I have a hard time simply watching a TV show or a movie and immersing myself in a fictional world. For example, when I watch a Mission: Impossible movie, I don’t see Ethan Hunt and (checking Wikipedia) Benji running around Europe to save both the world and his good name. I see Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg on a 20-foot-high screen. Yeah, there’s probably a plot too, but you know, whatever. I look at a room set in the 1940s, and I think, man, where did the props people find all of that cool stuff? Do I recognize an actor, but can’t place where I know them from? I just hit the IMDb app on the phone and an actor’s entire filmed legacy is unfurled before me. And so when people act surprised and (occasionally) outraged when they learn I’ve never seen any of The Godfather trilogy, or Jaws, or The Shining, I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I’ll only see Marlon Brando, Roy Scheider, and Jack Nicholson acting on a screen, rather than (checking Wikipedia again) Vito Corleone’s power, Martin Brody’s fight, or Jack Torrance’s slow descent into madness.
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