By: Damian Slater “The Unifying Theory of 2+2” (youtube.com/damianslater)
No form of story-driven entertainment has me changing the channel faster than when it feels the need to spell out the answer to every single equation. I don’t need a stand-up comedian explaining the punch-line to their bit. Either we get it because you built it up beautifully or we don’t get it because the joke sucks. No amount of explanation will change the result.
The most gripping and satisfying narratives, will often give you plenty to think about without stating the obvious. They allow you to make your own conclusions and interpret them in any way you wish. The magic comes when you end up second guessing yourself and interpreting in multiple ways, always wondering what may come next, or what was actually meant by the writer It’s why there are countless forums/articles/social media groups dedicated for people who just want clarity and closure about their favourite dramas.
Inference is key. In a Pro Wrestling ring, I am drawn to promotions that don’t feel the need to always hold the audiences hand. Great storytelling invokes wonder. Pro Wrestlers using obvious verbiage to explain what they’re trying to get across, can be cringey at best. We all have a myriad of tools at our disposal to prepare our meal without having to then spoon-feed it. Facial expression, body language, emotion and timing are powerful beyond measure.
I often see criticisms that Pro Wrestling should cater more to the ‘casual fan’ but I’d argue that the best storylines are enticing to both new viewers and the most diehard of fans as they offer various layers of enjoyment. I am an incredibly loose Marvel film fan with zero comic book reading experience. I originally watched some of the more notable films with next to no context of the characters or their origin stories and I felt a little lost at times. However, due to the films being well-written and engaging in the short term, I was both satisfied and intrigued enough to go back and do my research, eventually watching them in chronological order with a deeper understanding of what I was seeing.
I believe that fans who become emotionally invested are generally the ones that want to think for themselves and be rewarded for following the minutia with a watchful eye. Humans are natural problem solvers and there’s nothing more satisfying than finally cracking the code, or realising that you were following the wrong path all along.