So continuing with this surprisingly popular subject, I’m going to be tackling one of the most disappointing movies since the Star Wars prequels: The Hobbit. Don’t look at me like that, I know you’ve all secretly been thinking it! So sit back, and let me tell you of the story we could have had!
The Stories that Never Were:
The Story We Got:
So we start out with some Hobbit living in the Shire, an adorable place filled with tiny people living in what are essentially upper-class rabbit holes. We meet some old guy who’s writing a book, which to me is always a great place to start, and he begins telling us of his life in The Shire. It’s an absolutely beautiful place filled with beauty and wonder.
And then some old coot comes along and ruins the whole thing.
So this old fart comes along, waggles his cane and tells Bilbo about how a happy, contented life is meaningless and then drags poor Bilbo away on a pointless ordeal that will see him running from Orcs, fighting Orcs, and being belittled by the rude, slovenly Dwarfs in his group. It was absolutely pitiful to watch. Most of the Dwarfs are fat, old drunks themselves, where do they get off making fun of Bilbo?
Yeah there are some good characters and awesome action scenes…I guess. But come on, this isn’t the story we wanted to see! If you’ve seen one hobbit’s quest to save the world, you’ve seen them all. And let’s face it, even Frodo’s journey was pretty dull when you think about, the last thing we needed was another story about a hobbit going on an adventure.
The Story It Could Have Been:
A story about Bilbo living a happy and contented life! Now hear me out, I know they say that strife and frustration are key to any good story, and that in order for a story to develop a character must grow. Well forget all that. It’s bullshit. Bilbo is happy when we first meet him, he smokes, and drinks and eats…I think he must have some sort of job but we never get to see it because Mr. “There Will Be Peril” Gandalf comes along and drags him way from it. A job he’s probably fired from because he went on an adventure without putting in his two-weeks notice.
I for one would enjoy a story where Bilbo gets to lead his life in peace. Imagine he just lets those Dwarfs go off on their adventure and he stays behind, would that really be so bad? Couldn’t he just stay there and continue to lead his life? We could see the ins-and-outs of Hobbit life in the Shire, where Bilbo works and the grumpy curmudgeonly boss he works for that’s snide on the outside but has a heart of gold inside. We could meet the cute red-haired co-worker probably played by Kirsten Dunst that is flirting with everyone in the office and is kind of a ditz, but we love her anyway.
Then after hard days Hobbiting, or whatever, he stops off at the Green Dragon for a drink. There he meets his friend, a fat hobbit who can’t hold his liquor. I’ll call him Gary because at this point I think the audience needs a rest from all the fantasy stuff. Anyway Gary and Bilbo start talking about the annoyances of everyday life, like how nobody can reach the coffee tin on the topshelf because they’re all hobbits, and why they even have high shelves when Big John down the road is the hobbit-equivalent of Shaq at a towering 5’0 even. And then maybe Bilbo remembers that he forgot something at the office and goes rushing back to get it! Man, the audience is on tenterhooks now!
So back at the office he runs into Kirsten Dunst-Hobbit, and while clad in nothing but a chainmail skirt whispers to Bilbo “We’re finally alone Bilbo.” Yet poor Bilbo is just too confused to do anything but stammer like Shia LeBeouf in a Transformers movie. He can’t do this because Dunst-Hobbit is actually the curmudgeonly boss’s daughter! I guess I should have mentioned that earlier in the movie, but it’s not a big deal right? The audience doesn’t actually care about who’s who, they want Drama! That’s right, drama with a capital D.
And they’re going to get Drama when Bilbo’s other love-interest, who you’ve never seen before but will immediately care about because she’s a cute girl (this is also called the Megan Fox rule), walks in. The two girls have a scathing argument, while Bilbo just stares at them perplexedly and tries to stay out of it. Then they both declare that Bilbo is an obnoxious man-child and break up with him. Boom, that’s our resolution to that story-arc. Man I’m good.
Anyway, Bilbo returns home, still not completely sure of what the hell just happened, pulls out his trusty pipe and begins smoking on the same bench we saw at the start of the film. Roll credits. That’s what you call symmetric storytelling, ending where you began!
Now isn’t that a much better version? Look at how poor Bilbo ends up in the original film!
In my version, Bilbo grows into old age with grace and dignity. Since he never goes on the adventure, he never finds the One Ring and so Gandalf never finds it, the Naz’Gul never come looking for it, and Frodo never has to go off and destroy it! Then instead of some grand epic about a battle between good and evil, we get three movies of Frodo, Pippin, Sam and Merry trying to survive the world of Hobbit-University, where they constantly butt heads with the uptight Hobbits from the Hobbit-frat.
Maybe there could even be a spin-off TV series about Frodo and the gang when they move into the big city and try to find jobs. We could call it Hobbits in the City! Oh this is just too brilliant, the possibilities are endless! In fact I better write out a pitch for this and talk to some Hollywood bigshots. I’ll see you guys later.
Oh and by the way, happy April 1st everybody. I forget what’s special about that date but I didn’t want to be left out of the celebrating.