Rehabbing the villain! It's all the rage, and the latest iteration is Maleficent, which Steve Graydanus fisks here. I think this trend signifies two things. First, it caters to people's desire to feel insightful and broadminded, especially when they end up looking more insightful and broadminded than people who are in authority.
Second, it's super easy. I mean, the plot is already written. All you have to do is be clever enough to provide a little backstory and invent some cute, unexpected details -- something bored parents have been doing for centuries at storytime -- and it looks like you've made something cutting edge.
John Herreid had a few ideas on Facebook this morning: