What Characteristics Do You Find in a Bad Musical?

What are things that I believe make a musical bad? While there are characteristics that I want in a musical, there are elements I don’t want in a musical.

First things first is the very obvious. I don’t want a musical to have songs that I just don’t like. Because after all the songs are the key to a wonderful musical. If you don’t like the songs, it makes the rest of the musical fall apart. Bad songs can make emotions not even worth feeling in the first place. It can make it harder to actually watch a musical if you just don’t love the songs. The songs are the main thing of what makes musical well a musical. An example of this might be confusing, but so far I just am not willing to actually see Hamilton. I already listened to some of the songs and I feel “meh” about them. If I just don’t love the songs, there is no need to actually see the musical.

While on the topic of songs, I also think a bad musical does not give me an emotional connection. Without an emotional connection, it makes everything feel flat and boring. Without an emotional connection, tough emotions are emotions I would rather not feel. Without an emotional connection, it does not make your experience as good.

When it comes to characters, I don’t want to love a character and for some odd reason not even appreciate their storyline. That is not referring to not liking what the character is going through. You might love the character, but you might not like how they respond to certain situations. You might not like how they grow over time. It is hard to describe how you can love a character, but not even care about their storyline. It really goes down to how they respond to situation, their relationships to other characters, and things that just don’t feel right in the character’s story. An example of that comes from Little Shop of Horrors. When I saw it at my school in February I fell in love with Seymour and Audrey, but just didn’t fully enjoy the storyline.

Also when it comes to characters, I don’t want to honestly just not even love the characters. The same thing applied to the storyline. Just like songs, the characters and storylines are just as important.

I also don’t want a musical with literally just a negative nature. That kind of storyline is super boring. With that kind of nature, negative emotions become rather bland and a bit way too much.  No musical has proven to have just a negative nature. Just a negative nature does not allow a musical to truly grow. Having no positive nature makes it seem like you did not have a very good experience. I have never seen a musical with just a negative nature even though the first time I saw Les Mis, I found it too depressing, but when I saw it the second time, I realized there is more to it than heartbreaking.

In your opinion, what makes you not like a musical?


Author: mphtheatregirl

I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog mainly is about musicals. Every so often I talk about spirituality. Sometimes I add in movie reviews, book reviews, and about my life in general. I hope you find my blog inspiring.

15 thoughts on “What Characteristics Do You Find in a Bad Musical?”

  1. For me, I think it’s a blend of several things but mostly, I think that if I don’t like the songs–or only like a handful of them–the musical kinda falls flat for me. I also feel like, for me, the finale of a musical can sway what I think of it


    1. The songs are key to many things in a musical. The main emotions happen through them. You learn to love characters and plot through them. I don’t want the songs to fail me or else the musical falls down in the dumps


      1. Absolutely! Songs are what make musicals special and, like you said, the songs contain important emotions and, especially in that way, songs have to pull their weight. However, I also think the songs are important because they’re generally the biggest part of the musical that people take away and retain for years.


      2. I have to love to love the songs in order to love the emotions. Look at the negative emotions: they are not worth feeling if you honestly just don’t like the song at all


      3. The negative emotions don’t count for me if they are not in the songs. They have to be in the songs to truly count as part of the musical. Songs where sad is strong enough to songs that are heartbreakers, those only seem to exist where there is the right amount of conflict and complexity found in the musical


      4. Exactly all of that. The songs hold a musical together. The songs develop character and advance plot. Every musical does have an anthem and that is for the most part the most famous song. Songs for sure show the complexity depending on the musical.

        Les Mis’ score for instance is very powerful, strong, and passionate, which has that nature due to the nature of the characters and plot. While Music Man has a less complex score with loads less conflict, so the songs have no reason to have any negative emotions or much strength either or anything like that


      5. Definitely. Both of those musicals have scores that complement them perfectly. They just really fit and I think that that’s important too! The songs in a musical really should reflect the story they’re telling


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