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Is Woke media always dreary?

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It's a common trope that adding Wokeness to an IP, or creating a Woke IP (which hardly ever happens, since Wokesters are parasites) makes it objectively worse. I was wondering whether there are any counter examples, or at least examples of something 'ok' in terms of entertainment value.

I was thinking of a possible contrast between the Black Widow and Captain Marvel MCU films. Black Widow to my mind has basically no redeeming features. Lazy Feminist writing, an incredibly boring Harvey Weinstein-expy villain - played by great character actor Ray Winstone - active discarding of everything that made Black Widow a cool character. It's Woke and it's drek.

I find Captain Marvel much more interesting. As presented, I find the character utterly repellent. Her personality and character arc is much more that of a villain than a hero. The narrative structure is Marxist-Feminist dialectic, like Black Widow. But I find it much better done. This is not a 'lazy' film; the philosophy may be vile, but to my mind it's presented with skill and heaps of enthusiasm, a Totalitarian Left film almost reminiscent of a John Milius film from the Libertarian Right - Conan the Barbarian, say, or Red Dawn. The protagonist is dour, humourless, unpleasant, arrogant, and even sadistic. The scripting and Direction I thought were highly competent. The action is decent. Technically, it is a 'good' superhero film.

I was wondering if anyone else makes a similar distinction between typical bad-and-incompetent Woke, and evil-but-competent Woke. Or is it all just undifferentiated trash to you (or undifferentiated good stuff, if you are pro-Woke)? Are there any other examples of Woke done competently?

It's been a while since I watched it, so don't remember much, but the Netflix series Sense8 was kinda woke from the onset, with lots of "diversity" characters in it (including a transgender character), yet done well. It's basically the only example I've run into of wokesters actually creating something (instead of "subverting" existing IPs) that wasn't just woke garbage. The series was about eight strangers from different countries all over the world who find out that they are "sensates" who possess some sort of psychic bond with each other, allowing them to share memories and skillsets to assist each other in overcoming their problems and fight bad guys who're after their kind.

Season 2 was more woke than season 1, and had a few episodes that made me wanna puke. It eventually got cancelled, though, cuz it was way too expensive to shoot across different countries from all over the world, which was part of the show's premise, but attracted a strong following from woke types, who cried when it was cancelled, because of course they would.

I can safely ignore just about everything shown on CW...although I tolerate Superman & Lois.

Stephen Tannhauser:
I will admit that for me, part of the difficulty of finding counterexamples is that I have become so antipathic to Woke philosophy that its very presence renders any story containing it less entertaining, regardless of whatever craft and quality it may legitimately boast. That said, one of the hallmarks of a great creator is that they can make works which still entertain despite carrying messages, or exemplifying themes or tropes, some may find distasteful. I reject Lovecraft's philosophy across the board but still find his work enjoyable, and I was never really into the neo-Goth scene of the '90s but still loved Poppy Z. Brite's horror. So it can be done.

If I had to think of a fantasy series recently which I enjoyed despite its Wokeness, the Australian author David Hair did two epic fantasy quadrilogies -- the Moontide Quartet and the Sunsurge Quartet -- which have distinct weaknesses deriving at least in part directly from too many of the characters embodying modern Western secular sensibilities in how they think and act.  Nonetheless, the books still have enough action, scope, energy and vividness to make them worth reading.


--- Quote from: Stephen Tannhauser on January 25, 2022, 11:16:08 AM ---Nonetheless, the books still have enough action, scope, energy and vividness to make them worth reading.

--- End quote ---

I felt that way about the first book of His Dark Materials. The trilogy went downhill really fast though - each book a huge drop off from the previous one.


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