Looking through movies on offer through a streaming service, an observer will over time discern the contrast between the surface diversity and underlying similarity. These movies and shows vary greatly on the surface, but very little within.
Past ages did not have this problem, and it does not originate in a lack of creativity. Instead, we are seeing what happens when society has a Narrative, which by its conjectural and theoretical nature must be obeyed, since disobedience disproves something that is purely symbolic and thus not real.
In our society, since the Leftist takeover, the Narrative has followed the French Revolution trope: a band of misfits unites to overthrow their cruel leaders, resulting in a new Utopia of social tolerance. Magically, all other problems vanish, at least until the credits roll.
At this point, every movie has to pitch the Narrative or at least not offend it, so movies with any contrary theme do not get made, and every plot that exists must be modified to fit the Narrative. For this reason, the structure of the movies — plot development — becomes very similar.
Postmodern literature went through the same arc. The more one played with surface factors, like style and setting, the less the core could vary, because the plot had to tie together all of the fireworks. The stories started complex and ended simply, in the roughly the same patterns.
Like postmodern society, this created a scenario of much visual variety but incredible similarity, concealed though it might be. This explains the sense of being alone in a crowd, or bored despite infinite options; all paths lead to the same place, the Narrative.
Before we were dominated by the Narrative, movies could vary more and tell different stories because they did not need to etch out some point supporting an agenda. They could tell of adventures, and of normal people rising above themselves in extraordinary circumstances.
However, when you look into those structures, you find that they offend the Narrative. By not telling the French Revolution story in metaphorical form, they tell another story, which is that we can rise above ourselves and be more than equal. That provokes ire.
You can only pitch such stories when you have a normal, or homogeneous, audience. When you have a national culture because everyone is basically the same, you can tell them varied stories; when you do not, you have to saturate them in unity propaganda because they are fundamentally disunified.
Looking back even at the 1980s, movies had more texture of plot and adventure. Sure, Blacks and homosexuals did not feature much, nor did Asians or feminists, except as bit characters. But people had actual experiences that involved getting out of their own mental state and discovering the world.
Even horror films emphasized this decidedly off-Narrative idea. In them, people are not just equals; some have more spirit, presence, mind, or guts than others, and these are the ones who snap out of their mental fugue and recognize an Evil attacking before anyone else can deal with it.
You know the old trope: Godzilla attacks Tokyo, and everyone does what it says to do in the manual, which fails, except for this one scientist guy who has looked directly into the problem — where everyone else fears to look — and has an idea for a crackpot theory that just might work.
That, too, offends the narrative, which holds that unity is most important, and if we just gang up on the elites and overthrow them, Godzilla will either go away or be suddenly easily conquered because, hey, we have social unity.
Social unity provides the core of the French Revolution narrative. Why pay attention to things like differences in natural ability, including IQ? Just round everyone up, tell them they are accepted, and then we all attack at once. The enemy will fall, and everyone can sing a song.
[ APPLAUSE ]
Our culture has reached a point of heat-death. Societies are fundamentally economies, even if only for social points, and this causes opportunity — the ability to make people like you — to draw everyone into conformity and expounding the same Narrative.
We need our wildmen, our antisocial outliers, and our lone geniuses to innovate something else, mainly the idea that unity is not a friend but suicide. Unity means conformity, but homogeneity means hierarchy, and that the ones who will defeat Godzilla will rise above to victory.
Perhaps COVID-19 did not kill our movie industry, or cruise lines, or entertainment at all. Perhaps it simply became too much of the same, and rather than rejecting it, people simply lost interest, and wandered off in hopes of having an outlier adventure instead.