Did you know that, in The Dark Knight, the hero was actually the Joker? It’s true—if you buy into this recent theory posited by a user on Reddit. And did you know that Andy’s mom in Toy Story is also the grown version of the girl named Emily in Toy Story 2 who owned, and then discarded, Jessie the cowgirl? No fooling, according to a post by the same guy who has a far broader theory that every Pixar movie—yes, even the Cars movies—are connected to each other. And in the most mind-blowing one of all, it’s even been suggested that the snarky kid at the beginning of Jurassic Park who Alan Grant threatens with a raptor claw grew up to be none other than Chris Pratt’s hero character in Jurassic World.
There are an embarrassingly large number of fan theories floating around the Internet, and the emphasis here should be on the word “embarrassingly.” What these ideas amount to are fan fiction, not fan theories. Few, if any, of these theories ever get a direct response; the closest in recent memory is Pixar director Lee Unkrich playfully retweeting a comment or two from followers of his who treat the so-called Pixar Theory as utter silliness. But fan theories are becoming as prevalent to modern film culture as stories about casting rumors or reviews, and they are becoming truly toxic.
It’s easy to imagine the counterargument from those in favor of fan theories: What’s the harm? The Dark Knight doesn’t become better or worse because of a Reddit user’s theory about the Joker, as silly as that theory might sound. The Toy Story films are still marvelous whether or not Andy’s mom is Jessie’s old owner. Jurassic World is still a resounding disappointment, even if Chris Pratt wasn’t cosplaying as a less chunky version of some nasty little kid. The problem is that these theories, online, become as inextricable to a vast amount of readers as the actual movies themselves. Worse still, these fan theories are quickly replacing actual critical analysis, covered by a large amount of entertainment websites in part because the content beast must be fed, and in part because it takes the work out of the hands of the sites’ writers and into the hands of random commenters who have too much time on their hands.
So what’s the difference between a fan theory and a deep-dive exploration into one aspect of a film? The former is the product of a person choosing to fantasize about what they would do if they had made the film they’re watching, and the latter is the product of a person paying attention to the movie they’re watching and responding in kind. Often, the fan theories that send the Internet—specifically its social-media avenues—into a tizzy rely heavily on the fact that they aren’t based directly on what’s present in the text. Take, for example, the notion that Owen Grady in Jurassic World is the kid in the opening of Jurassic Park. That certainly sounds cool, and would be a nice, if random, tie-in to the 1993 film. But what’s the evidence backing this theory? Well, see, the kid in Jurassic Park is only credited as “Volunteer Boy.” So his name could be Owen! Also, Chris Pratt is only a year older than the actor who played Volunteer Boy, so the timeline could fit! Also…um…hey, look, something shiny!
The majority of the work to make this theory seem remotely logical is done behind the scenes, as someone imagines what could have happened to this kid after Alan Grant scratched at his stomach with a raptor claw. This same vagueness plagues the majority of fan theories. Yes, it’s not impossible that, in the Toy Story films, Andy’s mom could have a deeper connection to one of his toys than he or even she realizes. So many existing fan theories rely on the first four words of the previous sentence: “Yes, it’s not impossible.” The lack of impossibility, however, doesn’t automatically prove a theory correct; it merely suggests that it’s not impossible for something to be true.
Some fan theories, like the recent one regarding the Joker being the secret hero of The Dark Knight, have little or nothing to do with outsized and unwieldy postulations based on filling in unknown gaps in a film’s chronology. Instead, they have to do with a painful and often laughable misreading of the film in question. Apparently, the Joker’s plan included getting Batman to go into hiding for years, eliminating all organized crime, and removing corrupt officials from power. And what a heroic plan it is for the Joker to do all these things, including the part where he rigs two ferries to explode, including one full of innocent Gotham City citizens. That part, as well as the part where the Joker caused Harvey Dent’s facial scarring and encouraged him towards seeking mindless revenge, is left out of the fan theory, because to include it would acknowledge how paper-thin the argument is.
And yet, you can now find coverage for this and any number of pop-culture fan theories at a slew of websites, from Entertainment Weekly to Slashfilm. (Per that EW link, there’s a fan theory about “Friends.” “Friends.” The sitcom. About six people hanging out in a coffee shop. We all needed that.) The same thing happened with the Pixar Theory, and with the Jurassic World theory, and a theory about the new Mad Max, and so on and so forth. Fan theories are no substitute for critical analysis, yet they have quickly become inseparable for so many readers online. On one hand, it’s (sadly) a small encouragement that there’s any discussion about a movie that already exists, instead of a movie that will open in two years and only has a slew of set photos to its name. On the other, fan theories pose as critical analysis in spite of featuring neither criticism—often, these are posed by people who would proudly consider themselves fanboys or fangirls, never pausing to think about the built-in imperfections of even their favorite films—nor analysis.
Popular films like Jurassic World or The Dark Knight or Toy Story beg to be debated for their themes. As ubiquitous as they may be, the discourse surrounding these films frequently sidesteps a conversation on nostalgia, on childhood heroes, on the possible emptiness of vast spectacle. Fan theories now drive the discourse on these films, and to everyone’s detriment. On their own, fan theories are, indeed, harmless; if they existed next to critical discussions, and did so in lesser standing, they would be a fun distraction. But the more fan theories are treated as serious, thoughtful salvos in a debate, the more ridiculous they appear to become. Here’s a new fan theory to ponder: making these things die a quick death will improve the world of film immeasurably. What more proof do you need?
75 thoughts on “Why Fan Theories Are Destroying Film Discourse”
There’s one fan theory I’ve read that I like about Debbie in The Searchers actually being Ethan Edwards illegitimate daughter, which opens up a whole new layer to Edwards psychosexual racism, and adds an extra layer of poignancy to the end where he can not share a future with his daughter who is his last link to the one person he loved and made him human.
Beyond that they’re all bullshit.
So nothing’s up for interpretation anymore then? Unless it’s explicitly stated in the film or the writer/director announces his/her intentions in an interview somewhere, we should just not have any subjective opinion on what transpired in a film? What about 2001: A Space Odyssey? EVERYONE has their own take on what it all means. But nah, we don’t want to hear it anymore. Leave it to the experts, gang. They’ll do all the dissecting from here on out, thanks.
But that’s the point, the theory is not an interpretation. It’s more of a ‘What if’ story about the movie than an interpretation of the movie. Different readings of 2001 open up a discussion but the minute you say “The ape from the opening sequence is actually Dr. Zaius from Planet of the Apes” you’re not interpreting a work, you’re playing make believe.
You beat me to it. Interpretation requires a deeper engagement with a work, addressing what it means more so than what happens. Interpretation means you’re engaging with the work on formal and symbolic levels. With a fan theory, you’re just reframing the literal narrative content of the movie.
Even when the narrative is ambiguous like 2001, “interpretation” still requires more than a verdict on the plot of the movie. If I write 2000 words about how the couple from Last Year at Marienbad had obviously met before, that’s not interpretation; it’s missing the point.
I get it, but can’t you just take all these theories with a grain of salt? This holier-than-thou shutting down of fan theories because they’re not interesting (to you) or valid (to you) is discounting the fact that they might actually be (gasp!) fun to other people. And yes, I know- we should all instead be reading well-informed academic assessments that generally all read pretty much the same and ignoring anyone suggesting anything that isn’t backed up by the burden of proof, but you know what? I think there’s probably room for both.
Here’s one for ya: I’ve long believed that the Billy Bob Thornton character in THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE is, in fact, an alien. There are some potential clues to this (UFO’s being a plot point, lighting and staging frequently evoking space ships, the character’s general inability to act like a human), but it’s not explicitly stated or anything. So is this an interpretation or (god forbid!) a fan theory?
I haven’t seen that movie in too long to specifically comment on your theory, but nobody’s saying a movie has to explicitly state something for it to be the case. But yes, if you’re going to make an argument about a movie, you need evidence from the movie! That shouldn’t be a controversial position.
Then it becomes a question of how much evidence do we need? Well, is it beyond a reasonable doubt? In my opinion, people can posit whatever theories they want and then it’s up for everyone else to decide whether they believe or are at least a little intrigued by them.
It seems the real crux of this article though is the author bemoaning the fact that people are reading these fan theories more than educated critical analyses and THAT’S JUST NOT FAIR! But people are gonna read what they want to read and obviously the easiest response for “legitimate” critics not getting those precious views is to go, “Pfft, look at all these dum-dums and what they actually believe!”
When the evidence amounts to no more than “well, it’s not impossible…”, which is what everyone says supports just about all fan theories, then it’s invalid. “Well, it’s not impossible…” is not valid evidence. And you need more than just “clues”, because that’s you looking for patterns that are not there. The other way to put it is YOU ARE READING TOO MUCH INTO THIS.
“But that’s the point, the theory is not an interpretation. It’s more of a ‘What if’ story about the movie than an interpretation of the movie.”
So what? Why do you give a shit?
Perry, if someone on this board takes these words you have just written and then comes up with their own alternative interpretation of them, wouldn’t you get pissed?
I’m an author. If someone comes up with a theory about one of my books that’s not at all what I had in mind, my first reaction would be, “oh wow, I’m so glad someone liked my stuff enough to engage with it on that level.”
Or in other words, I’d consider it one of the highest forms of flattery.
Well, it’s stupid. Or, juvenile is perhaps better. It was fun when I was young. But I grew up. And this type of nonsense tends to drawn out actual critical discourse.
1. I reiterate: why do you give a shit? So what if it’s stupid or juvenile? I think sports are stupid and juvenile, but I don’t go on campaigns bitching about how other people enjoy them. Just mind your own business.
2. It’s not drowning out actual critical discourse. That discourse is still occurring at all the places it used to occur at. If you’re expecting scholarly film criticism from pop culture websites and Internet forums, then there’s your first mistake. The critical discourse is in the same place it’s always been—the peer-reviewed journals.
Necro-reply, but the problem with what you’re saying is that many fan theories aren’t just quick What If?s. Many are, but many, I’d argue many more in the long run, are actually interpretations that are well supported by the text. A fair number of them don’t contradict one line or shot of the original work; some do, many even, but not all.
In short, they are an interpretation. They are taking the text of the work and looking at it in a way that others have not.
“Fan theories are …harmless. Making these things die a quick death will improve the world.”
Why are we writing bullshit stories about the cinematic equivalent of a Buzzfeed cat GIF?
I mean, “Fan theory” videos are literally like MAD Magazine style piss-takes on cinematic tropes. You spend half this article pointing out they’re fan faction, harmless, no one takes them seriously, they’re jokes, and then the other half indicating (by the fact they’re … posted on Entertainment Weekly’s website !?!?!) that they *are* being taken seriously.
When clearly almost all the evidence points to the former.
What I learned from the interwebs: people using their imaginations, talking about things they like, and having opinions other than mine are detroying the werld dood.
what actresses are wearing on oscar night isn’t a substitute for critical analysis either and yet
Pingback: Why Fan Theories Are Destroying Film Discourse | Jerz's Literacy Weblog
“Why Fan Theories Are Destroying Film Discourse.” Um, fan theories ARE film discourse, or are you suggesting that the fans not express their own opinions or enjoy dissecting the movies they’ve paid their hard-earned money to go and watch? I certainly hope you’re not implying that people just accept the writings of “legitimate” film critics handed down from on high as gospel. Just let people be entertained by their entertainment, man.
And every movie gets a fan theory that says “Character X didn’t exist but was all in Character Y’s mind the whole time!” How are people still excited by these things after so many of them that are so similar?
Jruissc World was good that is all
The problem is when the fan theories stop being fun thought experiments and just become accepted “facts” about the films (or TV shows, what have you). Because then you can’t talk about these things without everyone spamming these theories as if they’ve just become the conventional wisdom about that piece of entertainment.
I’m really sorry about whatever happened to you to make you hate joy so much.
Fan theories ARE film discourse. Even critical analysis by PhDs at the end of the day amounts to hypotheses and fictions. A long pompous title, citations, and a connection to race and gender are no more valid than a fun theory posted on Reddit that interests millions of people.
You are proving the author’s point that elevating fan theories to “news” diminishes people’s ability to tell the difference between thorough, well supported criticism and “interesting” fan theories. Everyone is allowed an opinion, but all opinions are not created equal. Fan theories are “Wouldn’t it be neat…,” (which is plenty of fun.). They are not substitutes for criticism, whether you like criticism or not. Criticism springs from within the text. Fan theories come from outside.
I totally support fan theorists doing their thing. I love the post-apocalyptic Pokemon universe theory. On some level I want to trust readers to separate criticism from speculation, but then I read a comment like yours and I’m not so sure I should.
A theory like: “The Joker is the hero because Gotham City was much safer when he was in charge of crime” comes from within the text. It’s not a “wouldn’t it be cool…” sort of thing. A theory like this generates conversation and argument. It goes deep into politics and philosophy, the core of our societies ills, and strives to understand the world we live in through this fictional one. It creates a symposium of THOUSANDS of individuals voicing their opinion on the matter. I should revise: something like this is MORE valid that traditional criticism because only a couple people will read an academic paper about race, gender, transliteration or whatever vain topic PhDs and critics are writing about these days.
Yes, all things called fan theories aren’t always the same. “The Joker is a hero because…” is a genuine way of looking at the text. The theory “Diane Selwin was molested by her grandfather” is a fanfiction story substituting itself for the story of Mulholland Drive. The first is an idea that makes you think about the movie, the second does the opposite.
I’m a bit torn, because I like the Hero Joker theory. It’s better supported by the text than average and does provide an interesting prompt for exploration of exactly what you say. I’m not particularly interested in tearing it, or any fan theory, down since they basically exist to increase enjoyment for fans. This doesn’t seem like the forum where my poking holes would be a fun discussion.
It is just a prompt for discussion, though. The ideas generated by that discussion, no matter how good they are, are not necessarily contained within the film. It is interesting to consider the movie as if Joker were the hero, but that is a mental exercise outside of the movie that actually exists. It is a discussion about ideas inspired by the film, not the film itself. If generating the maximum number of ideas is our definition of valid, then sure, we could say fan theories are more valid than criticism. As far as I know that’s a definition that’s not in general use though.
Criticism is not about creating a maximum number of ideas. It is about determining which ideas are contained within a text. It is about constraining and limiting ideas. When we say criticism is more valid we mean that it restricts itself to the text, (though some critical theories are more or less strict about this) and is therefore better at helping us understand the text itself.
The more concrete you make your ideas, the better you support them, (generally) the smaller your audience, but audience size doesn’t determine the validity of your ideas as they relate to the text. Your ability to defend and support an idea determines its validity, not the number of people talking about it, and if you think that criticism doesn’t generate its own level of discussion and argument then you are terribly mistaken. There’s joy and freedom in fan theories and endless discussion. Criticism can be very dry and dead. Just as you describe, fan theories are a journey. Criticism is a destination. Both journeys and destinations are valuable.
There’s an unavoidable elitism and finality to criticism which you are clearly strongly against. Criticism does not create ideas and discussion in the same way fan theories do. Criticism describes a text. By the standards of criticism fan theories are rarely, if ever valid. A critically valid fan theory is probably just criticism. By the standards of fan theories criticism is boring. Both of these approaches should be respected. Neither should be confused with the other.
Love this clarification. Thank you.
I was once an academic and now live in the world of product/software marketing. What I realize now, having had a foot in both worlds, is that criticism comes from one mind and attempts to be the definitive word of the text. I have a hard time accepting it because most of it doesn’t really DO anything. It just points and says “Hey look! A pattern.” But it’s always contained in a bubble. I do however respect the depth of the ideas presented in criticism.
What I like about fan theories though is not the depth of the ideas, but the honesty and clarity they provide. They place the text in the real world and superimpose real issues over it. Now that’s a generalization. Most fan theories are trash because they may have nothing to do with the text whatsoever. The fan theories I’m talking about though are the ones like “Joker is the Hero” or “The Lost Island is Purgatory” (which I think influenced the ending of the show), etc. These are well-thought out theories (criticism even) that are developed over time by a community rather than one single mind.
You’re welcome. Thank you.
There is definitely a bubble for criticism. Sometimes I think even critics (or academics) tire of the limits of the form.
I’m with you on Lost. I think they definitely mined fan theories to figure out how to end it, which is a somewhat strange interaction for fiction to have with its audience. Fan opinion has probably never been so accessible though. Makes sense.
I tend to think of fan theories as basically being fan-fiction. Both create discussion–sometimes great discussion. It’s just annoying when a single person feels the need to argue that their fan-fiction (as opposed to someone else’s) is fact. Most fanfic comes from the text in some way, it just moves out from there often instead of moving in, like criticism.
In a way, the “dry and dead” impulse can be there in both criticism and fan theories/fanfic. That impulse to be the one who’s right and whose vision is canon isn’t restricted to critics.
Pingback: “Fan theories are becoming as prevalent to modern film culture as stories about casting rumors or reviews, and they are becoming truly toxic.” « Movie City News
I don’t think fan theories are a problem, they’re a sign that the audience wants more content than is available. Theories=Interest=Money
TL;DR This article is weak and tries to minimize fans interest and turn it into something that’s ‘hurting’ the industry.
Boy, written like a zonie. Why does this article need to exist aside from ideas about getting a click.
TL;DR: Pretentious film snob is pissed off that fans are having some fun with their favorite movies.
He pretty clearly states that he has nothing against fans having fun, but that that fun is being mined by the content machine to replace criticism. Fan theories are good. Criticism is good. But neither can or should replace the other.
Yes, he says that. But he also goes on to ‘fan theorize’ (which is just more fodder to show that he doesn’t understand and doesn’t want to understand the real nature of fan theories) that fan theories should “die a quick death”.
Oh please. If you’re relying on the content machine for intellectual film discourse, then that’s your first problem. How many scholarly articles on film discourse did you see on Reddit before fan theories?
As the person who wrote the Joker Fan Theory in question, I can’t believe how wrong and insecure this article sounds.
First of all, I never intended for my fan theory to be a critical analysis of The Dark Knight. Nowhere in my theory do I talk about the framing of shots (which I could have), or the acting (which could have been a major point in such a theory), or even the uber-dark mise-en-scene, which may have fully supported my theory, and highlighted how, thematically, all three main characters were living in the dark. Instead, I made an arguably compelling argument that the film could be interpreted another way.
What I find worse than that, though, is the fact that you claim that I ignored facts that are DIRECTLY MENTIONED in my theory. I explained both the boats and Dent’s scarring (Both physical and emotional) directly in the original piece. Of course, I wouldn’t expect a modern blogger to actually check his sources, and I’m sure you just read the Mashable version at some point, but it annoys me that you would make such an attack on fan theories WITHOUT EVEN READING THE ONE YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.
So please let me be clear that this response IS intended to be a critical discourse on your work. What I see is a self-proclaimed critic who is horrified by his perceived loss of power to a basically unrelated group of people investigating films in a way that he, himself, has arbitrarily deemed below himself. This is reflected in his weak, but clear call to action to end Fan Theories as if they are going to harm legitimate film criticism. The panic he feels reflects strongly in his hastily researched (Really, how long did it take you to read the titles of the top 5 Fan Theories on Reddit?), and poorly thought-out criticism of a culture that he would attempt to appropriate into his own, only to discard it immediately.
So you’re mad that he is misinterpreting your fan theory as a critical discourse? Seems if you can come up with your own theories on someone else’s work he should be able to as well. You’re mad that he’s taking what you spent hard work coming up with and he is misinterpreting it?
No, misinterpretation would be far preferable. He completely ignored the source material, simply stealing the headline for purposes of his own clickbait. Many users on reddit have disagreed, or misinterpreted my arguments, and for the most part I have upvoted them, and usually retorted with respect (though, admittedly, a few with less respect, usually to those who gave no respect to me). However, this piece clearly doesn’t respect the source material at all, since it’s clear through reading it that the author has never READ the source material.
Big respect to generalzee for having to the guts to actually respond to this filmsnob clickbait article. Cant say the same for the film snob whose probably bragging to his buddies about the reactions his “article” is getting on twitter. Like a true coward. Guess when you work for a site thet doesnt pay its writers. You have to compensate for something.
I’ve not really seen Fan Theories being used as a substitute for criticism. There is plenty of criticism out there still. Good fan theories, as another person in the comments pointed out, are fun though experiments. It becomes a problem when an author (and these particular ones are few and far between) ignores the artist’s intent to make an absolute statement of “[MOVIE] is about THIS and that is the ONLY way you can interpret it.”
Fan theories make for interesting games in rhetoric. Let’s argue that the Joker is the hero of The Dark Knight using only the film as evidence… let’s argue that Daniel is the villain of The Karate Kid using only the scenes in the movie. Exploring films with that kind of stance improves critical thinking skills – opens up minds a bit more. One can just accept a film at face value OR by arguing about different interpretations they can springboard and discuss a wider variety of issues. Art is meant to make people think, and the debate of fan theories is a great study in thinking about rhetoric.
It isn’t just movies. Remember the laughable fan theory that Don Draper would turn out to be DB Cooper?
Or that Megan would be murdered like Sharon Tate. Fans are dumb sometimes.
There have always been some variations of “fan theories”. All to the good. The problem now is that you have whole generations of movie watchers who often watch the same movies over and over and over just to “detect clues”. With there being more and more avenues to watch movies than ever (internet, cable, DVDs), younger filmgoers in general (Note: I did NOT say ALL), watch a narrower variety of movies than those of us who were “forced” by circumstance to watch whatever was on TV or available on VHS out our local video store.
Can we just get rid of Reddit?
Pingback: Bad News: Fan Theories are Destroying Movie Discussion | Jon Negroni
Pingback: In Defense of Fan Theories | iBiggestNews
Pingback: 'Mr. Robot' Finale Upgrades An Already Brilliant First Season | Slantpoint Democrat
Pingback: 'Mr. Robot' Finale Upgrades An Already Brilliant First Season | Cesar Vela
Pingback: 'Mr. Robot' Finale Upgrades An Already Brilliant First Season | Slantpoint
Pingback: ‘Mr. Robot’ Finale Upgrades An Already Brilliant First Season | ViaNom
Pingback: 'Mr. Robot' Finale Upgrades An Already Brilliant First Season - Democratsnewz
Pingback: 'Mr. Robot' Finale Upgrades An Already Brilliant First Season - Chicago Times Post
Pingback: ‘Mr. Robot’ Finale Upgrades An Already Brilliant First Season – Huffington Post | Architecture
Pingback: ‘Mr. Robot’ Finale Upgrades An Already Brilliant First Season | MX press Breaking News, Latest News and Current News from mxpress.org Breaking news and video. Latest Current News: U.S., World, Entertainment, Health, …
Pingback: Fan Theories and the Boundaries of Critical Practice: A response to Jon Negroni’s response to Josh Spiegel | 24frameworkspersecond
Pingback: ‘Mr. Robot’ Finale Upgrades An Already Brilliant First Season | US morning – Breaking News, Latest News and Current News from USmorning.org Breaking news and video. Latest Current News: U.S., World, Entertainment, Health, …
Pingback: ‘Mr. Robot’ Finale Upgrades An Already Brilliant First Season | Omaha Sun Times
I agree with the author (naturally, I feel like adding) but to me, the article misses the boat a little bit. In my mind fan theories are just fan theories, no threat for film analysis or actual criticism because fanboys have never been (even in these numbers). The question I think is interesting is WHY do these people have the need to merge together these films (or franchises, more accurately) in the first place. It seems like it’s not enough that the fan community is one big happy family, now the movies need to be part of it too. This fanatical (literary speaking) gluttony is as dumb as it is annoying.
EDIT And to the whiners: If your greatest wish is to cover your eyes and ears and mouths and just “enjoy” whatever products you feel like, as if the world is just the equivalence of you and whatever is in front of your eyes… why don’t you just go ahead and do that. Peeking through into the world of opinons, individuality and causality (you know, the real world), just by reading a simple little article like this, probably won’t do you any good.
Pingback: SOS This Week #22: The Crazy, Tangled World of Fan Theories (with guest Josh Spiegel) - PopOptiq
Pingback: Nachhaltigkeit (IV) – Kurzedition | real virtuality
Pingback: How ‘Star Wars, Episode VII’ explains all the great cultural debates of our time – Washington Post | Creative Newspaper
Pingback: How ‘Star Wars, Episode VII’ explains all the great cultural debates of our time – Washington Post | Everyday News Update
Pingback: Krombopulos Michael Lives, According to This Surprisingly Convincing 'Rick and Morty' Theory - PopOptiq
To all of you out there using the word “theory” to describe your “thought” or “idea” of what should be in the story of a FICTIONAL movie or TV show, please stop! The word theory doesn’t make you sound smarter and there’s a reason you weren’t hired to write for the movie or show. People don’t want to hear it. Your click bait is becoming just as bad as spyware in 2004.
Pingback: I Hate Fan Theories - K. Ferrin
Thank you. I cannot stand fan theories. They make me way angrier than they should. I can’t help it! It makes me think about how stupid most people must be to be interested in them.
What a complete waste of time.. Have you (the author of this piece) ever discussed with someone where the next season of that show you like (which ended on a cliff hanger) will go when it resumes? Well guess what you’ve theory crafted and you’re responsible for all the bad in the world.. good job.
To be honest whats toxic is this type of film criticism, from insecure critics entrenched in their echo chambers and so far removed from the “regular viewer” unable to deal with having their opinions challenged. The type of critic who would much rather the regular view just shut up and accept their criticism as law.
Film theory crafting IS film discourse, film discourse isnt locked off to only film critics, everyone can partake and whats more id say criticism from a fandom would be more valid than that of a non-invested critic.
Majoring in film studies is your problem dont make it everyone elses too
Two words: mental masturbation.