We’re starting a new series of articles on the site, which we’re going to call “Bandwagon Corner.” What is Bandwagon Corner, you may ask? Well, it’s where we go back and watch and/or read popular films, TV shows, and books that we somehow have never seen or read, and are now “jumping on the bandwagon,” so to speak. It’s more likely that these articles will feature series or franchises, rather than stand-alone properties, but the latter is possible, if it has a big cult following.
So with that in mind, Josh and I have a confession to make: aside from the first film, Josh and I have never read or watched the Harry Potter books or movies. How can that be? Well, I think the simple answer is that we were both too old for it when it came out. I’m 32 and he’s 34. I guess that’s not really an excuse, as we do have friends around our age who are very much into Harry Potter. But then again, they’re mostly younger.
I first heard about the Harry Potter series through my brother, who was reading the first book. He was in fifth grade, while I was in high school. I think I was in 10th grade, so this was probably 2000. With that big of an age difference, it already seemed like a series that I was too old for, and that was targeted to children much younger than myself, so I didn’t take much interest. A couple years later, I was in college. Although my family lived in Texas, I attended the University of Southern California. My mom would drive me out before the start of each school year, and then come pick me up at the end, so that I would be home each summer. I believe it was the summer before my sophomore year of college, we stopped off in Arizona to spend the night at the house of a family friend. This family friend’s 3 or 4 year old grandson also happened to be there, and had control of the TV, on which he watched a kid’s show called “The Wiggles.” He also watched the first Harry Potter movie. This was the first and only time that I’ve watched any of the Harry Potter movies. I don’t think I even saw the whole movie, maybe just the last half, but it was enough to convince me that I had no interest in this franchise. I remember thinking it was way too kiddish, and that the acting was pretty bad. Of course, me being 19 at the time, and being forced to watch something that a little kid picked didn’t help things any. So to me, Harry Potter was on par with the target demographic for “The Wiggles.”
Fast forward to two years later. It was 2005, and I was spending my final summer in Texas. That summer, I worked two part-time jobs. During the weekdays, I worked at a print shop assembling student handbooks, and during the evenings and on weekends, I worked at Cold Stone. I was 21, while most of the people I worked with were 16, at both jobs. A new Harry Potter book was released that summer, and the Cold Stone just happened to be located right next to a Barnes and Noble. So the manager wanted Cold Stone to stay open late enough so that the people who attended the midnight release could come over and buy some ice cream. I was always looking to work any extra hours, so I volunteered to work late that night. Anyway, the 16 year olds that worked at Cold Stone didn’t want to work that night, because they wanted to go to the midnight release, and the 16 year olds that worked at the print shop stopped by and got some ice cream because they had been at the midnight release. Again, this just reinforced the notion that Harry Potter was for people younger than me.
Now here we are in 2016, and I still have never gone back and watched any of the Harry Potter movies, or tried reading any of the books. However, throughout the past few years, I’ve noticed that so many of our friends that have the same tastes as us all like Harry Potter. I must admit, that I haven’t heard of anyone watching or reading Harry Potter and not liking it. They all love it. The only people that don’t like it are people who haven’t given it a chance, for whatever reason, usually because they’re too old, like me, and missed the boat.
So I’ve decided that I’m going to give it a chance.
I’m going to read all the books and watch all the movies. Josh isn’t much of a book reader, so he’s just going to watch all the movies. But he’s going to wait until I finish each book, of course, so that we can watch each movie together.
The goal is to finish this project before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them comes out in November. That way, if we end up loving the Harry Potter series, we can feel like we know what’s going on in that movie, and can identify with it more than if we had never read or watched the Harry Potter books and movies.
So, yes, we are jumping on the Harry Potter bandwagon after all these years. We’ll keep you updated on our progress as we make our way through, and let you know what we think, whether it’s good or bad. But either way, we intend to make it through all of the books and movies, so that we can make an informed decision on whether or not we actually like the Harry Potter series, which we can’t form an honest opinion about at this point in time, without having experienced anything in the Harry Potter universe aside from the first film.
With the new Harry Potter expansion having recently opened at Universal Studios Hollywood (just a short drive away), the upcoming release of Fantastic Beasts, and the recent release of yet another Harry Potter book, it seems like now is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon.
I feel like a huge part of pop culture is passing me by, and I’m being left out here in the cold.
But today is the day.
The day that I dive headfirst in the world of Harry Potter.
Josh will follow close behind.
Won’t you join us on our journey of discovery?