The "Twilight" movie franchise has been so successful that even people who are not in its target audience of teenage girls and sexually frustrated middle-aged women have been consumed by it, overwhelmed by it, unable to escape seeing evidence of it at every turn. That includes those of us who work in the field of entertainment journalism (put sarcastic finger quotes around either or both of those words). Just as sports writers must pay attention to the WNBA occasionally and soccer every four years, entertainment writers must go where the stories are. And for the last five years, the stories have been in the "Twilight" zone.
But now we come to "Breaking Dawn -- Part 2," the fifth and final installment in a series that critics have hailed as "expensive" and "based on some books." This is the last one. There will be no more "Twilight" movies (until the franchise is rebooted) (in eight years). It is the end of an era -- not just for fans but for everyone who has seen its stars gazing blankly, Kardashian-like, from the cover of every magazine; for everyone who has been personally offended by the blasphemous notion of vampires that sparkle, as if the very idea exhumed Bram Stoker's corpse and violated it; for every literate person who has condemned the popularity of Stephenie Meyer's "awful" books, which they haven't read; for every person in America who thinks that Robert Pattinson is odd-looking and who still only has a vague but unfavorable impression of what a "Taylor Lautner" even is.
It is the end of an era for us all. A bittersweet moment. As journalists, we say farewell to something we weren't very interested in to begin with, yet we know in our hearts that we will miss Kristen Stewart's facial expression (singular), and that we will fondly recall the pointless arguments between "Harry Potter" fans and "Twilight" fans. We movie bloggers will miss asking tough questions at red-carpet events, questions such as "Are Kristen and Rob back together?" and "Why won't you comment on Kristen and Rob?" and "Will you take your shirt off?"
Most of all, we will miss the pageviews, the millions and millions of pageviews we got simply by mentioning something "Twilight"-related in the headline. So many glorious pageviews in exchange for so little effort! We will miss you a lot.
But overall, we are glad to see "Twilight" fade into the rearview mirror (which for some reason these vampires cast reflections in, don't get us started). We're tired of pretending that Taylor Lautner may one day be a legitimate movie star. We didn't like being forced to admit that Robert Pattinson may have some talent. (For future reference, once we decide an actor is useless based on the movies he chooses to star in, please do not correct us.) We were briefly cheered when Kristen cheated on Rob, but the novelty quickly wore off. "Will this affect the box office for 'Breaking Dawn -- Part 2'?" was not a question we could ask with a straight face very many times.
Yes, we are relieved to have endured the last mumbly press junket, the last Comic-Con panel, and the last cacophonous outcry from Comic-Con stalwarts who don't think "Twilight" belongs there. Never again will we be obligated to report with breathless astonishment that the latest "Twilight" movie has sold a lot of tickets!!!!!! and is popular among people who love "Twilight"!!!!! We've written the last of our "think pieces" about how "Twilight" reflects Stephenie Meyer's Mormon faith, or how the popularity of the series is a statement on post-feminist America, or any of the other B.S. things we made up to fill space.
With "Twilight" out of the way, we can finally get back to important movie journalism, such as ranking the James Bond films and posting links to mashed-up trailers. No longer will controversial topics like Spider-Man's new mask being the wrong thickness or Dan Aykroyd saying the word "ghostbusters" in his sleep be put on the back burner. Now, at last, we are done with "Twilight" and can turn our attention to something that really matters: blindly guessing who will direct the new "Star Wars" movie. Our future is bright, so bright it practically sparkles.