Does Nightvale have an arc?
October 20, 2015 1:45 PM - Subscribe

I liked Nightvale initially, but after awhile I felt like the show was just treading water and repeating the same type of joke over and over. Now I see an episode marked "Epilogue" in my feed. I'm hoping for a yes/no spoiler free answer: Does Nightvale eventually develop an actual narrative?
posted by kanewai (4 comments total)
Maybe not the answer you wanted:

- There are several over-reaching "arcs" that develop throughout, usually one story-arc per "season" (each season usually being a year long with the "finale"/resolution happening every June).
- Overall, Night Vale is episodically contained, and indeed one of the hallmarks of it is there is little continuity, aka "time is weird".
- "Epilogue" has nothing to do with an ending for the show - it is related to the novel that just came out.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:45 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

That's the type of answer I was looking for, at least - thanks.
posted by kanewai at 6:02 PM on October 20, 2015

Yes, good answer, and I agree: mostly season-long arcs to which individual episodes are usually only loosely bound. It is repetitive, but a lot of that is in service of building its immersive, enclosed atmosphere and its stable of recurring characters.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:44 PM on October 20, 2015

This is a criticism that a friend of mine pointed out when I told him I'd started listening from the beginning: the world-building and atmosphere are good, but it's all sub-plots with no actual plot at the centre. That's not necessarily a bad thing of course, but if I listen to more than, say, one a week it does start to feel very repetitive and hollow.

I tend to read it as that there actually is a plot centred on Carlos, the outsider scientist who came (or was sent?) to study Nightvale, and now finds himself trapped there by some combination of weird phenomena and his own increasing involvement in the townspeople's lives. His arc is one of trying to understand the town in order to escape -- or at least survive -- it, with occasional monster of the week episodes... but that story is being told somewhere else. Instead, we're somehow following the lives of the extras and background characters when they're off-screen, and only getting glimpses of Carlos and his actions when someone in the community is needed to drive his plot forward. As interpretations go this one is a hell of a stretch, but having Night Vale as the hazily sketched background for some other story rather neatly explains the odd cast of recurring characters and locations, sense of complexity and movement without much actually happening, unreliable continuity, and peculiar flow of time.
posted by metaBugs at 11:40 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older Halloween weekend: Let's watch...   |  Anyone interested in (re)watch... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments