As was made clear in my most recent blog post, we’ve run through our eight posts on Funnier Than You Realized, and it’s time to turn over to a new leaf. So, without further ado, let me introduce the next series for your enjoyment: That’s Not A Plot Hole!
This series was inspired by a discussion that’s been swirling around the internet for a while, surrounding what are known when it comes to film criticism as “plot holes.” It seems like almost anywhere we turn, we can find list after list arguing that something we love or liked is actually awful and citing as proof an interminable list of plot holes that supposedly wreck the story those pieces of art are trying to tell. At the same time, however, a backlash to that trend has emerged, in which people criticize both the way certain “plot holes” are actually evidence of lazy watching or misunderstanding, and argue that plot hole criticism is actively bad for our appreciation of art and storytelling. And while I can absolutely empathize with the “I’m so smart” thrill that comes from pointing out mistakes in a story, I generally come down very hard on the side of this equation that says the obsession with plot holes is both overblown and downright unhealthy for our understanding of both art and storytelling.
To explore this controversy - and hopefully sway some of you to my side - I’m going to take a look at some plot holes that can found in literature and film, and dissect them, exploring how the idea that they’re “plot holes” that undermine the story being told in their work is not just wrong, but focuses us on the completely wrong parts of art and storytelling. In doing so, we’ll hopefully explore not just what constitutes valid criticism of a work of art, but also what makes good storytelling, and what it is that really matters when we sit down to tell tales of our own. In doing so, I’ll be guided by a simple principle: that every piece of art has an intention, and that this intention should figure prominently in our minds when we’re judging that piece of art. And so, now that we have our path and our guide, away we go! Next week we come to our first stop: a land of gods, heroes, monsters… and sing-alongs.
With excitement and optimism,