Between the hectic hum-drum that tends to run most of our lives, people are often very careful about what they decide to check out on a friend’s recommendation. The time we get is, at least to our own viewpoints, sparse, and therefore precious. I’ve had books, shows, video games, and all manner of other consumables recommended to me by my friends that I’d ignored at the time–sometimes for years–before finally giving them a try. Sometimes, they were worth the time investment, and other times, not so much.
Then there are those things that I finally got around to watching, reading, playing, and so forth, and came away going, “Oh my god! This is awesome! WHY the hell did I wait so long to get into this?!” The following list represents a small sampling of media that I:
- had recommended to me by a friend;
- put off actually checking out for a significant chunk of time (at least a few months); and
- was wowed by it, to the point of kicking myself for not checking it out when my friends made their recommendations.
For extra fun, I’m listing the names of my friends (first names only) who made these recommendations in the first place, so they can say, “Told you so!” if and when they read this.
Doctor Who (Colin) — I was not prepared for how much I loved this show. I came on board right as Matt Smith became the Eleventh Doctor, and I was hooked from the get-go! I not only watched everything I could of Eleven’s adventures, but also Nine, Ten, and some of the older movies (I believe The Three Doctors was the first I watched). Admittedly, it gets a bit too wacky and inconsistent for me sometimes, and while I’m not currently following it, I’m sure I’ll love it when I come back around to the Time Lord’s adventures.
Firefly (Rebecca) — In a way, Firefly was one of the saddest things I ever watched, as it showed me firsthand that just because a show is good–and I mean, really good–that doesn’t mean it’ll get to run as long as it deserves. Still, the episodes in that one season were amazing, as was the follow-up movie Serenity. I count myself as a Browncoat, and still live in perpetual, irrational hope that the series will get continued on screen.
Harry Potter (Shaun) — Oh, Harry Potter. How I misjudged you. I was working retail at a bookstore when I first encountered these books, and their sheer popularity irked me. I even accompanied my friend Shaun to a midnight release of Goblet of Fire (the book, not the movie), and couldn’t understand what the big deal was. I finally decided to give the first book a try. It had ONE CHAPTER to capture my interest, or I would put it down and denigrate the series all I wanted. Needless to say, it won me over hard, and I can’t imagine my fandom card without it.
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Alex) — Talk about an experience I denied myself for far too long! This game, as well as its sequels Arkham City, Arkham Origins, and Arkham Knight, were as close as I’ve ever experienced to actually BEING Batman in a video game. The stories were well told and dazzlingly produced, and the voice casting was top-notch. I finally finished Arkham Asylum just before Arkham City came out, and you can bet I’ve been at the midnight releases of all the other games since.
Heroes (Ed) — I was told by more than one person that they couldn’t believe I, of all people, wasn’t watching Heroes when it first came out a decade or so ago. It did seem right up my alley, as I am massively into comic books and superheroes, but at the time I just wasn’t watching television much. When I finally was exposed to the first few episodes by my girlfriend at the time, I was instantly hooked! Of course, we broke up before I could get more than a few episodes in, and I haven’t watched since, but you can bet I’ll come back around to it eventually.
The Dresden Files (Krystal) — Mr. Potter is not the only magic-user named Harry that makes this list. This one’s got a special place in my heart, because technically, I didn’t “put this one off” at all. I was told how good they were, and then put a hold on an audiobook version through my library. And I checked it out when the hold came through–A YEAR LATER. But I loved it, and now I’m eagerly awaiting the other books on audio so I can see what I’ve been missing for the last 15 years!
What are some surprise recommendations that you put off for far too long? I know I can’t be the only one who’s eating crow for not taking my friends seriously…