Why is it that people who like one fantasy series tend to dismiss another as terrible?
I first saw this with Eragon. People dismissed it as a ripoff of various series, including The Lord of the Rings and The Dragon Riders of Pern. I haven't read the latter, but I've read the whole Inheritance Cycle so far, and it has a fairly unique plot with a heavy dose of fantasy-world politics.
Next came Twilight. People dismiss it as a bunch of teenage, hormonally-influenced emotions packaged up in a fantasy novel/movie/whatever. And I have yet to read Twilight or its sequels (though thankfully I know the sequels' names, unlike the people at the Harry Potter movie today who shouted out "Twilight 2!" during the previews). However, a number of my friends are fans of the series, as are countless other people. Say what you will about the majority (which is often regarded as the evil reason everything from BIONICLE to the world media sucks), but if there's that many people pleased with the book and film, they must be entertained. Books are a form of entertainment. Therefore, the Twilight saga is obviously doing its job, even if it's not your personal favorite fantasy series.
Are we really so abhorrent of competition that any fantasy series other than our personal favorite becomes the devil's work, an effigy of culture to burn for our personal, egotistical enjoyment? Can't we just try to enjoy books and movies without weighing them against each other, as if there can be only one true series?
Blog entry today comparing Gandalf to Dumbledore (although obviously humorous in nature) got me thinking about this, particularly due to some of its comments. These are stories, people. Appreciate them as such, or ignore them, but don't take pleasure in spoiling the fun of everyone who happens to enjoy them.