Escapism is just the snidest word for something that our collective survival may well depend on.
The issue I have with tentpole franchise entertainment is not that it's unentertaining, but that it provides the wrong lessons for creators.
What is it I really want from popular culture? Typically something rare.
When does a story's logic hold fast, and when does it break?
Anything you put out in the world under the pretense of entertainment is worth taking at least as seriously as someone else could. And some take it very seriously indeed.
Movies have more second lives than ever, but only because they barely have first ones.
"I'm an entertainer." -- Alan Watts. "I am not an entertainer." -- William S. Burroughs. Discuss.
More on the de-boob-tubing of my life.
On schlock being useful without the love of it becoming its own snobbism.
More on the idea that entertainments can be engines of empathy.
Modern fandom of the fantastic is transformative, not passive.
Age of Dulltron.
Different art, different critical standards? Maybe not.
Comics are just for kids. Right?
"Entertainment" isn't a cover for dispensing lies and misinformation.
Why never to say something can't win Best Picture. Or shouldn't.
All entertainment is art, whether or not we know it, and all art is propaganda. Therefore ...
The uncanny has become the new normal.
Even our entertainments are works of art whether or not we like it, and have the chance to be taken very, very seriously by somebody out there.
Hollywood's mania for sequels makes sense in light of how forgettable the films are. With no follow-up, who would remember they even exist?
Fandom should be about more than just emotionally protecting one's territory.
On the communal enjoyment of entertainment and the 'paradox of choice'.
Flatter the audience at your own risk.
Great writing and great cuisine, compared.
More on why art doesn't sit on the rungs of a ladder.