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  1. #31
    Extraordinary Member Cyke's Avatar
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    I have mixed feelings of those after-shows where the cast and crew break down an episode. Sometimes it's insightful, like explaining the choices why they did or fleshing out some sort of trope or layer. But if that explanation has to fill in a plot hole or explain character-induced-stupidity or OOCness, then it's not a good sign.

    If the fans have wrong expectations, for the most part, I blame it on the crew not conveying their ideas properly. That doesn't mean hitting the audience over the head or talking down to them, but the crew, like any author, is supposed to guide the audience through the overall story. It can be done with as much or as little hand holding as possible, and the latter can spur a lot of analysis and discussion (I mean, Waiting for Godot is perhaps the most famous example), but if that discussion is near-unanimous that the crew did it badly, then guess what? They did it badly.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesonAnders View Post
    You haven't served your audience well if you only give them what they expect.

    On the other hand, sometimes the audience just expects it to go away, and justifiably so.
    I think this backs up the idea that a huge chunk of it comes down to EXECUTION; a story should hang together and work well when viewed from its endpoint, even if the first experience through it had u expected twists and turns.

    The Red Wedding works perfectly on rewatch because you can see all the flaws, desperation, warning signs, and fatal decisions coming together that put Robb Stark unarmed before a treacherous ally, and how that treacherous ally also doomed himself and bit off more than he could chew even before Arya came knocking/cooking.

    A film like The Prestige has an utterly perfect mystery and crazy plot, but also works perfectly on rewatch; the film basically pulls a change-up regarding who it’s protagonist is and flat out deceives the audience in an incredible way on the first watch, but holds together even better on a rewatch.

    At the same time, even a somewhat predictable and conventional story can become astounding with excellent execution and perfectly timed if minute differentiations: Avengers Endgame becomes an easy film to understand and predict at a certain point... but that does nothing to stop its appeal, while Greg Weisman comic shows, like Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice are arguably more faithful to the comics than the comics are to themselves, and is almost overdosing on familiar tropes... but it works, really, really well.

    The problem with some stories is that when viewed backwards... they start to disintegrate.

    HIMYM’s ending crashed headlong into the last two seasons which arguably disprovEd its central points while the ending was simultaneously rejecting the ethos of the late two seasons. Basically, the last two seasons either couldn’t have happened the way they did, or the ending and to change.

    Dany’s fall in Game of Thrones and Jaime’s relapse to Cersei’s pet both clash with some of the central precepts of the very season they flip back in; Jaime’s rejection of Cersei at the end of the penultimate season and his history with the mad king create a narrative and character arc that can’t suffer the kind of relapse the finale wants, while Dany’s emotional state gets so awkwardly handled that instead of her madness making sense, it just kind of comes from nowhere. There were easy ways to make either outcome for Dany and Jaime work (have Dany’s rampage triggered by the death of one of her dragons on the city, rather than an episode before, and maybe have Jamie come intending to kill Cersei himself to spare her humiliation but make sure it gets done, as an appropriate twisted ending for the two of them.)

    The Sequel Trilogy just ends up suffering massively because each film horribly jars with the previous one when viewed backwards, and reflects even worse towards the OT. TFA upended the happy ending of ROTJ, which might be tolerable with a good ending to its story, only for TLJ to come in and upend characterization and drama from TFA (particularly regarding how loathsome Kylo was and if Finn was the male lead, how much spine and humanity Rey had, and Luke’s value as the MacGuffin), before TROS came in and upended some of TLJ’s decisions while still honoring the ones that upended TFA... resulting in a giant mess that basically shoots the OT’s ending like a sad puppy.
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  3. #33
    Ultimate Member Gray Lensman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesonAnders View Post
    You haven't served your audience well if you only give them what they expect.

    On the other hand, sometimes the audience just expects it to go away, and justifiably so.
    I think that when you subvert expectations it has to make narrative sense - it shouldn't be something out of left field where even after rewatching no one can figure out the clues. Plus, it's a device that needs to be used sparingly - if all you do is subvert expectations for every setup, that becomes the norm.
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  4. #34
    Astonishing Member batnbreakfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    I had no problem with Mandarin or Guy Pierce in IM3. The movie did not fall apart for me at all. I didn't like the end big battle with all the Iron Suits. Until then, it was fine.
    Same here. Its one of the more than mediocre ones Marvel has put out.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Lensman View Post
    I think that when you subvert expectations it has to make narrative sense - it shouldn't be something out of left field where even after rewatching no one can figure out the clues. Plus, it's a device that needs to be used sparingly - if all you do is subvert expectations for every setup, that becomes the norm.
    Exactly.

    Subverting expectations can’t be the sole goal of a story, it has to make sense within what’s been established already.

    Personally, I see a lot of storytelling tools being used carelessly recently, death and the “swerve”. For some reason writers feel the need to kill off major characters in stories to prove it has stakes and at some point it becomes very lazy. The original Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and even Dark Knight trilogy told their stories with high stakes situations and managed to do so without needlessly killing off central characters. A movie like Unforgiven could easily have had Will Munny die in a blaze of glory but we saw at the end the kind of guy he really was and he rode into the night as the bad ass that was hinted out throughout the movie AND he got to return to his family. I’m not saying death isn’t important in the stories (it’s an important storytelling tool) but running out of ideas with a character or wanting to redeem said characters via death comes across as lazy sometimes.

    The swerve on the other hand has been severely abused. It’s like a lot of writers are too afraid to simply let their stories play out naturally so they feel the need to throw a curveball as the story advances. It’s something J.R.R Martin mentioned some years back, he noticed that some folks online had guessed the plots to his next books but regardless he was going to let them play out as originally intended. His reasoning was the story already made sense up to that point so a swerve would “break” the story as it has already been established. Subverting expectations needs to make sense and should be used carefully, to me, setting up a narrative that simply builds to a twist isn’t always good storytelling. Luke Skywalker having a moment of weakness as a Jedi Master makes sense, Luke Skywalker then cutting himself from the force, running from the Jedi order, exiling himself while the universe burns makes no sense. Setting up Snoke only to be a nothing character doesn’t add anything to the narrative (and I would argue is what necessitated Abrams bringing back the Emperor) it just means that we as audience members wasted our eyeball energy.

    Subverting expectations needs to make sense or else the story tellers could easily fall into “it was all a dream” territory.
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Lensman View Post
    I think that when you subvert expectations it has to make narrative sense - it shouldn't be something out of left field where even after rewatching no one can figure out the clues. Plus, it's a device that needs to be used sparingly - if all you do is subvert expectations for every setup, that becomes the norm.
    Right, there has to be something substantial behind the decision, preferably both in the foreshadowing around it *and* in the consequences of it, but if you can’t do both, at least embrace one side of the equation well enough to justify the decision.

    Game of Thrones/Storm of Swords had the Viper and Mountain fight have enough consequences that even when some of them misfired (The Dorne plotline, especially in the show), it still paid off, and let’s face it, that fight subverted expectations by not just having the bad guy win, but having the pragmatic anti-hero Tyrion be on the losing side of the same type of combat by champion he’d secured Bronn’s services for. On the other hand, Euron Greyjoy becoming an Over-Powered Hero-Killer slaying dragons and Lannisters via plot convenience is also subverting expectations, given how late he was to the game, but there was just something lacking about his actions on the story in terms of narrative - he was a plot device instead of a character by the end, taking pieces off the board for convenience rather than to cause seismic shifts in the storyline.

    Star Wars had a healthy history of subversions with substance, but TLJ seemed to revel in substance-less subversions. “No Luke; I am your father!” genuinely broke from the established storyline and required some retconning and reinterpretation, but paid off in spades for Luke and the OT. “You’re nothing, but not to me” from TLJ just further undermines and deflates an already lackluster and kind of meandering storyline for Rey, and defused a lot of the family drama that the Skywalker Sgaa thrives on by putting most its legacy on the inadequate and loathsome shoulders of Kylo.
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  7. #37
    Spectacular Member Valentis's Avatar
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    A writer may not know the difference between subverting expectations, bad writing, shock value, jumping the shark and character assassination.

    Star Wars sequel trilogy is character assassination and bad writing

    Game of Thrones is bad writing

  8. #38
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    I think its a very legitimate argument, having seen how such fan expectations worked in relation to the Star Wars sequels, comic books in general, and the like.

    All the same, I think its useful to examine the specific arguments given; sometimes its just someone angry that the movie/comic/book/whatever didn't do what they wanted, other times there might be some reason behind it. Case in point, is my dislike of Kylo Ren being redeemed in TROS largely due to me having the wrong expectation (e.g. that he had to remain the villain to the very end)? Yes, absolutely. That said, I don't find his redemption to be at all well-written, both in the movie proper and in relation to the rest of the series, which makes it extremely hard to accept (unlike how I was able to get onboard with Luke's self-exile in TLJ despite not being initially happy with the idea because it was written well and well-acted).
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  9. #39
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    When dealing with long-running franchises, fan expectation is a given. The very reason why long-running fan franchises are a thing is that people (fans)have expectations. It usually goes wrong when marketing sells one thing (remember that thing you like?) but the movie gives you something else entirely.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    I think this backs up the idea that a huge chunk of it comes down to EXECUTION; a story should hang together and work well when viewed from its endpoint, even if the first experience through it had u expected twists and turns.

    The Red Wedding works perfectly on rewatch because you can see all the flaws, desperation, warning signs, and fatal decisions coming together that put Robb Stark unarmed before a treacherous ally, and how that treacherous ally also doomed himself and bit off more than he could chew even before Arya came knocking/cooking.

    A film like The Prestige has an utterly perfect mystery and crazy plot, but also works perfectly on rewatch; the film basically pulls a change-up regarding who it’s protagonist is and flat out deceives the audience in an incredible way on the first watch, but holds together even better on a rewatch.

    At the same time, even a somewhat predictable and conventional story can become astounding with excellent execution and perfectly timed if minute differentiations: Avengers Endgame becomes an easy film to understand and predict at a certain point... but that does nothing to stop its appeal, while Greg Weisman comic shows, like Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice are arguably more faithful to the comics than the comics are to themselves, and is almost overdosing on familiar tropes... but it works, really, really well.

    The problem with some stories is that when viewed backwards... they start to disintegrate.

    HIMYM’s ending crashed headlong into the last two seasons which arguably disprovEd its central points while the ending was simultaneously rejecting the ethos of the late two seasons. Basically, the last two seasons either couldn’t have happened the way they did, or the ending and to change.

    Dany’s fall in Game of Thrones and Jaime’s relapse to Cersei’s pet both clash with some of the central precepts of the very season they flip back in; Jaime’s rejection of Cersei at the end of the penultimate season and his history with the mad king create a narrative and character arc that can’t suffer the kind of relapse the finale wants, while Dany’s emotional state gets so awkwardly handled that instead of her madness making sense, it just kind of comes from nowhere. There were easy ways to make either outcome for Dany and Jaime work (have Dany’s rampage triggered by the death of one of her dragons on the city, rather than an episode before, and maybe have Jamie come intending to kill Cersei himself to spare her humiliation but make sure it gets done, as an appropriate twisted ending for the two of them.)

    The Sequel Trilogy just ends up suffering massively because each film horribly jars with the previous one when viewed backwards, and reflects even worse towards the OT. TFA upended the happy ending of ROTJ, which might be tolerable with a good ending to its story, only for TLJ to come in and upend characterization and drama from TFA (particularly regarding how loathsome Kylo was and if Finn was the male lead, how much spine and humanity Rey had, and Luke’s value as the MacGuffin), before TROS came in and upended some of TLJ’s decisions while still honoring the ones that upended TFA... resulting in a giant mess that basically shoots the OT’s ending like a sad puppy.
    While I personally loved Endgame, it still gets criticism from people I know who had their expectations shut down with the Hulk.

    After Infinity War, and Hulk beat down by Thanos, they expected the raging green monster to come back in the next film ready to give the smack down in round two.

    I read the comics, so I knew Professor Hulk was coming. They didn’t.

    They were pissed that Hulk was no longer the raging green monster they grew to love. And even madder still that he wouldn’t get a personally beat down on Thanos. Not content that it was the Smart Hulk that brought everyone back to life.

    No, they wanted monster Hulk. They hated that and said the Russo’s, just like the sequel trilogy, subverted their expectations.


    So sometimes, it not about execution but really is about what fans expect in their own head canons.

  11. #41
    CBR's Good Fairy Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    I just think, in general, we should try and judge a film based mostly on what it delivers, not on what we think it should deliver. That way lies madness. And for what it's worth I liked how Game of Thrones ended. Conceptually it worked, it's just the execution lacked polish because they didn't have the detail from the books to colour it better.
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  12. #42
    Astonishing Member AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    I was content with Game of Thrones. The issues surrounding the ending didn't drop it out of my list of favorite TV shows of all time. I liked that Tyrion turned out to be not the craftiest genius in the world after all, that Cersei and Jamie got an unpredictable (if infuriating) ending, and I really loved how Arya's story turned out. Didn't like that Dany's arc was so disastrously fast-forwarded, and the choice of Bran didn't make much sense to me, and I think the next chapter will be a big headache as Dorne and the Iron Isles loudly insist that they should get to be independent too, like the North.

    But there had been so much great writing and acting that came before, the ending seemed almost like an appendix to me.
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  13. #43
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    My short answer is "yes, I think fan expectations being nuts is a legitimate defense, if the film doesn't actually stink."

    It's too bad the thread got rebooted, because Marvel's Agents of SHIELD comments were a treasure trove of frustrated irrational fan expectations during season one. There were howls from those that wanted the show to be a continuing Avengers story, chopped into weekly segments, and disappointed the series didn't have FX quality of the $220M budget film.

    At the same time, an adaptation can just be plain bad, regardless of what expectations fans might have held. For example, I think you'd have a real job on your hands finding somebody that didn't think the attempts to bring Captain America to the screen (large or small) didn't reek like last month's sushi prior to the 2011 MCU film.

  14. #44
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    I guess it's a legit argument. The biggest thing I heard about GOT was "Ohhh they kill anybody on that show! You think somebody is gonna live and then bam! They dead! sick yo!!" And it's like okay why would you think a show like that would give a satisfying ending?

    I remember watching the first episode of AOS and ppl were saying "There wasn't enough character development and it's like yeah it's just the first episode, Calm down. So yeah I think a lot of criticisms these days do come down to wrong expectations or just not knowing what storytelling is. Like ppl value shock or swerve over a solid story.

  15. #45
    Spectacular Member Menacer's Avatar
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    Most everything can be broken down to your age.


    The older you are the harder it is to like new things.

    When your 5, 10, 15, or 20 most everything you watch is life changing and the greatest thing...

    Or at the very least by the time you hit 30 or 40 you cant remember all the utter trash you watched over the years.

    Nostalgia is powerful and all the negativity nellies on this forum or the internet at large usually are older and living in the past.

    4 year old me and 7 year old me had my mind blown by Keaton and his Batman films. How do we top those feelings.

    Most of us would probably agree the best star wars is empire strikes back.

    Worked with a 19 year old and the first star wars he saw in theaters was phantom menace.
    It is his favorite star wars.


    Watching The Flash tv series as a kid, as cheesy as it is, was awesome... yet some how I cant be bothered by CW Flash or these modern dc shows, even tho they are easily as well done and better done then say, Lois and Clark with Dean Caine...

    Childhood allows us to enjoy a lot more material, a lot more things in life in general...

    This is the single largest factor in why xyz project isnt as good as that old thing I like.

    Of course some stuff just comes down to bad execution like those last couple seasons of himym...

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