Today, Drew and Michael are discussing Black Cloud 1, originally released April 5th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Drew: We all have some tolerance for ambiguity in stories. It’s what allows mysteries to remain mysterious until the final act, and just generally keeps us guessing about what our characters might do next. Tolerable levels of ambiguity might be called “intriguing,” but once that tolerance threshold is crossed, that intrigue curdles into confusion. There’s no hard rule for finding that threshold (which I suspect varies from person to person), but I suspect it hinges on the faith in the creators. That is, audiences will sit through moments where they have no idea what’s going on so long as they trust that it will all make sense in the end. Audiences tend to have a supply of that trust as a kind of benefit-of-the-doubt, which is why they can abide flash-forward cold opens, but that supply can be exhausted if the creators don’t work to reassure the audience that they can be clear when they need to be. Alas, such is the case with Black Cloud 1, an issue so dense in teasing mythology about storytelling, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for actual storytelling. Continue reading