People take their entertainment seriously. Real seriously.
When you're a journalist who covers entertainment — be it music, movies, TV or theater — you're going to make someone mad at one point or another. Sometimes it reaches a point where they blame you for the demise of a TV show or that big-name musical artists don't come to town or that our movie theaters rarely show the smaller, artsy films that have been released.
Let's be honest: We don't have that kind of power. If we did, we'd be in Hollywood or on Broadway or at record labels, throwing our weight around and making a ton more cash than we do as journalists.
Do you truly think, for instance, that a negative review of a concert means the band will never come back to town? Some people insist it's true. Look at it this way: A band leaves town having cleared more money than many of us make in a year; but reading a bad review from someone they don't know, and could not care less about, is going to hurt their feelings to the extent that they won't come back and make more money?
We know as well as anyone that what we write is neither earth-shattering nor world-changing. We cover entertainment, for heaven's sake. We know there are more serious issues out there.
But we also know that entertainment is incredibly important to a huge amount of the world's population, so we do not take our work lightly. In fact, we take it so seriously that sometimes we sit back and think: "Why do we take it so seriously?" Because we wouldn't be doing it if we didn't love it, too.
Entertainment is a common language, no matter the country or the cultural heritage. The live-action "The Lion King" opened last weekend and made $185 million worldwide, the largest July opening in history. The series finale of "Game of Thrones" was watched by 13.6 million. In Atlanta, tickets to the touring version of "Hamilton" ranged from $80 to $550 and sold out so quickly you might have missed buying them if you took a breath before you went online.
Let's face it, the world is in rough shape. We need something that soothes our soul, makes us happy or simply distracts us.
We know full well that there will be times when we tick someone off. As fans ourselves, there are times when we get ticked off by other writers, too. We're all in the same boat.
It's just that people in the boat sometimes want to toss us over the side. But we've learned to swim pretty well.
Contact Shawn Ryan at email@example.com.