Repetitiveness in the Heroine Genre
Is there an issue with repetitiveness in the heroine genre?
After this particular topic surfaced a while ago and became somewhat of a hot-button issue, I started to put quite a bit of thought into it. And after reading every comment I could find on the matter from both fans and producers, I realized that two similar but slightly different assertions were being made:
1. Fight scenes are becoming repetitive.
2. Films as a whole are becoming repetitive.
So let’s start with the fighting. The notion that the fights are becoming repetitive in these films is something I actually do agree with to an extent. But I don’t really have a problem with it, and here’s why.
I personally love martial arts shorts. And YouTube has made it easy to find incredibly well-done martial arts short films produced by professionals all over the world. I’ve become a big fan of dozens of male and female martial artists who are capable of doing things physically that 99.9% of us could only dream of. And when I run any of their videos side by side, I notice tons of similarities. And the people that I follow who choreograph and perform in these films are considered to be the best of the best in their field.
They are martial artists/stuntmen/stuntwomen who live and breathe this life 24/7. It’s literally all they do. And when I watch their shorts on YouTube, I see the same combinations. The same attacks. The same blocks. The same gymnastics. It’s all breathtaking to watch, but I rarely see anything truly new anymore. My point is that if the people who make this their livelihoods are hard-pressed to execute something original, are we asking a little too much of our producers, who have limited time and money and may be working with actresses who have little or no stage fighting experience?
It also occurred to me that we as fans are at least partially to blame for this phenomenon. I read just about every comment posted on the site, and for every new and original fight idea put forth by a fan, I see many more like the following:
“Can we get more bearhugs?”
“How about some more throatlifts next time?”
“Low blows!!! You need to include more low blows!!!”
“No pantyhose? Pass.”
I have to imagine that the producers e-mail inbox’s feature a similar sampling of comments. Could producers just be responding to the majority of messages they read and that’s what’s causing the “sameness?” I think it’s at least something to consider. I just think there are two sides here, and producers are in a difficult position trying to find balance between trying new things and attempting to please a fickle fanbase.
So that takes us to the films as a whole. Are they becoming repetitive? Again, I’ve thought about this one for a while, and although I’m positive that it’s going to put me into the minority, I’m going to say no.
I fully understand where this criticism is coming from. I really do. I’ve also taken into consideration the number one complaint leveled against producers for “sameness”: Too much Supergirl. Too much Wonder Woman. Too much Batgirl. And I understand that point and all the others that come with it. But on a personal level, I have enjoyed the recent works of the four of five producers I follow closely more than ever. I just haven’t had that “I’ve seen this all before” feeling.
I will admit that the circle of producers that I actively follow has gotten smaller after I lost interest in some big names. Most notably Zen Pictures, a site I almost never go to anymore. It wasn’t lack of originality in their case. They were just getting away from making films that I enjoyed. Actually, the genre as a whole seems to be trending away from making movies that I personally would like to see. That’s not a criticism. It’s just the way it is. And if that is a road that the producers are finding success going down, more power to them.
The funny thing is that although I firmly believe the majority of you will think that some degree of repetitiveness has set in, the comments section doesn’t at all reflect that. Go through the comments section of one of the bigger producer’s recent releases. You know the names. For every one comment that comes down on a producer for “sameness,” there are easily ten or more saying how much they loved the film. It doesn’t read like the majority of fans have problems with what producers are releasing. Maybe it’s just that one or two negative comments tend to stick out more than a slew of positive ones. Or maybe I’m just a moron whose every conclusion is wrong. That’s always a strong possibility.
I imagine if you asked the producers we cover what’s more important to them, producing a quality product that they are proud of or making a lot of money, 99% would pick the former. And that’s when their creative vision and our desires as fans can come into conflict. And the downside to that for producers is that it’s a flooded market, and we have other options, not to mention the ability to finance our own customs with almost any company.
Is it wise for producers to listen and use some fan input? Sure. But if producers make films to satisfy the whim of every fan, they’re probably not making the films they originally wanted to make when they started in this genre, and that’s got to be the worst possible scenario for any producer who has their own vision. And this genre’s producers have incredible vision. Of that there can be no doubt.
So we open this topic up to fans and producers, two groups that are a lot smarter than me.
Is repetitiveness an issue?
If it is are there any solutions?
Are fans part of this problem, or do producers just need to do better?
The forum is yours.