Lately, a sad fact of life has been hitting me hard...the second time ain't always fine. I think this in regards to many things, books and movies and shows in particular.
Heartbreaking, right? Things that I loved once when I was younger just aren't as great the second time around. This realization struck me when I picked up one of my favorite books from age thirteen and was shocked that I once loved it. But it really struck home when I went to see Mamma Mia! on Broadway earlier this month.
I saw Mamma Mia with my sister, my mom, and my aunt for the first time for my thirteenth birthday. We all absolutely adored it. Now, I saw it at age eighteen, about eight days before my nineteenth birthday for free with my college because I was housing a prospective student overnight. I can't say I enjoyed it. On a scale of one to ten, ten being awesome and one being "shield your eyes, children!" I would give it a 4.5 rating. It's the same story, the same dancing and songs, but the acting and my expectations have been depleted greatly. It doesn't matter how awesome ABBA is, it can't save a sinking ship.
And it got me thinking...why am I so surprised that this sucked? In regards to books the answer is obvious, when I was thirteen my taste in books was not refined. I was not reading the types of books I read now and I didn't understand what created a good book. Now I do, thus the shock of books that once meant so much to me. I'm honestly a little scared to reread other old favorites for fear of losing the happiness and love that I initially associated with them.
|I can't believe I was once so non-bookish and naive.|
In regards to Mamma Mia! I am absolutely lost. I called my mother upon returning to my dorm room and we both reminisced about how absolutely awesome our cast was and how we both loved it. Certainly it wasn't naivety that made me love the show if my mother, over forty years old at the time, adored it just as much as I did. What changed? I'm going to sit here and hope that it is the fact that it's nearing the end of its Broadway run and is on its way out, so the acting and talent isn't what it once was.
So now I've been sitting here and just thinking...is re-reading worth it sometimes? Or re-watching and re-seeing? There are times where I have been utterly disappointed. I mean...Mamma Mia! Here we go again! But then there have been times that I've been just as blown away as I was the first time I read a book, like The Book Thief, or seen a movie, like Catching Fire.
What do you think contributes to this trend? Age and naivety creating blinders on our eyes or a big case of "I loved you more than I should have" syndrome? Please comment below with your thoughts, I'm super curious. Do you think it's worth rereading books that once meant so much, though your opinions may be tainted now that you are a more experienced reader?
But, whatever you think this is, I know one thing is for certain...Though the Broadway show sucks, at least I still have the movie masterpiece.