The rise of Magical Realism

Originally published at: The rise of Magical Realism | Boing Boing


Storied is an excellent show! I love Ellis and of course, the excellent Princess Weekes!

Fanfic Fan Fiction GIF by PBS Digital Studios

The other shows on that channel are great, too. I really love Monstrum with Emily Zarka, too, where she explains various kinds of mythologies…


It’s wonderful, I’ve been loving their different programming. The only upside to two years of the horrors of the pandemic has been my discovery of such wonderful content on Youtube.


Yeah, and lots of people have upped their game, too with the pandemic.


I don’t mind magical realism as a structure, but for me internal consistency becomes even more critical, as well as avoidance of deus ex machina. A lot of the superhero TV shows fall into this trap. Whereby every giant problem that needs to be solved is inevitably done so at the last moment by some extremely convenient magic force or device that was never mentioned before, breaks all the rules of the universe, then is never mentioned again. That kind of lazy writing is easy to fall into with magical realism, since your world building is not inherently constraining you in any way. Shows like Supergirl and Iron Fist suffer from this a lot. Every problem is solved by The Mask Of Ancient Megadomino or whatever that someone just found, then said thing is never mentioned again.

If shows want to make up a bunch of rules about the universe, that’s great as long as they are internally consistent about it. A good example is Walking Dead. They set up the rules for how the zombies behave, then the characters and plot points explore the limits of the “design space” created by those rules. Given that the zombies behave this way, how would they be herded, used as weapons, used as shields, etc? What would be all the risks and benefits of all these rules? That’s what I really enjoy and that show does it very well.


Just a FYI, if you like authors who seem to specialize in this genre (eg. Gaiman), you may like C. Robert Cargill.

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