The Witcher Should Never Have Diluted Itself To American Audiences

iamhz, Thursday, August 3, 2023

Even if the audience is stupid, the media you create shouldn’t be stupid

The Netflix Presentation The Witcher

The Witcher

The Netflix presentation of The Witcher has faced considerable criticism over time for its departure from the source material, a collection of short stories and novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. The show’s third season holds a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 22 percent and has been heavily criticized for overly simplifying plot points from the novels. Echoing the sentiments of many, I do agree that the show lacks quality, a sentiment that caused me to curtail my viewership after the inaugural season. I don’t regret that decision – I watched the conclusion of the first episode over at a friend’s house, and it certainly was unpleasant. I haven’t read the books, so can’t tell how much or how poorly it summarizes plot points. Nevertheless, the series’ executive producer, Tomek Baginski, has curiously attributed the simplification and unfavorable reception to TikTok and American audiences.

With regard to the unfamiliar historical settings, he remarked, ‘When it came to the Americans, it proved to be utterly enigmatic, remarkably complex, owing to their upbringing within a specific historical background, where every aspect was arranged. The Americans are always some good, others bad. And there are no complications.”

He brought this lesson with him when he made The Witcher

He brought this lesson with him when he made The Witcher. Baginsky said, “When a series is produced for a vast audience with different experiences from different parts of the world, and a large portion of them are Americans, these simplifications are not only understandable, but necessary.” Are.” “It’s painful for us, and for me as well, but the high level of nuance and complexity will be small in scope, it won’t reach people. Sometimes, it may be extreme, yet we are compelled to adopt these determinations, and they must be adopted.”

Henry Cavill The Witcher

In a separate interview with the YouTube channel Imponderbilia, Baginski said that the choices made regarding the show were also influenced by the short attention spans of children growing up in the Internet age, adding that constant exposure to social media and TikTok made them Have lost patience. He indicated a preference for “lengthy material [and] elaborate and complex sequences of causality”, and that “with regard to productions, the more limited the number of audiences, the less important the coherence of the story.” He also said that what is important for young viewers is “just the emotion.” Just pure feelings. A blank emotional mix.”

These are plainly stupid statements. I agree with the idea that media literacy is being affected around the world, and I’m sure everyone (sorry, X) on Twitter has their own anecdote of seeing people deliberately misinterpreting popular media. As someone constantly plugged into the online discussion, I myself recently wrote about the widespread misrepresentation of Christopher Nolan’s film Oppenheimer’s attitude to war and proponents of the cliched feminism Barbie. I love discourse because whatever evils are exposed on the internet inspires me and others to articulate what our favorite popular media is really trying to say. But to say that American audiences and youth demographics are completely incapable of understanding nuance is a sweeping generalization, as well as a bad way to base a show.

Geralt and Ciri in The Witcher

However, let us tell you that this claim is true. American audiences may be unable to see the paradigm of good and evil in their country largely because of political polarization, and young people’s attention spans tend to turn to shows that aren’t emotionally driven. It seems extraordinary that a producer’s response to this would be to suck up the show, reducing it to the lowest common denominator so palatable that it would be downright dull and boring. In fact, I would say that as a media producer it is irresponsible to look at a problem in media literacy and actively choose not to create something that is challenging, interesting and nuanced. In this pursuit, they are actively fostering a culture that avoids taking its audience beyond their comfort zone.

This is the clearest indicator that The Witcher is by no means a complicated show, but instead aims to be a money machine for Netflix. The best and most widely adopted television shows are currently gaining affection for their complexity, captivating nature and ability to provoke thought. Viewers don’t want rote stories, they want to be challenged. Deliberately taking an alternate course and rationalizing it by saying that the audience lacks the intellectual skills to understand the complexity is absurd. The Witcher shouldn’t have devolved into something elementary, tasteless or poor quality, yet sadly it did, and that stems directly from underestimating its audience. What a shame.

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