The Ending is SO Predictable…

If there’s one phrase that grates my ears, it’s “The ending was so predictable…”

Actually, if you’ve ever taken a literary theory class in your life, it would be quite obvious that most endings are generally predictable.  The hero wins, the villain loses (or escapes to the sequel), roll end credits.

But why? Well, there are hundreds of books on the topic that explain it.  It’s best summed up by Tom Clancy here: “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”  In real life, most of the situations faced by the protagonist have a fail rate greater than that of scripted scenarios.  House would be sued for malpractice if he was a real doctor and most likely lose his license, Temperance Brennan would be twenty years older than the character is portrayed, Sam and Dean would stay dead, etc. and the shows would have to end due to realism.

For all their fussing and finnicking, people don’t want the ending to be “realistic” but optimistic.

Good example: The Prestige

Bad example: Little Black Book

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