Friday, October 23, 2009
The science museum had lost its charm
I twittered my on-the-spot reactions to the Harry Potter exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science, mainly, as a way to kill time because this show was definitely So Not My Thing. While I knew it was going to be about the films (which I've only seen out of the corner of my eye on TV) rather than the books, I dragged my companions along to the preview with the promise that there might be some cool stuff about moviemaking and special effects. Instead, it was an admittedly dazzling faux-Hogwarts gallery of costumes and props, a couple of minimally interactive pit stops (skee-ball like Quidditch tossing; plastic plants that made a noise when you touched them) and a big fat $ouvenir emporium. No ideas of any kind about science or magic or movies were offered. True fans will not be deterred, I'm sure, but I was a little embarrassed for the Museum, whose role, I think, is limited to giving the exhibit space (I wonder how the profits get sliced up). It could have been great, though, with opportunities to look at the science behind alchemy, say, or how CGI really works. But this was all "celebrate the magic," complete with English-accented guides and guards recruited from Craigslist. Why, so you feel like you're in an English museum? I dunno.