Entertainment sucks. I don’t know how I got so cynical in the past few years, but recently I’ve started to notice how bad everything is. Every time I open YouTube expecting to find something interesting or worthwhile, it’s usually videos that I care little for, shorts I care even less for, and I’m left with a hunger unsatiated, starving for more. Maybe I’ll find something educational which is the only thing of value YouTube provides me. However, I only stumble upon that after hours of wasted time.

I’m exaggerating about all of entertainment being bad. I find myself wondering why I’m sacrificing my delicate half hour after waking up and before bed. I know I’m not alone in the sentiment to remove this unnecessary aspect of life from our lives. And that’s not the only entertainment I consume in my life.

I have an app called “Manga Reader” to read manga. Every time I stumble upon a new series, It’s never new. It’s the same as something I read before. There’s a reason why tropes are a thing. They’re incredibly easy to write and it keeps working. Or else I wouldn’t read the ‘new’ stuff. The perfect example is the genre of ‘Isekai’ where someone dies, awakes in a magical world with the same medieval setting, meets a cast of cliched characters, and becomes powerful. To come up with something original, a truly original isekai, an author made the main character of his new series love vending machines, and turned him into a vending machine after he died, all in a magical world! Why does this exist? Why am I caught up?!

Oh my god! It’s super cringe describing it because it is! Yet, this is what I fall for, I keep up with, I waste my time on, I will continue to waste my time on, I will keep up with for the rest of my life, and I will fall for these stupid ideas again.

“It’s because you never want to read anything new” one might say. My response: That’s not the issue. Even if all I want to read is rom-coms and stupid students stumbling for each other or an underdog story of a useless person becoming powerful, I want some originality between ‘It’s a love triangle!’ and ‘but this time, he’s a vending machine.’ If I read something new or unique, or the ‘best manga of all time,’ I wonder, is this the best of human creativity? These authors are incredibly talented. Much more than me. These artists are incredibly talented. Much more than me. But is this it? Yes, I had a good time reading it, it might have caused me to reflect or forget and assist in my escapism, but is this all entertainment has to offer me?

My expectations of entertainment have changed over the years, and maybe that’s why I refer to myself as more cynical than before. For me, entertainment has always been videos, anime, manga, and games. My side tangent focused on one part of my main sources of entertainment. But I notice my desire to want entertainment slowly go away. Yet, at the same time, I again, keep falling for it like a toxic relationship, infatuated with a toxic lover I want to get away from.

Just a few days ago, I discovered another romance manga where both characters are exceedingly stupid, and I read it for an hour until I was caught up. There’s nothing interesting or new in those pages. A few weeks ago, I watched four episodes of Dr. Stone’s newest season and found myself wondering ‘what made me love Dr. Stone so much a year ago?’ Is the new season bad or is my perception of value different?

Am I the only one who feels this way? Why are my friends so invested in Elden Ring, a game I loved and played, but playing it again months later, I love less now? I only play video games nowadays to have ‘something to do’ or hang out with my friends. I want entertainment to be something I actively enjoy, like hanging out with friends. I hate resorting to entertainment to have ‘something to do.’ That’s why entertainment sucks. But I’ll keep falling for it.