What’s Good About Twilight: Observations from a non-Twihard with a head-cold

Every time I get really sick, I end up watching something I otherwise would have avoided.

This tendency is born of a desire for easily-digestible entertainment in my physically diminished state.

Last time I was sick, I watched the entire first season of the cartoon Transformers: Prime (and later went follow the show obsessively to its conclusion two seasons later, but that’s a topic for another blog post).

This time, it was the last three movies of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga that I’d yet to see: Eclipse, Breaking Dawn pt. 1, and Breaking Dawn pt. 2.

I’d previously watched the first two films – Twilight and New Moon – years ago at the behest of Twihard friends, and swore I’d never watch another.  After all, there was just so much to dislike:

  • Edward’s behaviour toward Bella was stalker-ish and controlling
  • Bella, as a character, was dull as a spoon, possessing no interesting qualities nor being an active (as opposed to passive) participant in her own story
  • Edward was way too old to be in a romantic relationship with Bella
  • Neither Bella’s mother nor Edward’s had jobs (unlike both of their fathers)
  • As a whole, the story glamourized unhealthy romance for its target audience of impressionable young girls.

And yet….

Maybe it was the Advil Cold + Sinus at play, but as I watched the final three movies, I found they weren’t all bad.  Indeed, there were a number of elements of the Twilight Saga that found quite enjoyable, both as a consumer of stories and a creator of them:

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Who’s Gonna Read Your Book: On gender, readers, and the (gendered) state of entertainment

I have no idea whose going to want to read my book.

Don’t get me wrong, I know of several individuals who claim they’re anxiously awaiting the momentous day that I deliver unto them a copy of my novel-in-progress’s final draft:

  • Friends who have had to listen to my talk about my opus for far too long
  • Coworkers
  • Former coworkers
  • Select family members

(My mother, at this point, is only a “maybe”, but I’m fairly confident I’ll be able to either strong-arm or guilt-trip her into the task.)

But in terms of actual readers who are neither emotionally nor relationally obligated to me, I’m not really sure.

Particularly when it comes to actual male readers.

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