Okay, so hear me out – because I can already hear the eye-rolling. The Twilight Saga is not that bad. Or at least, it's not bad for the reasons people think it is.
The romance between Bella and Edward (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) was first developed by author Stephanie Meyer's imagination.
After reading the books, they were brought to life by Director Catherine Hardwicke's Summit Entertainment movie releases.
The Twilight Saga isn't bad simply because it's directed to a female teen audience.
It Also Isn't Bad Because It Is Mainstream
We cannot mitigate The Twilight Saga's popularity because of it's younger followers.
Yes – the actors are occasionally wooden or bewildering, but that's its charm. These characters aren't polished; they're real.
You see how Edward Cullen learns from his father figure, Carlisle Cullen – and in turn, compromises from Jacob Black's wolf pack.
The movie releases really jumpstarted the teen fantasy careers of Twilight stars: Taylor Lautner, Nikki Reed, Billy Burke, and Anna Kendrick, among others. A top box office hit that never lost its box office mojo.
Most Importantly, It Is Wish Fulfilment
It doesn't pretend to be anything otherwise.
We all know the folktale of how the Twilight Series came to be – Fifty shades fanfiction.
Although our Mormon author Stephanie Meyers isn't as notorious as JK Rowling, she is nearly as powerful.
Back to the matter at hand: the seed that sowed my own Twilight renaissance.
Having previously not engaged with it since 2012 – along came the publication of Midnight Sun.
Now, to say that this arrival was anticipated would be underselling it. First proposed around the early 2010s but famously leaked illegally on the internet, Ms. Meyer vowed then and there never to publish the rest of it.
We Spooked The Goose, Essentially
However, further proof that we aren't in the worst timeline, somewhere in April – back when lockdown seemed like it had an endpoint – Stephanie Meyers announced the impossible…
It wasn't just a reissue of Twilight The Illustrated Guide, Twilight The Official Graphic Novel, or watching bloopers. This was real.
Midnight Sun would be coming to our eyeballs in three short months.
Then, in typical hyper fixation fashion – I promptly forgot about it in the sea of migrating cultures and changing norms.
That is, until around two weeks ago when it came out and reignited my passion.
I tore through the eBook, reading from my laptop in the dark in my bed like when it first got 'published'.
I Still Have The Pdf, Not Even Going To Lie
It was classic. Filled with pining, unmet glances and concealed gestures of affection that the other person can never know happened but that the reader must nonetheless gorge on.
It was a glut of comfort food and validation, essentially. I was not only taken back to 2008, reading it for the first time but also see the other side of the story.
Having fed off the scraps of the gender-bending tenth edition of the novel – switching Bella as the brooding, jaded vampire. Edward became a frail human.
Also worth noting, Bree Tanner's short story. Pour one out to everyone who tried the Host series because they thought it would be as good.
Finally, finally – we had content. And frankly, I enjoyed each of the 600 odd pages.
Boy, Edward Can Overthink
Plus, our famed author finally admitted what the world had been screaming for years: watching someone sleep IS weird!
It goes without saying that upon finishing the novel and hearing more about Alice Cullen and Jasper – Ashley Greene and Jackson Rathbone (arguably more interesting than the main protagonists; same goes for like, all, the other Cullen family but oh well, no-one's bitter) – I watched the films.
I was re-watching Twilight The Movie recently in its blue filtered spider monkey's glory the previous week, so I skipped straight to the pure angst of Twilight Saga: New Moon.
It Was Exactly As I Remembered It
Wonky, sepia and ripped Jacob Black.
Plus, those pages panning through the months 'October' through to 'December' always hit because no matter how melodramatic it is, it just works!
Having finished that and forgotten half the plotlines – all my years at the academy, wasted – I promptly moved on to Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which was much more reassuring because there was no plot.
Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn – both parts – are the best films, hands down.
The characters' wigs are slightly less atrocious and they all seem to have more personality and charisma – maybe with the end of their contracts being in sight, but it fits more.
Also, after Bella (spoiler alert) finally turns, the filmmakers allowed the white makeup to pretty much drop, presumably on account of the fact that through the lens of Bella's eyes, everyone is the same now.
And who can forget the beyond iconic line: 'you nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster?'.
Absolute scenes. Edward and Bella deserved that MTV movie award they remain worth watching.
Anyway, all this to say: I loved Twilight and all Catherine Hardwicke's work in secret when I was younger. I never had the confidence to claim my favorite things – because teenage girls aren't allowed to like anything without it being called obsessive or embarrassing or 'try-hard.'
So I'm reclaiming my old guilty pleasures and realizing that I shouldn't be guilty about what pleases me. Robert Pattinson would never settle.
I had to pretend to like Lord of the Rings instead. Ignoring my favourite Twilight sequel set in Phoenix, Arizona, starring one Bella Swan and a Vampire, Edward.
Don't mind me, on my way to start watching the deleted scenes from the movie releases...
Peter Facinelli, Justin Chon and Kellan Lutz... You know the drill.