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Pushing the 'Underrated'

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Recently I was paging through an issue of Entertainment Weekly. The stars of Orphan Black were on the cover. This issue's main focus was on the movies, TV shows, music and so on that were considered to be "criminally underrated." They were compiled by the staff with contributions from people like Stephen King. As an avid reader of the magazine for over 10 years, I was happy that the magazine was showcasing entertainment that might be overlooked. This is not the first time the magazine has done something like this, but it was great to see it again.

The entertainment media world is very crowded. All these sites, TV shows and magazines push to get the viewer's attention. One way to get and keep a viewer's attention is to push what they (media) believe to be (or will be) popular. It is a generally a mixture of what the media or critics "like" and to what the public gravitates. Sometimes this does not match up. Some of the more successful things in entertainment have been "panned by the critics," but for one reason or another, a certain (and large enough) audience enjoys it (and vice versa).

The good news is if a reader likes something that happens to be "popular" with either a large fan base or the critics/media, they will have what seems to be an endless supply of content to read, pictures to view and interviews/videos to watch. The downside to this is the media tends to overflow the market with this content which typically doesn't leave that much room for the others.

So, it is nice to occasionally see something different on the cover of my magazine or on my computer screen. Whether I am a fan of them or are not even aware of who they are, they are at least on my radar. While "popular" things will usually always get the most clicks or views, it sometimes just takes one chance for the door to truly open.

The reason I gravitated towards this issue of Entertainment Weekly (and therefore felt compelled to write this) was because it shined the light on contributions to the entertainment community that they felt were being overlooked and needed to be shown. I tend to gravitate towards the "underrated" or not well known. Don't get me wrong, I like popular music, TV shows and movies. However, I sometimes find myself rooting for or pushing the "underrated" TV show, movie or band that I am pretty sure only a handful of people even know exist. I occasionally write for The Huffington Post about people, places and things that most people may be unaware of. While I plan on going between the popular and the "underrated" topics in the future, it tends to be more gratifying to write about the latter.

I was reminded this a little over a month ago. I decided to revisit the first artist I ever did an article on (named Adam Lyons). He was shooting his first music video and a lot has changed during his career, so it seemed fitting that there should be some sort of update. However, the day the article was released, he happened to literally be shooting his music video and I am pretty sure those involved had no idea about the article. Though I did not see their physical reaction, their reaction through social media made this writer smile.