Genre is a term that is hardly defined. It can be seen as a system, which has some conventions and some codes which are shared by the producers and also by audience. 2500 years ago, Aristotle categorised two main genres: comedy and tragedy, and listed their main characteristics. But the difference is that nowadays genre are not seen anymore like a form of art, on the contrary they are seen as a source of entertainment.
These genres have some clearly defined characteristics, but not all of this characteristics must be fulfilled in order categorise a media object to his genre. For example, science fiction movies are usually set in the future, but this is not a rule – Star Wars is set a long time ago, in another galaxy. Moreover, usually a science fiction movie is about space travel and usually involves technology, but this are not defining characteristics. Science fiction movies don’t share only one element, there are a range of things that science fiction movies share, and a media object must have at least 2 or 3 of them in order to be called a science fiction movie.
There are also some advantages of genre. For example the audience feels more comfortable and has a sense of belonging, easier to market, and also its more easier for media to handle some genres objects.
My favourite movie genre is comedy, but I have moments when I don’t feel like watching this type of movie. So I try to adapt and I try to look for something that suits my state of mind. Thats why it is good to know a little bit about every genre in order to choose exactly what makes you feel more comfortable to watch.