I've had some time to spare lately, and decided to go through a few forums on a few select social networks. Naturally, I eventually found myself in threads pertaining to fandoms I might be considered a part of. Much to my dismay, though utter lack of surprise, I found a few haters swimming around in these threads. I decided to do the reasonable thing, and ask if they had taken in any of said works, and I often got some variation on the following response.
"I don't have to. X is stupid, the whole concept is stupid, and you're stupid for liking it."
Okay, so that may be a slight exaggeration, but the point stands. While I like to believe I can tolerate a genuine dislike for something, or even haters, what really sets me off is haters who choose to remain ignorant of what they're hating. Naturally, I flat out told them that until they got acquainted with the works, that they had no business forming any sort of opinion on them. Now, this got me thinking. How much of any given work would someone have to take in for them to be considered acquainted with it?
Really, it all depends on the work, and who you ask about it. The best bet is to go on some forum with a thread pertaining to the work, and ask how far you should go in before you decide if it's your sort of thing. Granted, you'll get varied responses, but a majority of people will give you around the same area. Here are my own recommendations for certain works.
Any given TV show or web series: Watch the pilot episode (both halves if it's a two part pilot)
Any given book: Read the plot synopsis on the inside cover
Any given movie: Watch the trailers and read the plot synopsis on the cover
Any given video game: Same as above (as well as the gameplay breakdown, and maybe a let's play if you insist)
Any given comic series: Read the first issue
Any given webcomic: Mileage may vary: consult someone better acquainted with the work
*EDIT* On all accounts, you should probably still ask someone about it.
Now, I'm giving a footnote for certain embarrassments to any given fandom, two in particular. These two are especially embarrassing in that they end up contributing just as much as the level headed folks who discuss the plot, write fanfiction and music, create fanart, etc. These two embarrassments are Fan Dumb and Hate Dumb. Fan Dumb are the people who follow the work like sheep, and spew hate at anyone who even seems like they're dissing it. They're embarrassing because they're the loudest members of the fandom and make everyone else look stupid. Hate Dumb are the opposite extreme, spewing ignorant hatred of the work in general (as mentioned above). They're embarrassing, as they stain every thread they touch with baseless accusations of unworth, and their own general stupidity. When these two aspects meet, they fuel each other and generally dominate the thread with their stupidity.
*EDIT* In regards to the Furry Subculture: I've looked it up, and there is a distinct difference between Furries and Yiffers. While Yiffers are a subcategory of Furry, and no matter how loud they are, they're an extremely small minority, just like Cloppers are a small minority of Bronies.