On story autopsies and watching Revenge.

So I recently started watching Revenge. I'd heard about it all last season and it sounded interesting, but no really my cup of tea. But I was bored a couple nights ago, and so I went to Netflix and watched the first episode.

And then the second.

And then the third.

Now I'm hooked. That show is SO MUCH FUN. But it's also really annoying because I can't figure out why it's so much fun.

See, I like to analyze stories. I've actually stopped in the middle of books and flipped backwards, just to see how the author pulled that reveal off.  I like to pick apart stories and television and find out how they work, how the writers and actors made me think exactly what they wanted me to think. 

It's like an autopsy, not only of the story but of the story experience. Why am I rooting for that character? Why don't I trust this guy over here? When did I stop shipping those two and start shipping these two? And why? 

And I haven't been able to figure Revenge out yet. I want to know what makes it so addicting and I don't. But I will. I WILL.

Has anyone else seen the show? Do YOU know why it's so addicting? 


  1. I think partly it's just revenge--it makes for a compelling story, especially when justified. When it's done right, there's that fabulous tension between wanting the person to succeed at their revenge mission (and see the ones who deserve it get their comeuppance) and wanting them to stop before they're destroyed by it. (I want to write a revenge story someday, can you tell?) But some of it is just the gleeful campy fun the show is clearly having.

  2. I think it's partly the criminal with a heart of gold type--a lot of people love a good criminal (see: Danny Ocean) and a hot criminal with a good cause is like gold.

    I haven't seen much more than you, so I'll be interested to see how that gets played out/played with as the seasons progress.

  3. Heh heh, I've never even heard of that show. Then again, I watch something inconceivably daft called "Merlin" over here. It's full of historical innacuracies, plot holes, and other forms of stupidity, but I keep watching just because it's FUN.

    Not everything needs to be educational. Sometimes we just need to enjoy ourselves.

  4. LOVE Revenge. I tune in mostly for Nolan. Season two just started!

  5. Jordon @ Miss Book ReviewsOctober 14, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    I LOVE revenge! For me I got so addicted just because of the romance. I was waiting and waiting for her to get with Jack. But then the story pulled me along too. I just love Emily's character. Although I'm pretty sure if I meet an Emily in real life I would either try and be her best friend or I wouldn't be able to stand her self absorbed ways...

  6. I have been watching this show. I think part of the attraction is the narrative structure itself: They start the show off by showing you the last page, as it were.

    In the first episode, they show you the end result of all the characters' actions. They show you who-dunnit, and then they rewind and introduce you to the characters. And that gives you the cognitive dissonance of knowing that a given character did a certain action, but also knowing that the action the character did seems inconsistent with the character as they were introduced. So the watcher then wants to know what happened to get the characters from where they started to where you know they end up.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Click on "Older Posts" for more random amusements!

Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.