Whether you’re a fan of Peter Jackson’s films of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or not, this video essay by Sean Hickey gives a fairly well-reasoned explanation of why one might not have as much fun watching these films. The Hobbit trilogy, Hickey reports, takes the qualities that made the Lord of the Rings films so successful: grand scale, interpersonal intrigue, suspense, believable conflicts, and tries to reproduce them, in some cases aping the older film, without much success. You’ll see a lot of your favorite clips from both parts of the story here, but marshalled in support of a fair question: why try to improve on a formula that worked so well in the first place? And why divide it up into three parts?