Fifty Shades of Meh: Why I’m Not Falling for the Phenomenon

leila at the libraryThat’s right.  Meh.

I’ll admit that I’ve never read Fifty Shades of Grey.  Now before you string me up for criticising something I know nothing about, allow me to clarify.  I’ve never read the final published version, but I did read Master of the Universe when all that hoopla was going on (you can read my review of that piece of awfulness here).  I mean, really?  Starting a book with the main character complaining about a bad hair day?!  Anyway, considering the fact that Fifty Shades and MoTU are the same thing, I think I’m qualified to express and opinion (plus it’s my blog, so there).

Anyway, as long as you don’t live in a cave somewhere, you’ve heard about the books and the forthcoming movie.  For the life of me, I have no idea how the whole thing got so out of hand.  I suppose part of it has to do with all the women who loved Twilight all getting on board with a raunchy grown-up version of that story.  I totally get that.  I’ll freely admit I love me a good romance with some wild money love action (like here and here).  But I also require a halfway decent story and characters that aren’t annoying or creepy.

There’s this whole conversation that’s been going on about the dominant man thing and how women are drawn to that because we want someone else to take control.  That’s cool.  I also get that.  But it’s just done so poorly in Fifty Shades (for a good example check out Rush by Maya Banks).  I mean, Christian’s issues are so clichéd (please don’t take that as meaning I think physical abuse is serious, it’s just the way it’s done in this particular book), and he’s actually a bit abusive himself, not just a dominant take-control dude in the relationship.  And Anastasia Steele (really?  For the wimpiest girl ever?) is, frankly, an idiot.  I liked the original Bella much more.  She at least had courage and was willing to stand up to Edward when necessary.

Now, a movie version of this drivel?  And from what I hear it’s more of a dark romance than the raunchy sex fest of the books.  The problem with that is there really is no romance in Fifty Shades, so I have a feeling a lot of liberties were taken in the screenplay.  I really got no sense of true love or affection in MoTU.  Just nasty obsession from Edward and annoying lack of self-esteem and self-respect from Bella.  So there’s this (unfortunate) morbid curiosity in me that wants to know how they manged to make an R rated movie out of Fifty Shades.  This curiosity with not be satisfied.  Ever.  But I’ll admit it’s there.

Rather than buy into the Fifty Shades phenomenon, I’ve spent my (valuable) time reading other (better) versions of the powerful male trope.  If you’d like to join me, check out Lord Savage or (for a milder version) Unexpected Eden.  You’re welcome.

Have you fallen for the Fifty Shades phenomenon?  Do you think I’m an awful person for feeling so negative about the whole thing?  If so, please explain why I’m wrong.  But be nice.



This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Julie

    I enjoyed reading and poking fun at the trilogy and still plan to see the movie as a girls nite of silly fun heh. I’ve not heard of Master of the Universe…

    1. Leila

      I’m not sure I can be friends with you anymore 😛

      MoTU is the fanfiction that EL James wrote a few years ago. It’s almost word for word with the Fifty Shades books. The whole controversy was that when Fifty Shades first came out she insisted it was a completely original work when in fact it was the MoTU Twilight fanfiction with the names changed.

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