With a new, apparently darker Spider-man movie about to come out, I began to vent into a broken twitter today: dark is not always better. It may be the case that this Spider-man is better than Raimi's or perhaps just different. But I am pretty damned sure that the new Batman movie will, ahem, pale in comparison to Avengers as an entertainment experience. I doubt that it will inspire multiple posts applying to and from IR as Avengers did. Maybe it will.
I will probably like the movie, but not because it is darker. Having a darker view of anything is not inherently better or worse, although it does seem to be more likely to be reviewed positively. Likewise, I often notice reviewers who complain that a TV show is sentimental. Why is having sentiment (positive) bad? Indeed, there is a contradiction here, because two of the very best comedies on TV are very, very sweet: Parks and Rec and Community. Seinfeld was not at all sentimental and sometimes quite dark (the death of George's fiance). Tis the quality and the context that matter, not the shadings.
Sure, some folks will like darker stuff because they like a dark view of humanity or they are depressed or like the world to be more depressed than they are. Some folks like everything to be sunny because they are depressed and need a pick me up or because they are sunny and don't like downers or because they have a positive view of humanity that they don't want disturbed.
For me, dark and light are like volume--I like somethings loud and somethings quiet. I don't think things should always be loud or quiet--it depends on context, content and execution. Which is why I doubt that I will like the next Spidey or Batman movies more than Avengers--because Joss Whedon did a great job of executing the movie. Prometheus was hell-a-dark, but, well, was pretty flawed.
I think this song captures it all: