The Nickleback Effect

Everyone hates Nickleback.

Well, not everyone – someone is buying their cds and going to their concerts – but if you ask most people how they feel about this Canadian band, I’m guessing that 19/20 people are going to have something derogatory to say about them. They are a punchline, an easy joke to make about terrible music. The coo thing to do is mock Nickleback.

I have no explanation for how this came about or where all this deep seeded resentment is coming from. I have made more than my fair share of Nickleback jokes over the years, but if I was really challenged to articulate what it is that I dislike so much about them, I’d be hard pressed to come up with much justification other than “they’re the worst.” It’s not rational. But somewhere along the line, we all just decided that Nickleback’s mere existence was an affront to humanity.

My irrational dislike of celebrities isn’t limited to Avril Lavigne’s husband and whoever else is in Nickleback; there are plenty of famous people that I can’t stand for any clear reason. For me, these people have the opposite of box office mojo; their attachment to a project instantly makes me less likely to want to have anything to do with it. I can’t put my finger on what rubs me the wrong way about them – there is no clear reason not to like them – yet my visceral reaction is displeasure. I acknowledge that this isn’t fair or even a reasoned response (I can be rational about my irrationality), but that doesn’t diminish how I feel. In the words of many an idiotic reality show star, I guess I’m just a hater (a word that no one who has graduated high school should ever use seriously).

So what celebrities are unlucky enough to make my list and suffer from the illogical “Nickelback Effect?” Here are some of the people who have inexplicable earned my ire:

 

Minnie Driver

minnie driver

I frequently see commercials for NBC’s new comedy About a Boy and wonder why I’ve never given this show a shot. I liked the movie upon which the series is based and it looks amusing enough. I happen to find star David Walton, who I find affable and liked on the short lived series Bent.

And then about halfway through the promo I am reminded that this show also stars Minnie Driver and my instinct immediately is “Nope – I’m out.”

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This one-sided beef with Driver goes back as far as I can remember, but I have no idea why it originated or why she is such an anathema to me. I’d pin this on the fact that she dated Matt Damon back in the day, except a) I’m not 12 and b) I have to be reminded that they were ever a couple. So whatever is the source of my annoyance, I don’t think that’s it.

 

Ryan Reynolds

1152958-ryan-reynolds

I know that plenty of girls find him dreamy, but whenever Ryan Reynolds is on the screen I have an overwhelming desire to punch him in the face. Like, I’m legitimately angry that I have to deal with this guy. I even hate his stupid hair. Actually, the hair might have a lot to do with this – my loathing seems to ebb and flow depending on how floppy his hair is. The distaste never completely disappears, but he becomes slightly more palpable dependent on his stylistic choices.

Why do I feel this way? I have no godly idea. He actually seems like he’s a nice enough guy. There are plenty of people who are deserving of such venom. On the surface, he doesn’t strike me as one of them. Sure, he makes some crappy movies, but I haven’t held that against other people. Maybe if he would just let me punch him just once, I’d get this out of my system and get over this.

 

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway

I’m hardly alone on this one – somewhere around 2012 everyone decided that they were over Anne Hathaway. She’s clearly talented, but there is just something about her that people find off-putting. The problem is, it’s kind of intangible what it is exactly that drives people so batty. My best guess is that she seems to want to be liked so badly that it actually has the opposite effect. It comes off as calculated and desperate to some. My irritation dates back to before the Oscar seemed like a legitimate possibility (don’t tell me that you watched The Princess Diaries and though that you were watching a future Academy Award winner), so while her recent Tracy Flick-like behavior certainly hasn’t helped matters it isn’t my sole reason for disliking her. I was delighted when I recently heard some stories about her from college that were less than flattering (turns out that I am three degrees of separation from her). She just has a certain je ne sais quoi – if je ne sais quoi is French for irrationally hatable.

 

Jamie Foxx

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Talent isn’t necessarily in dispute here; I actually can tolerate Jamie Foxx the actor. When he’s playing a role, I can forget that I don’t like him. But as soon as I have to deal with Jamie Foxx the person, all bets are off. When he’s just being himself (or the version of himself he plays in public), I’m instantly riled up. And not in a good way. If he’s on a talk show or at an awards show, I tend to flip the channel to not have to endure his foolishness.

 

Jerry O’Connell

Jerry O Connell

I take it back – I don’t want to waste my punch on Ryan Reynolds; I want to use it on THIS GUY. Intellectually, I know that he isn’t even worth the energy to dislike but I can’t help it. It’s instinctual. I don’t even know enough about him to have grounds for finding him distasteful, but reason isn’t necessary.

 

Ellen Page

Ellen Page

I’ve liked some of her movies and I fully support her recent decision to publically announce that she is gay. Kudos to her for being her true self. But there is still something about her that has always bugged me. It might be her voice and speaking pattern, but that isn’t defined enough so I can’t absolutely say that is what it is that irks me. This reached its full boiling during Inception, but it had been simmering for a while.

 

Jennifer Morrison

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I don’t think that it’s a total coincidence that I started to really dislike How I Met Your Mother as soon as Morrison showed up for an extended arc. Sure, the show was beginning to decline in quality, but her mere presence made me a lot less tolerant than I would have been otherwise. She was a large reason that it took some urging for me to watch Once Upon a Time. I just don’t like her – and my distaste for her only increases when she’s a blonde. But whatever her hair color, not a fan.

I genuinely feel badly that I don’t like these people for no apparent reason; I like to give people a fair shake and in these instances the celebrities in question surely didn’t get that. But obviously I don’t feel badly enough to stop irrationally hating on them. I don’t see that changing in the near future. I try to explain this behavior away with the fact that I’m just more perceptive than other people and I’m picking up on something subconsciously that others are missing. After all, I have irrationally hated Shia LaBeouf forever and we all know I turned out to be right about him. So perhaps time will prove me correct with some of these people. I could definitely see Jerry O’Connell doing something smarmy.

Now it’s your turn – what celebrities do you irrationally dislike? Sound off in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “The Nickleback Effect

  1. Lance says:

    Great writing here Heather!!! I’m going to throw my hat in the ring here with a few celebs I love to hate.
    I’m going to ignore the softballs; Jenny McCarthy, Piers Morgan, Rush Limbaugh

    Megan Pryce
    This may be more about how much I disliked her character in Rules of Engagement, or it could be the clearly exaggerated facial expressions she employed akin to that of a 19th century Shakespearean actor. Stop trying so hard…or just stop – either way, I’m turning the channel.

    Kevin Costner
    I really have a tough time with this one. No one can deny the greatness of the sprawling epic that is Dances with Wolves. Of course, I cannot fail to mention some of his other great work in the Untouchables, Bull Durham and Tin Cup. However, when one takes in all of his movies, one gets the picture of a very one dimensional actor. In very few of his parts do you, the audience, get the feeling that he IS the character. His latest movie, Draft Day, is almost guaranteed to be more of the same rigid inflexible delivery and stiff body motions. Reminds of a great quote from one our foremost philosophers, Chris Griffin: “How does Kevin Costner keep getting work?” Indeed.

    • heather7180 says:

      Thanks for commenting!

      Yeah – I’m not a big Megan Pryce fan either, though I had to look her up to see who she ways so apparently my feelings for her are mostly disinterest not actual dislike.

      Shhh….don’t tell anyone – I’ve never seen Dances with Wolves.

  2. Frances says:

    I have always disliked Andie McDowell for no good reason – and as a result feel I have missed the boat on a few cult classics like “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Groundhog Day.” Not a super timely pull for this topic but she is always at the top of my list.

    • heather7180 says:

      That’s a good call Frances – she is easily the worst thing about Four Weddings and a Funeral (and St. Elmo’s Fire for that matter,) Looking over her IMDB page, I’ve clearly been avoiding her too. Though I just don’t think she’s a good actress, so I at least have an idea why I don’t like her.

      Thanks for the comment!

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