Culture, Science & Society Videos

The Death of Good Stories

Source: Brian Holdsworth on YouTube

Music written and generously provided by Paul Jernberg. Find out more about his work as a composer here:

Let me start off by admitting that the title of this video is a bit hyperbolic. Of course there are writers out there who are capable of creating good original fiction, but I don’t believe I’m just indulging the cantankerous old man within me when I say, most fiction in all its various mediums is bad and getting worse.

The fact that so many new movies coming out now are all remakes that fail to surpass the originals in critical reception is just one noteworthy indication of what I’m talking about.

Another is the fact that comic books are what inspires the most successful cinema today and I have nothing against comic books but when they become the primary source of literary inspiration for our story telling, I think it’s a safe to say we’re suffering a state of decline in our story telling ability.
And this is an ongoing debate within the film community – whether or not comic book movies are true cinema because the effect of this decline and loss of a once great story telling medium is felt even among those who have a vested interest in keeping the machine running.

Even among genres and franchises that should be a sure thing, we find controversy over the critical response with deeply polarized opinions. The ongoing attempts to bleed profits from the Star Wars and Harry Potter franchises is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.
So in the reluctant admission that we seem to be losing our ability to tell good original stories it got me wondering about what it is that is essential to a good story and what is lacking in today’s crop of film, stage, and literature.

Header image: Portrait of Fedor Dostoyevsky by Vasily Perov, 1872 at the Tretyakov Gallery via

External links: structural critique of Action Movies by Chris Stuckmann on YouTube