How ‘Stranger Things’ Got Passed Around Hollywood

In the midst of fisking the usual gang of idiots about raaaaaaacism, Larry Correia lets drop an interesting factoid:

For a long time entertainment tried to lump as many customers as possible into one big box to provide dumb bland mushy product to. To make a living at this stuff you needed to sell to everybody, including the easily offended. Now, you just need to appeal to one group of fans, and what appeals to them might not appeal to everybody, but screw those guys. You can make what you want. Technology has evolved so that you can get your product right in front of your target audience. It isn’t just books either. Stranger Things got rejected by something like 15 networks for being too weird, and now it is a hit on Netflix.

I double-checked to make sure that was true, and according to this article in Rolling Stone, Correia was low-balling it:

After they wrote the initial Stranger Things script, they never thought they’d have a chance at pitching Netflix; they thought it was only a place for established names like Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan and House of Cards producer, director David Fincher. Matt estimates the brothers were rejected 15 to 20 times by various networks, while other execs had balked at the idea that the show featured four kids as lead characters but that it wasn’t TV for children. “You either gotta make it into a kids show or make it about this Hopper [detective] character investigating paranormal activity around town,” one told them. Matt recalls replying, “Then we lose everything interesting about the show.” Some other people they knew in the industry understood their vision and helped connect them with Netflix. “There was a week where we were like, ‘This isn’t going to work because people don’t get it,‘” Matt says.

That’s the thing about the entertainment/content industry: they have to have product to connect with an audience, but they can’t know ahead of time what will, and there’s a cost factor with every bet. So if they gate-keepers don’t get it, viscerally, instantly, they assume that the disinterested masses won’t bother. Because the entertainment industry isn’t about connecting audiences and content, it’s about connecting audiences and content in such away that maximizing profit and minimizes loss. Thus, people are going to pass on things because they’re not getting it.

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Let’s All Get Mad About the Oscars!

Or, you know, not…

Salon has decided that there’s nothing more important going on than taking apart the yearly market display of that Factory of Fabulous on the West Coast. First, the Onion tweeted something about a nine-year-old girl that, even if you get the joke, is absolutely dreadful. Then, Willa Paskin had that epiphany that progressives occasionally have: the realization that Seth McFarlane is kind of horrid.

The lady-dissing jokes didn’t stop with the ode to breasts: MacFarlane cracked that Jennifer Aniston was a stripper. He sexualized the young Quvenzhané Wallis: “It’ll be 16 years before she’s too old for Clooney,” which is, somehow, only the second most offensive thing someone said about the adorable 9-year-old last night. He also described Jessica Chastain’s character in “Zero Dark Thirty,” the ultra-driven women who through sheer force of will made the raid on Osama bin Laden possible, as “a celebration of every woman’s innate ability to never ever let anything go.”

All of which was fine when it was aimed at conservatives (Nazi Uniforms with “McCain/Palin” buttons, lazy insinuations of anti-semitism aimed at Rush Limbaugh) and conservative women (cheap shots at Sarah Palin’s mentally handicapped kid), but never mind, welcome to the party, Willa. Now you can freely observe that Family Guy Sucks at Political Humor. But then things get odd:

But even while Adele and Michelle Obama and Jennifer “Cinderella” Lawrence were creating the show’s highlights, Twitter was doing something even more unsettling than MacFarlane — it was going absolutely HAM on Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart, the one for appearing to care what we think too much, the other for caring way too little…(People even made fun of her for walking funny, until they realized she’s been using crutches after seriously slicing her foot. A perfect little encapsulation of what drives folks so wild about Hathaway: Last night she told Stewart to “break a leg … oops.”)

Yeah, people sure seem to care about celebrities, I guess. And when people care, they find themselves driven to all sorts of unpleasant emotions. Personally, Kristen Stewart’s semi-punk, “I refuse to pretty myself up for your amusement” persona is the only thing about her that registers on my radar screen. I was going to say “the only thing about her that I like,” but that implies that there are other things about her that I dislike. And I don’t. Because I don’t care. Yes, she doesn’t quite have a terribly broad acting range. So? I’m sure she’s got a career-bending Role You Won’t Beleive in her somewhere along the way.

As for Hathaway…yeah. Don’t care. Nothing against her, enjoy her work, cannot be bothered to comment on whether she’s too eager-to-please at the Oscars. Because I don’t watch the Oscars. Because the Oscars are a dreary display of semi-interesting people doing uninteresting things.