreams. If you follow a lot of movie blogs or movie websites, you might have noticed something. When La La Land was first airing for critics and insiders, it was a smash hit. Everyone loved it! It was a frontrunner for the Oscars (the less we talk about that one, the better) and it was going to be great. Then something happened. The movie became popular, which meant all that praise quickly turned into backlash. Then this beautiful film about true love vs. following your dreams (the plot is spoiled in the first song, by the way. Literally one of the first lines is about leaving your love to follow your dreams.) was being ripped apart by people who seemed to want their hatred of it noted before anyone might confuse them with someone who liked a movie that everyone liked. They must like something that was unpopular.
Then, of course, we got the debate over Wonder Woman’s armpits based on one trailer, before anyone saw the movie, and it reached it crescendo when we started a legitimate debate over whether casting a woman in the role of The Doctor – an alien in 55 year old television show – was going to destroy the show, it’s legacy, and possibly the concept of Doctors in general. Keeping in mind of course that the Doctor has been played by 13 different actors before we got to this one, and is generally about liking each other, not being a jerk to each other, and accepting those that are different. I posted my thoughts, then I decided to sit out for a while because it was damaging the fact that I like movies.
The thing is… I missed writing for Bad Shakespeare. I missed what I was doing, I missed writing about movies and things in general. But I also had this website that I set up and I liked, and I didn’t want to just abandon it. So I’ve decided to make a few changes.
To answer your first question: Yes, Hamlet T. Wondercat will still be here. He’s not going anywhere.
I’m going to be posting about movies, and about my journey as an MFA student at George Mason University. I’m also working on something so that I can have an ongoing, serialized story from time to time. That might take a while to manifest so if it’s not around, don’t ask TOO much. I’m also going to host different writers that want a spot to put down their thoughts, like Mann’s Take, which just did his best of 2017 and has a follow up coming up.
I’m also going to try to be a lot more positive… because I think positivity is the key. Oh, things can be bad. Some things are very bad. But at the end of the day, I don’t need to make it worse.
I’m also going to find a way to put up my older website and link it here, so those of you who don’t know much about me can go back, take a look at my various adventures. I’m also going to try to link more towards social media, and reach out more. I’m going to try to be more of the Bad Shakespeare I see in the world.
As a last bit of housekeeping, I’m also taking a class in Online writing. You might see one or two things here that reference that. If you do, I expect you to say things like “This post is brilliant, and it deserves an A+”! Feel free to practice on this post.
So… here’s to a great 2018. There’s a lot of movies I’m looking forward to, and a lot of adventures I’m looking forward to having. Let’s see what’s out there.