Really? Knowing how it ends makes it more enjoyable?

Apparently, a new study is saying that people find movies, books, etc., more enjoyable if they know how the story is going to end before they get there. Supposedly, it takes away the stress of wondering what is going to happen, and instead you can just enjoy the ride. While there is something to be said for enjoying the ride, why can’t you do both?

I’m disappointed. I think part of this stems from people not wanting to think. Literally. They don’t want to have to think; they just want someone to tell them up front what they’re supposed to know and not have to figure it out for themselves. No mystery story is going to be as good knowing who the killer is up front. It’s just not a mystery then, and if it’s not a mystery, how can people even want to read it? I have a friend that, while I love her to death, I cannot watch movies with her other than the sappy, girly movies – in other words, the movies that really don’t take any brain power to watch. (She doesn’t like movies like “Scary Movie” or any stupid movies like that, so that’s why I’m not including them at the moment.) Whenever we have watched a movie that makes you think, we had to pause the movie several times to explain things to her. People don’t want to think or imagine or figure things out on their own anymore, and it scares me a little.

They say that knowing the ending means they can look for more foreshadowing and other clues like that and recognize them more easily. I’m sorry; I thought that was what the second read or watching was for. Take the movie “Michael Clayton.” It’s a movie you really have to pay attention to, and I enjoyed it for what it was the first time through. I think I’ve seen it twice since then, and both times I’ve picked more things up that I missed the first time. What’s the point of buying a movie if you’re not going to watch it more than once? Rent it or borrow it from your library, watch how they get to the ending you already knew was going to end, and go on to your next spoiled movie or book. Also, I love guessing how the plot is going to go. Then you get to let out a “yeah!” if you guessed right or a “oh, that makes sense” if you guessed wrong. If you already know, it takes the fun out of it,

My last thoughts on this subject: (with a spoiler alert for those who havent seen it yet) the new season opener of Castle would not have been as good had I known that Beckett had remembered him telling her he loved her (she lied in the beginning and said that she didn’t remember). And Sherlock Holmes? Miss Marple? None of those books would be more enjoyable the first time you read them if you knew how they ended.

I'm a lover of writing and books. I graduated from South Dakota State with a master's degree in communications in 2011, the same year I was first published. I'm a wife and mom, and I work in content and digital marketing in South Dakota.

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Posted in Intrigues
One comment on “Really? Knowing how it ends makes it more enjoyable?
  1. That really is quite a depressing find if there is some truth behind it. You need the context to complete your overall journey and it’s quite absurd that one would get the urge to skip it to focus on purely the ending. Perhaps the tension is just too much, but then I suppose the question is infact “what is the main reason for you reading in the first place?”


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