If You’re Talking During the Show, I’m Secretly Hating You

So I’m watching Game of Thrones with a friend and she says, “Can you imagine being Arya all alone out there as a small girl -?”

I rudely cut her off and said, “Yes! I’m currently doing exactly that. That’s what happens when I watch Arya being all alone out there as a small girl. I literally have no choice but to put myself in her position!”

Am I alone here? I probably get a bit too annoyed by innocent things like this because of my philosophies. Let me explain where I’m coming from and you can tell me if I should apologize for holding this position. You see, to me it’s obvious that the creators of the show have one job; to make you care about what they’re showing you. They aim to give you the most immersive experience possible by having relatable characters overcome difficult situations. If I’m not empathizing, then I’m not entertained. To ask me this very socially acceptable question of “Can you imagine if (insert thing I’m currently imagining)” seems so redundant that I can’t entertain that line of thought. It’s all laid out there in front of you. Yes I can imagine if. As I write this I’m realizing the root of why I get so annoyed: Don’t talk during the show!

Every single word I hear from a fellow watcher yanks me out of the world I’m being immersed in. It’s a breaking of the 4th wall. If you’re unfamiliar with that term, open up a new tab, Google it, then close that tab and continue on. My question to the show-interrupter would be “Can you imagine if your life goal was to direct an epic drama and you finally made an incredible masterpiece, and then when someone who truly appreciates your work is trying to absorb himself in the world you created, someone next to him is periodically pointing out obvious and distracting details? Wouldn’t that be so difficult for that director?”

I put myself in the shoes of the camera man, the music composer, the lighting technicians and the editors. I aspire to be a creative director or executive producer one day, so I dive head first into these details. Every shot has a critical role to play. No words are just frivolously thrown into the wind. In a true work of masterful art, there is no waste. In trying to really feel what the creators are trying to communicate, I get incredibly frustrated and impatient with people who don’t seem to give the art form the respect I believe it deserves.

Now I know this is only my opinion and there’s another side to this coin: the person who’s talking and laughing and commenting on the actions taking place on the screen is fully immersing themselves in their own unique way. To them, they are giving the art its due respect by participating. Another point is that for a lot of people, watching a show or movie with other people is a social event. I’m of the mind that a movie theater is a terrible place to go for a first date, because watching with someone else is not supposed to be conversational. It’s the classic “What did I miss?” question when your date returns from the bathroom. I just gesture towards the screen and give a face like, “Are you seriously expecting me to fill you in on events that took place in your absence so we can both miss what’s going on during your presence?”

It’s probably just me but I get secretly infuriated by little things like this. If I’m to express my opinion on the matter then I’ll be considered rude. Meanwhile I’m feeling like the other person is being rude and intruding on my ability to enjoy this Perfect Moment. This is a term I started considering many years ago. As a creator, I’m always on the lookout for Perfect Moments. These moments include things like soaking in a breathtaking sky with the weather just right and a great song playing in the background. I find that amazing movies and shows give me the most frequent number of Perfect Moments. I think the first time I noticed this was while watching The Godfather II. There was some scene where some guy on a bench was talking to some other guy (you can see how much this impacted me). But there was something about the camera angle, the music and the dialogue that really put me in a particular mode where I was fully and completely moved by the moment. Just as I noticed “Wow, this is really amazing,” My mother walked in and scolded me for leaving dishes in the sink. I got angry and snapped at her in an attempt to make her disappear, which obviously made her react and the whole thing spun out of control.

There was nothing I could do, my Perfect Moment was gone forever. I knew instinctively that it was futile to replay the scene in the movie and attempt to experience that perfection again. I was left only with a memory of a Ruined Moment. Is this a thing that many people experience? It’s hard for me to know. When I look back on my life, I can recount so many Ruined Moments that it saddens me. Perfection is right there in front of my face but there’s almost always someone there getting a phone call, or ringing the door bell, or making a comment, or talking about something unrelated.

I’m aware that I’m writing this story of minimal significance and essentially ranting here. Don’t think that’s lost on me because it isn’t. I’m just here wondering if I’m the most neurotic person I know because, occasionally, that’s exactly how it feels.

Not put off by my bad attitude? Get more of it on a semi-regular basis here ;)

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