Hi there, this is yet another video where I didn’t have a script written out beforehand.
However, Google’s almighty algorithm will punish me for not having any text in the body of the post, and we don’t want that, do we?
So I’d like to take this opportunity to comment a bit more on Hilda’s second season and maybe shed a bit more light on the thoughts that I shared in the video review that you can find right up there.
A danger when writing any kind of review is what’s called recency bias. It’s one of many cognitive biases that can get in the way of logical thought, and it’s a real danger in media criticism because there’s a whole lot of pressure to share your thoughts on a new movie or show or whatever else it happens to be.
The big problem there is that it’s pretty difficult for a reviewer to keep any real kind of perspective on the media they just consumed.
Instead, the reviewer just consumes the product and reacts to it almost in real-time as they write down some thoughts and get ready to share those thoughts with others.
Recency bias tends to be a big challenge for me when I watch something that I really enjoy. If I’m especially impressed by a movie or a TV show, there’s a pretty big risk that I’m going to think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen.
It’s only after some repeat viewings and a lot of downtime that I’m able to get a much better idea of how much I really like that thing and whether or not it actually ranks highly when compared to some of the other work that I like a whole lot.
Now, at no point have I felt like season 2 of the Netflix original series Hilda was one of the best things I’ve ever seen. However, after the first watch, I definitely had a whole lot of excitement about the overall mood of the show.
The color palette, the soundtrack, and the character writing all came together to give me a uniquely pleasing viewing experience.
Even with all that excitement, I was worried that the overwhelmingly positive tone of the show would fade with time. And sure, it’s only been a few weeks since I had my first watch, but so far, that tone is just as lovely as it was the first time through.
Even more impressive, I have the same feelings about the first season of the show as well, and it’s been a good long while since I first saw those episodes.
But there’s another kind of bias I see quite a bit in contemporary media criticism. I don’t know if it’s already been cataloged, but I see it like this: there’s a real resistance to speaking very highly of a piece of media that can’t be immediately labeled as “serious” and/or “important.”
Rather than this being an individual kind of bias, I think a lot of it comes from larger social trends regarding how we rate and rank media.
The Oscars are definitely one of the most obvious examples of this. We all know that it’s silly to make pieces of media compete. And when we start qualifying movies and shows as art, it makes even less sense to do this.
But there’s still something very exciting about awards shows and arguing with friends and internet people about which thing is better than another thing.
And when awards are given out for Best Picture or Best Actor, it basically becomes gospel. People who feel they don’t know too much about movies just say, well ok, I guess these are really good then.
There’s very little room left for personal opinion or personal interpretation. This ties into my discussion on “explainer videos,” so you might want to check that one out if you’re interested.
But to keep this relatively short, there has been a very strong standard set that dictates only certain kinds of media can be objectively good or important or historic.
Over here in reality, that’s just not true at all. Any piece of media can be important and impactful, no matter what genre it is or the medium it happens to inhabit.
Bringing this all back around to a show like Hilda, it feels strange to call Hilda important. It feels strange to hold this show up and something to be reckoned with.
Why? Well, it’s animated, and it’s for kids, and it doesn’t take on huge, existential topics.
But if I try to move past my media training, I can honestly say that Hilda is kind of important. It’s doing work that has a great deal of value. Its format and its core audience are ultimately irrelevant.
To sum up, I still like the show a whole lot, and I don’t feel embarrassed for recommending it to other full-grown adults. Even something simple and quiet can be important, especially if it’s important to you.