Whether you’re the heavy metal band Metallica, or film director Rian Johnson, subverting expectations should never be the goal or the end result of your creation.
The “subverting expectations” defense often times is one that I see when it comes to the defense of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and it makes me ponder whether or not people understand what the word “subvert” even means. It is defined as “undermining the power and authority of.” So if you’re undermining your audience, how is that a positive? It’s the equivalent of kicking someone in the teeth when they’re expecting a neck massage.
When you produce something, there’s an expectation. When I write an article, I’m expected to be coherent and well-reasoned. That’s what happens when you read a Micah Curtis article. It’s my brand. When you watch a video of mine, the expectation is that there will be an argument that’s thought out, but also enjoyable to listen to. Informative and entertaining; that’s my brand. So, if I subvert expectations, I let people down.
Allow me to explain further in the video below: