Previously, I had thought that I would give it a shot once it and House of Dragon were both complete, but after seeing the rather distasteful way that Amazon Prime is shutting down user reviews due to negative reviews and the hawkish arguments that such negative reviews are “review bombing” shows to me that they have no confidence in their product at all. Whereas people went from saying they either won’t watch or don’t care about House of Dragon because it is a prequel to an unfinished story, it seems Amazon’s heavy-handed approach has people compare the two competing products and caused people to have a more favorable view of House of Dragon. For all their faults, I do not recall a time where HBO Max or GRRM ever attempted to tell fans how to think or feel about their personal views on the products they produce, per se. Game of Thrones show’s ending was derided as completely awful with the final three seasons ruining the story for most fans, but did HBO Max or George R.R. Martin ever call for or demand the shutdown of reviews or secretly try to payoff well-known Youtubers to give favorable reviews to their shows like Amazon Prime and the creative team behind Rings of Power have?
The behavior by a major corporation that is also a streaming company and their studio shows a pathetic level of insecurity and a complete lack of professionalism. That’s the beginning and the end of it. You can go on about woke propaganda, perhaps the negative impacts of post-modernism on the public consciousness, and so on. But at the end of the day, your lack of respect for your audience and you lack of professionalism is on you. I was disappointed when Netflix did this, now I am disappointed by Amazon Prime’s behavior especially since they didn’t do this for Wheel of Time so I was under the mistaken impression they had the self-respect and professionalism of a responsible company. If you cannot accept people’s criticisms, don’t make anything for the mass media or take any sort of job that tries to appeal to a massive audience. Streaming companies should know better than to do this, but they don’t. This constant pushback against their own audiences and fans of the IPs they acquire just makes companies look unprofessional regardless of any strictures they follow to keep it woke.
It seems to me that controversy is misunderstood by most of these companies. There are two sets of controversy: one that attempts to argue views that are generally considered taboo within the content of a show causing viewers to have critical or angry discussions about the value of the contents. The second is precisely what this Rings of Power controversy has done; navel-gazing drama to shut down any dissenting opinions in order to somehow force their views on their audience. The second is doomed to fail and people can choose other streaming services to watch; Netflix probably continues to wonder why it loses subscribers and yet used the second model throughout its streaming history. Amazon Prime is now doing the same despite having a history of professionalism before and this new approach is doomed to fail just like Netflix’s approach was. You cannot force people to change their views by shutting down conversations. So many people prove they’re too stupid to realize this basic fact of life. I was intrigued by Rings of Power, I had no opinion about it before and consider myself a relatively neutral observer who has never truly read or watched Lord of the Rings before, and now I no longer have an interest in watching it because of this disgraceful behavior.