At some point or another, I know that I have discussed my intense, visceral dislike of horror movies. I find being scared deeply unpleasant, and am sadly susceptible to being manipulated by filmmakers in this way. If I can sit through a scary movie without creating a mesh of interwoven fingers in front of my eyes and whimpering, then the movie by definition is not very scary. (To express his rank disdain for “The Blair Witch Project,” my brother [who is made of much sterner stuff than me] told me “It’s a horror movie even you could watch.”)
I remember seeing “The Sixth Sense” in the theater, and as I was burrowing my way into the seat and averting my eyes during various bits, I noticed children no older than 11 or 12 sitting and watching the screen with aplomb. I am not 100% proud of what this says about my fortitude.
Anyhow, my intolerance of being scared during movies or television shows isn’t really the main thrust of this post. No, I’m writing about my other emotional response that renders certain entertainments repellant. I’m referring to vicarious embarrassment.
I absolutely cannot watch scenes that involve people humiliating themselves. I stick my fingers in my ears and go “lalalalalala!!!” until they’re over. Even though I am told it is a work of comic genius, I cannot watch “Curb Your Enthusiasm” because every episode seems to involve nothing but an endless stream of these situations. And I find them literally unwatchable.
The most recent episode was watching the premier of “The Mindy Project,” a show I found otherwise quite enjoyable. (It made several errors in how it depicted medical care, but I tend to be more forgiving of such things if they happen in comedies.) I enjoy the intelligence and charm of Mindy Kaling’s character, and am glad such a talented, smart woman is getting her own show. I hope it does well.
But, oh no! There’s a scene where she goes to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding to the woman he dumped her for, and she gets drunk and stands up to make a speech at the reception, and then I don’t know what happened next because I had to put a throw pillow over my head and plug my ears and ask the Better Half to tell me when it was over. Literally unwatchable.
So that’s this week’s Question — is there something about you that makes you deeply, unwaveringly averse to certain entertainments? Some response or trigger that constellates your complexes? What has you diving for the remote control or leaving the room for more beer? Or am I totally alone in all this?