Popular Film, Criticism, and the Oscars

On August 8th, 2018, the organization behind the Academy Awards announced that they were going to issue a new “Best Popular Film” category. Needless to say, an announcement like this stirred a lot of controversy. When I first heard about it, I initially agreed with many of the naysayers. I was worried that this was a pity party for popular film, that it was patronizing, and would likely keep films like Black Panther from having a shot at Best Picture (which it 100% deserves, by the way). Many theorize, and I agree, that the success of Black Panther may have contributed to the new category. Perhaps the Academy didn’t think it could include the superhero film in their Best Picture lineup, but also wanted to avoid another #OscarsSoWhite backlash. Good luck with that.

The announcement also begged the question, what exactly is popular film? And why is it different from the Best Picture category? Now that’s another topic for another day, but for the purposes of this video, we’re going to assume that popular film is about what you’d expect: the superhero, Star Wars, or Mission Impossible films of the day.

Now, while the concept of a popular film category is problematic for a number of reasons, I eventually thought about it more and began to come around to the idea. At least in part. You see, some films just don’t belong together, and should not be compared in a single critical award. Many awards know this. The Golden Globes, for example, split their awards based on genre, like drama and comedy. Sometimes it’s hard to even compare stories within the same overall genre. For example, I never really liked people who tried to say that Star Trek was better than Star Wars or vice versa. Because even though they both take place in space and have the word “Star” in their title, the similarities basically end there. One is a space fantasy adventure, and one is an optimistic space exploration story. So even at the sub-genre level, these stories carry very different expectations.

Speaking of which, expectations are one of the most important factors to consider in how a film is either liked or disliked. In my research on writing in specific genres for my book business, I’ve discovered that people really don’t like originality like they say they do. With books, people tend to read only a certain handful of genres, and they get upset when a book doesn’t follow the common tropes usually found in that genre. For example, if you have a book cover that suggests young adult fantasy, people are going to be upset if you don’t have some kind of romance in the book. Preferably a love triangle. Because without that you’ve just written a different kind of fantasy, not a young adult fantasy. In short, you don’t make promises in your marketing and deliver something different.

Now this is probably why the 2009 Star Trek was not well received by Trekkies, or the mainstream Trek fans. Critics loved the new Star Trek, which received a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s higher than any Trek film that came before it. Yet many fans saw it as a betrayal of what made up the fundamentals of Star Trek. It was more of a gritty, big budget space war film, meant to appeal to a broader audience. It did its job perfectly, even if it didn’t fully the expectations of its former niche market.

Expectations are also the same reason why more fans seemed to like the recent Avengers: Infinity War, but there were also many who did not like Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The former met expectations more than the latter, which instead paved new ground as to what a Star Wars film could be. It was different, and definitely did not fulfill expectations. But that’s a can of worms topic that we will probably have to discuss in a seperate video.

Bottom line is that people have expectations of what is good and what is bad. Violating these expectations is what might cause someone to label a film as a “bad” movie.

But what about professional critics?

Film critics clearly had a different view on films like the 2009 Star Trek, or Star Wars: The Last Jedi, favoring both far better than many of the fans. Why is that? Well, to answer that question, we must first take a look at the role a critic plays in our society and how they differ from fans.

First of all, we’re talking about professional critics here, mostly for film, though much of the same could be said of other storytelling mediums. Not the bloggers, not the YouTubers (even though I count myself among that group).

Critics serve a role in helping us understand if we should or shouldn’t watch a film. But it’s a lot more than that. When done well, film criticism will educate us about storytelling, and cause us to think in ways we might not have done otherwise. Perhaps the most famous film critic, Roger Ebert, said this about critics:

“A newspaper film critic should encourage critical thinking, introduce new developments, consider the local scene, look beyond the weekend fanboy specials, be a weatherman on social trends, bring in a larger context, teach, inform, amuse, inspire, be heartened, be outraged.”

The age of the Internet has led to a lot of watered down critics, critics who don’t get much further than saying they liked one story or didn’t like another. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These critics likely speak to a demographic of like-minded people, and therefore their criticism will be valued as indicative of whether that audience is likely to enjoy a story or not. I’m often guilty of this in my own reviews, because I’m not writing to help deepen a person’s understanding of the story (like I’m trying to do with this blog), I’m just letting my audience know if I think they will like it or not.

But true criticism is highly educated in the craft they review, whether that be film, gaming, literary fiction or, indeed, popular storytelling.

But let’s stop there because you might be thinking, well what does all of that matter if criticism of a story is all subjective? And that is a very good question. Let’s take a look.

Recently I had an experience where someone I knew mentioned a book they loved and wanted to get his kids to read. I casually mentioned that the book wasn’t really good. He grew upset at this and told me that was just subjective. Which that got me thinking…

Is it?

In that instance my friend was trying to tell me that my opinion was subjective as a way of validating his own. As if to say that my criticism wasn’t valid because he felt differently. And opinions are one thing, it’s totally okay to like something that most people do not. That’s your opinion. I for one love Return of the Jedi more than any other Star Wars film, even though I know it’s critically not the best of the bunch. Liking something is your opinion, and no one can argue with that. I would argue that having an opinion is not what professional critics do, and I’ll tell you why.

Now, before you angrily sound off in the comments, let me point out that at a certain level, my friend was right, criticism is subjective. It’s based on a system of values and expectations like I mentioned before with genre. We expect good stories to do things a certain way, and “bad” stories don’t do those things. These expectations do shift over time. But then why would it seem like heresy to suggest that, say Iron Man 2 was the best movie Marvel’s ever made. Not that you like it the best, that’s another thing, but that it is the best. That would be a tough pill to swallow, and a claim that most educated critics will not make.

And if everything were to be completely subjective, that would essentially negate the need for educated critics. So where do we draw the line?

Critics subscribe to generally accepted schools of thought. These are standards of good storytelling. And there are a lot of different types. We call these critical frameworks which help guide a critic in their analysis of a certain piece. Now this is where subjectiveness comes into play. A critic can choose to value one or several frameworks over others. And favorability of certain frameworks can shift over time and across cultures.

But that being said, there are standards of storytelling that are considered timeless. These are best identified by looking at popular stories that have withstood the test of time and see what they do, like the works of William Shakespeare. You could also look at elements that pop up in all cultures throughout the history of storytelling, such as the monomyth identified by Joseph Campbell in the Hero with a Thousand Faces. Identifying your list of criteria is essential in criticism, and this is basically what you would learn when studying film or storytelling. You would learn the “rules” for crafting a good story.

Once you have identified your preferred critical framework, it becomes much easier to say a story is bad or good within that framework. For example, if you’re doing a feminist read of a text and the bechdel test is part of your list of criteria, it becomes easy to identify if a story does or does not pass the bechdel test. It either does, or it doesn’t, and there’s no opinion either way. And with that reading, a story that passes the bechdel test would be rated higher. Obviously a story is judged on more than just one criteria like this one but you get the idea.

Now it’s possible to favor multiple frameworks or multiple readings of a given text, which is why some critics come away with seemingly different opinions. This is actually one of the reasons why it’s important to have diversity in film criticism. A feminist reading of a text will likely be far different than that of a straight white young male (which yes, I acknowledge I’m one of those). Reading these diverse opinions will succeed at the purpose of true criticism, of teaching you and helping you appreciate storytelling even more.

Now you might say, Jason, this really isn’t helping your argument that criticism isn’t entirely subjective and I just don’t really need to care about it. Well hold up a minute. Critics may differ, even a lot at times, but when you add them all together, they do tend to agree about a lot of things on the whole. Rotten Tomatoes has a lot of problems, but overall I think it does a decent job of showing the trends for films that critics generally like, and films they generally don’t. It also does one thing the academy awards previously did not: It gives popular film an equal chance at its highest rankings. Only a few “popular” films have ever won the best awards that the Oscars have to offer. Most notably The Return of the King. But these films are few and far between. Rotten Tomatoes on the other hand will have films of all genres and popularities reaching into the top 10%.

However, we again come to that popularity question. You see, in 2017 Rotten Tomatoes gave The Shape of Water a 92% rating. That film eventually went on to win Best Picture for the year. But you know what else had a 92% rating on RT? Thor: Ragnorok. Now, don’t get me wrong. Thor:Ragnarok was an incredible superhero film, and fully deserved its 92%. But the two films simply can’t be compared to each other, even though The Shape of Water also falls under the broad genre of Speculative Fiction. And while I think Thor: Ragnorok is deserving of at least some kind of award nomination, I wouldn’t pit it against something like The Shape of Water.

So that’s why I’m in favor of a popular film category of some kind, just as I am in favor of an animated film category. If the academy hadn’t backtracked on their decision to have a popular film category, my only fear would be that popular films would never be eligible for Best Picture and Popular film.

And that brings me to my last point. The films that win best picture are generally considered “good” by critics according to the generally accepted criteria we discussed earlier, and that also shows on review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes. But many, if not all, of the winners also have one other thing in common. They’re not hugely popular with general audiences, with the winners from the past 10 years making a combined $710,270,801 domestically. In comparison, the recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought in $936,662,225 alone. So what does it say about the films the Academy selects if they don’t have the same popularity as other blockbusters?

Some would draw the comparison to fast food, saying that a film critic shouldn’t care about popular film any more than a food critic would care about McDonalds. But that’s not exactly an apt comparison. Fast food is popular because it’s convenient, readily available, and pumped full of sugars, fats, and chemicals that cause the consumer to crave more and more. Popular film is different. Sure, you have some films that appeal to basic trends with little substance, but overall having a good story is still the best way to create a popular hit. The Star Wars, Harry Potters, and Marvel Cinematic Universes of the world became popular not because they were using some cheap tricks to gain viewers, but because they were genuinely good stories (for the most part). The box office flop of DC’s Justice League is a great example of how a film can have huge brand potential, with two of the biggest names in superheroes, and still flop at the box office because it simply wasn’t that great according to the values generally accepted by critics and audiences.

I believe that it’s a good idea not to compare films like the latest superhero film to those that typically win Best Picture. Purely from a genre perspective, they tend to be too different to compare. Critics simply can’t use the same critical framework to critique them both. But at the same time, if the films that consistently win Best Picture do not resonate with audiences in the same way that, say, Black Panther does, then perhaps we need to take a closer look at our values in criticism.

I’ll leave you with one last thought. When I was in college we read a story that I think is relevant here. And I’m sorry that I couldn’t find the original source of this story when I was researching this post, so if you know where I can find it, please let me know in the comments.

A professor was teaching a class in a particular classroom. As part of the class, he wrote up a list of last names, corresponding to the authors of the textbooks they would cover that year. That class finished and the professor left the room. He later returned to teach a class that analyzed poetry. When he arrived, the class was already assembled and the names he had previously written on the board were still there. But instead of assuming they were a simple list of names, the class thought that they were some kind of poem, and had come up with all sorts of possible interpretations while they waited for their professor. At first, the professor thought this was silly, as the list of names were just that, and not poetic in the slightest. But when he thought about it, he realized that just because he had no intention of imbuing the names with any additional meaning, that didn’t mean that meaning did not now exist. The students, in interpreting the list of names as they had, had essentially given them a meaning that hadn’t been there before. And who was the professor to tell them that they were wrong? And at a fundamental level, that’s what all storytelling is really, it’s humanity assigning meaning to things.

It’s clear that popular films mean something to a lot of people, more so than most of the films that win Best Picture. Of all the subjective choices we make to determine our criteria for a story, shouldn’t resonation with a broad audience mean something to critics? Perhaps, if only to let us know that there’s something there worth exploring.

But what do you think? Did you like the inclusion of the popular film category, or do you think the Academy really missed the mark, and are glad they backtracked that decision? Let us know in the comments below!

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
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  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

We Now Have Original Content!

As one might be able to tell, I’m a rather big fan of science fiction and fantasy universes. Not only do I enjoy consuming these stories, but I also enjoy making them. Well, I’m happy to report that I have some brand new original content to share with you guys. And if you like some of the franchises found on this site, you’ll probably enjoy some of these. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

I have two ongoing series, one is called Roots of Creation which takes place in the distant past, and another called Alice: The Last Founder, which takes place in the present (sort of). They are both part of the same universe, which I call the Argoverse (yes, there’s a timeline for it).

While I did not develop these books specifically as All Timelines content, you can think of them as All Timelines originals, since they fit right into the many franchises that we feature here. So if you’re a reader of fantasy, I highly recommend you check them out!

The Roots of Creation series currently has three books, with a prequel short story you can get by signing up to my mailing list. Here are the links:

The Alice: The Last Founder series only has one book in it so far, but there’s a second one coming very soon.

I hope you enjoy them!

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
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  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

The Timeline Show Updates

In this episode I discuss a few updates to the show. Such as:

  • The new Best Films of All Time podcast
  • The next timeline covered on this podcast: DC’s Animated Movie Universe
  • And discuss the timeline and my reasoning for doing two at a time.

We hope you enjoy! Continue reading “The Timeline Show Updates”

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

All Timelines Gets an Upgrade

Hey guys!

I am always on the lookout for new ways to improve All Timelines, both from a content and technical standpoint. Well, today I have one exciting technical feature to announce. For a while, I’ve been dissatisfied with the plugin I was using to display my timelines, particularly the timelines you’ll see on the app, what I call the 2.0 timelines. For these timelines, I actually had two versions, one the table you’re familiar with, as well as an archive page that was paginated and also displayed images and summaries, but was far less compact than the main version.

I wanted a version that would give the best of both worlds, and allow me to consolidate the redundant timelines, as well as add a few small features on the side. So I had a new plugin custom made for the site! This plugin displays the timelines much as they once were, but there are not a few new features.

  1. It loads A LOT faster.
  2. The filters are more efficient. You can now choose which media types you want to see, instead of filtering them out. You could even bookmark the results and always return to see those filters in place. This goes for sorting and increasing the number of items you see on a page as well.
  3. You can now expand each item on the table to see the image and summary. There’s even a button at the top of the table that does this for all the posts if you’re interested.
  4. Timelines that are too long no longer have to be broken into parts that can only be filtered and sorted in separate chunks. Now it filters and sorts through the entire timeline, even those that are hundreds of items long.

Some of these changes might not seem like a lot, but I can assure you from a technical standpoint they are a huge headache relief on my part. I can’t wait to keep expanding and creating these timelines for you.

Now, as you might imagine, commissioning a custom plugin is not cheap. This one cost a few hundred dollars. One way you can help with upgrades like this is to donate a dollar or more per month, via Patreon. Even a little bit goes a long way to keeping this site alive and kicking. Thank you for everything you do in supporting the site and especially for those of you who have reached out to express your love. It really means a lot to see that there are hundreds of you who really love this small passion project of mine. Keep up the good work!

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

Tolkien Study Recommendations

Hey guys,

I have a small bonus episode for you guys today. As you know, we’ve been discussing the Lord of the Rings timeline and I’ve been researching it a lot as I’ve gone along. In the process, I’ve found a number of resources that are really awesome if you want to dive deeper into these stories. I’m providing a fairly general overview, and can’t really dive deep into some of these books. So instead, I’d take a look at some of the following: Continue reading “Tolkien Study Recommendations”

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

Watching the Best Films of All Time

I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time.

Recently I uploaded a new timeline of the best 1920s and earlier films, with future decades to follow. I’ve often felt like I needed a greater appreciation and knowledge of film history, and I realized that this podcast would be the perfect place to experience that education with all of you. Continue reading “Watching the Best Films of All Time”

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

Starting the Lord of the Rings Timeline

In this podcast I discuss:

  • The real-world historical context around the Lord of the Rings timeline.
  • My own personal history with the franchise.
  • What we plan to cover in our review of each individual story.
  • The potential for that Amazon show coming out someday.
  • An overview of the timeline itself.

Continue reading “Starting the Lord of the Rings Timeline”

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

Welcome to the Timeline Show!

Subscribe now on iTunes | Stitcher | Google Play


Hey guys,

Welcome to the Timeline Show, the official podcast of AllTimelines.com. In this episode, I will be discussing the approach that I’m taking with this podcast, and what franchise I’m going to be starting first. Continue reading “Welcome to the Timeline Show!”

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

DC Universe Unveiled and It’s Everything We Were Hoping For

I don’t normally talk about news here on the site, but this is a big one that was so relevant to what we do here, that I couldn’t pass it up.

After months of teasing, DC Entertainment has finally unveiled their plans for DC Universe, and it’s basically everything we were hoping for. Continue reading “DC Universe Unveiled and It’s Everything We Were Hoping For”

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

Huge News! All Timelines Is an App!

Wow, guys, I am super excited to share today’s news. This is perhaps the biggest development of the site since I launched it. Or at least since I integrated the 2.0 timeline format. All Timelines now has an iOS app! I’ve developed it as kind of a simplified version of the website, with the added functionality of having small checkboxes for collecting and binging. Are you going through the Marvel Cinematic Universe and want to check off each movie as you go? This app will be perfect for you. Continue reading “Huge News! All Timelines Is an App!”

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

Lord of the Rings Chapter by Chapter Reading Order

To those who haven’t read the Lord of the Rings books, it may come as a slight surprise that their pacing is different from that of most books. In The Two Towers and Return of the King, instead of jumping back and forth between various viewpoints, Tolkien gives us everything from one viewpoint all at once, then everything from the other viewpoint. For some, like me, this can be a bit jarring. It’s like hitting rewind and then watching the whole thing again from another perspective. If Tolkien were to publish the books today, his editor would almost certainly make him split the chapters up to be more chronological. Continue reading “Lord of the Rings Chapter by Chapter Reading Order”

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

All Timelines on Reddit

Hey all! Just a brief update.

I had a forum before, but that ended up working badly. Not because people weren’t participating (there was promise there), but because it opened up some back doors for hackers. Unfortunately, I don’t have the technical skill or the money to afford quality security for something like that. So instead, I’ve created a subreddit.

Hopefully, this subreddit will allow all of us to discuss the timelines, any problems they may have, or any new timelines you might like me to create. So please subscribe to the subreddit, and let’s get talking!

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

Any size contribution will help keep All Timelines alive and full of new geek culture guides and content. Support All Timelines on Patreon for exclusive rewards. Thank you for reading!

Live Free or Twihard: Bella’s Heroic Journey for Wholeness in Fantasy

Note: this is a paper I did back when I was in Brigham Young University earning my bachelor’s degree. Whether or not you like the Twilight series, there’s something be understood in the psychology of its readers, to understand what makes something so popular.

The Twilight series has undergone nearly every form of criticism known to the written world. And yet, the enormous popularity of the series speaks to it’s value in the psycho analysis of our culture, particularly that of young teenage girls (the series’ primary readership). Despite shallow characters and a lot of cheesy dialogue, there are many core elements that make Twilight more significant. These include myth, the psychological archetypes found there, and the fantastical narratives used to bring them about. For instance, Bella undergoes a version of the hero’s journey, which is an archetype found in practically every culture. In this journey she discovers many other universal archetypes, like the animus (the male side of herself) which once transcended is a big step in the direction her journey is leading her: to wholeness. Continue reading “Live Free or Twihard: Bella’s Heroic Journey for Wholeness in Fantasy”

Support For All Timelines:

All Timelines’s lists, reading orders, and guides are made possible by reader support on Patreon.

If you like All Timelines's reading orders/timelines and want exclusive reader rewards, your support on Patreon would be tremendously appreciated! Rewards include:

  • Patreon-only updates on what goes on behind the scenes and what's up and coming.
  • Priority reading order requests
  • Regular Q&A
  • A direct hand in growing All Timelines!
  • Promotions of your site, blog, or YouTube channel!
  • And more!

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Shadow Control: Batman’s Relationship with Himself Through his Enemies

Many would agree that one of the reasons why Batman is among the more popular superheroes is the ensemble of villains he fights, and that he is defined by these men and women. Practically every single villain is insane to one degree or another. Each is also a reflection of Batman, and the question is often raised whether or not he is the creator of his villains, or whether they created him. Many of these ideas and the symbols associated with them tie into the Jungian archetype of the Shadow. Bruce Wayne has many personal demons to control, much as his alter-ego does with villains like the Joker, or Two Face, and the Shadow archetype is representative of this. In Christopher Nolan’s film version of The Dark Knight he brings this idea to fruition. The Joker and Two Face are used to reflect Batman’s darker side and how close he is to becoming like one of them. They are all, including Batman, part of a Jungian shadow complex that is evident in Bruce Wayne. Wayne not only has to deal with the anti-heroes of Gotham, he has to deal with the possibility that his own split personality is one of them. However, in the film, it becomes evident that Bruce Wayne is able to take responsibility for his actions and turn chaos into order, which is what allows him to control his shadow rather than let it turn him into a villain. Continue reading “Shadow Control: Batman’s Relationship with Himself Through his Enemies”

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Ultimate Fandom Timeline: Fantasy in Great Britain

Magic is part of our world in many areas. However, there are some areas of Earth that seem to attract magic and fantasy more than others. One of these areas is known in modern days as Great Britain. The United States has similar qualities but to a lesser degree. It would increase in importance in the future.

After the events of The Lord of the Rings, the entire planet underwent several changes. Continents would move, some areas would flood, and in some areas, new land would arise. That is why it looks very different in different eras of time. Even the seasons were changed for a time, becoming longer. However, the basic shape and positioning of Great Britain was preserved. Continue reading “Ultimate Fandom Timeline: Fantasy in Great Britain”

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