It is no secret that there are genres I simply will not read, as well as genres that I’ve read and enjoyed, but I don’t often find myself actively searching out to find books in those genres. However, there are genres I’ll watch on TV or as a film that I might never read in a book. So I was wondering…
Are there genres you’ll willingly watch on TV or in movies that you don’t look for to read in a book (and vise versa)? Also, are there genres that are off the table altogether – for reading or watching?
These are my personal opinions. I do not expect anyone to agree with anything here, and in fact, I’m certain that many will disagree and/or even hate many of the things I’ve written below. Sorry about that, but you are always welcome to express your own opinions – be they contrary or comparable – in the comments section. So, with that out of the way…
There are few genres that I totally and absolutely refuse to read or watch. One of them is Erotica, which to me is just gratuitous sex, which for me is like porn. Look, I get that some people like the softer kind or whatever. Fine; more power to you. Me? No thanks. I’m putting any steamy Romance in with these books and films, because… they feel so fake and… blech! Rippling muscles and swooning women are NOT for me, at all. Frankly, these all seem very misogynistic to me, and some of them border on being sexual and/or psychological abuse (yes, I’m talking to you, 50 Shades).
I think I’ll also put Fantasy in this category. Sure, as a kid I read some fantasy books, and saw some fantasy films – like The Wizard of Oz, for example. But after getting past about 4-6th grade, neither these genres of books nor their film versions have really interested me. For example, I tried and tried and tried to read the Lord of the Rings books, but failed miserably. When the movies came out, I watched the first one with my son, and wasn’t all that impressed (except with the special effects). He tried to get me to watch the second one, and I fell asleep in the middle. I’d put anything Magical in this category as well, although I might forgive a seemingly unrealistic event once in a while in a book, but only as long as the unrealistic parts aren’t the main part of the story.
Another genre that doesn’t interest me in print or on the screen would be Thrillers or what might be called Action movies and TV shows. You know the kind where someone goes off to save the world and gets into all kinds of trouble, and almost gets killed themselves, or almost kills the people they’re supposed to save? Not for me. My one exception to this rule has been James Bond films, and even those are starting to wear thin. In fact, I didn’t bother with the last two Daniel Craig movies. (That said, if they get a POC or a woman for the next Bond, I might move this to the next category.)
I’d put all of those Comic Book and Graphic Novel stories (along with their sub-genres) into this same category. Yes, I did watch a couple of the first Superman movies, one Batman movie, and one Iron Man movie, I have never read any of those, ever, and it seems to me that the special effects overshadow all the stories. By the way, the first Wonder Woman movie with the Israeli actress Gal Gadot was on TV here not long ago. We caught it by accident near the beginning. Well, for heavens sake, did they really HAVE to make almost all the actors put on a semi-Israeli accent because our Gal couldn’t overcome hers? After we noticed that, we switched the channel. My exception to this rule – old Disney classic animated films like Lady and the Tramp, and some of the earlier Pixar films, but these were mostly back when my kids were small enough to appreciate them. Today… meh (which might change if I ever have grandchildren).
I should also mention that I don’t (or rather, almost never) read, Children‘s, YA, Middle Grade or New Adult books. I also don’t care for TV shows that target these age groups either, and will hardly ever watch films aimed at them.
Won’t Read; Might Watch
This is where I put the genres of Paranormal and Horror. By this I mean ghosts, zombies, vampires, and that sort of thing. For example, I did watch Charmed (the original series) and the first couple of seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the day, but those had some romance and humor, that today’s shows seem to lack. Mind you, I was an avid viewer of the original TV day-time soap opera Dark Shadows, and I had a HUGE crush on Jonathan Frid, but I was young – forgive me! However, while I can take a ghost as a small element in a book once in a while, if one of these apparitions are the main characters, I certainly won’t want to read that book.
Another genre here is Science Fiction. Again, I have to say that I’ve read some Sci-Fi in my day – classic stuff like Ray Bradbury and the like, but again, these books just don’t float my boat these days. Despite this, I was a Trekkie as a kid and watched a few of the spin-offs (but not faithfully). I saw the first three Star Wars films (which are now called episodes 4-6), but never bothered to see any of the others, not even when they came on TV.
I should add that I love watching Doctor Who, although we took a break after Matt Smith, but we’re back now watching Jodie. For those not in the know, this show is a combination between Science Fiction with some Alternative History into the mix. Similar to this, are things like “The Man in the High Castle” by Philip K. Dick, and “The Plot Against America” by Philip Roth. We watched both of the TV series based on those books, and enjoyed them (for the most part). Although I bought the Roth book, I’m not too keen on reading it. I also don’t like the idea of Alternative Reality books either. One example of this is the newly released book “Rodham” by Curtis Sittenfeld which imagines Hillary Rodham’s life if she had never married Bill Clinton. Um, no thanks to that, and no thanks to that book that imagines Anne Frank’s life if she had survived the Holocaust (which personally, I think is disrespectful of her memory).
There is one category that doesn’t seem to have all that much of a genre in books (that I know of), but which we love to watch. That is Medical dramas. I don’t think I’ve ever read any medical fiction books (or seen many, to be honest), but they sure make for great watching!
Might Read; Will Watch
The number one genre here would be Crime and Legal. Yeah, we love our Criminal Minds, our Law & Order, our Mindhunter, our Good Fight, our Suits, our Bull, and on and on. We also love British crime dramas like Broadchurch, Luther, Happy Valley, and the like. But to be honest, unless it is like, Agatha Christie type crime fiction, which is really Murder Mystery fiction, I’ll probably not want to read it. The thing is, I’m trying to read more of these types of mystery books because well… they can be fun. My biggest problem is that if I can figure out “who done it” too early in a book, you’ve lost me. On the other hand, I often can figure out the perpetrator of many of the TV series in this genre, but I don’t mind that too much (although I prefer to be surprised).
Another one for this category would be Romantic Comedies and Romantic Dramas – what might be considered “chic-lit” or even women’s fiction. Now I like women’s fiction a great deal, both historical and contemporary, but I don’t care for too much romance. If the whole point of the book is for the girl/guy to get the girl/guy, well, I’m not going to want to break the spine of that book. However, I can’t resist a good Rom-Com or Rom-Dram movie. Mind you, I’m less keen on long running TV series of this genre because I just don’t think they’re sustainable for several years. Even “How I Met Your Mother” got tedious after a few seasons. Come to think of it, I’ve noticed I don’t read a whole lot of Comedy/Humor books, but a good sit-com can be a joy to behold!
Obviously, Historical Fiction is right up there in this category, and I’ll read and watch practically anything historical (except if they include any of the above noted genres I’ve already nixed). I particularly enjoy those that are Biographical fiction stories and will watch biographical dramatizations as well. Also, good Women’s Fiction, both contemporary and historical, are draws for both print and screen.
I’m sure I’ve missed some genres, but this is already a long post so I’ll stop here!
So… what about you?
Are there genres that do you not read, but will watch on TV or in a movie? Are there genres you will not watch on TV or in a movie that you read in books? Are there genres that are not for you in any format?
This post is my 16th entry in the 2020 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!