Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Drop Dead Gorgias: What about the local news shows on Family Guy and American Dad!, or Kent Brockman's show on The Simpsons? I don't think they have names (or they're something generic like "Action 6 news", but they're common enough for all of those newscasters to become regular castmembers in those shows. Is that a subtrope of this?

Tzintzuntzan: They're all examples of a Show Within a Show, but maybe they should be the basis of another entry. I was thinking of something like the current entry for The "Fun" in "Funeral"; the gags on the typical animated news show. (Anchors who are deadpan at the most inappropriate times, barely-hidden conflicts between the anchors or between anchors and field reporters, clumsy news biases, etc.)

Drop Dead Gorgias: Is it safe to say that this originated with Kent Brockman? What do people like, The Brockman, Channel Six News or Action Six News?

Tzintzuntzan: If it didn't originate there, it's certainly where it became famous. I think Kent Brockman works better because it instantly brings The Simpsons to mind, while Action Six News could be any show.

Again, this seems to make more sense as a trope entry than as a character entry; that way it can be about everything that happens on cartoon news, rather than just the newscasters themselves.

Drop Dead Gorgias: So to make it clear that it's a regular trope rather than a character type, should we make it Kent Brockman News?

Tzintzuntzan: Sounds good to me.

Devil's Advocate: The O.C.'s show within a show The Valley predates Laguna Beach, so I've removed the erroneous reference to The Valley being a parody of Laguna Beach. If anything, The Valley is a parody of The O.C. itself.

Seanzo: I don't believe the Captain Proton stuff on ST:VOY counts; for one, they certainly aren't watching it on TV, or even a viewscreen — that's reserved for old cartoons on Tom and B'Ellana's TV; two, it's never stated that it's a recreation of any actual (or actual within the 'verse of the show) old TV show (or movie serial, more likely) — it's more of an homage or reinvention.

Ununnilium: A "show" doesn't have to be an actual TV show, in this case.

Sana Jisushi: What about real shows that appear as only shows in their alternate universe spinoffs, like Digimon Adventure in Digimon Tamers?

Looney Toons: It's still a Show Within a Show, just with a twist.
Mister Six: I think some differentiation should be made between shows like The Garry Shandling Show, where both the behind-the-scenes and on-stage bits are presented as entertainment for the real-life viewer as well as the fictional audience, and Frasier, where the fictional show is being made purely for the fictional audience. Er, did I explain that well enough? I mean in the former type, the 'show within a show' is effectively being broadcast to the 'real-life' viewer; there is no fictional conceit there. We are effectively watching The Garry Shandling Show (or whatever) shot through 'in-universe' TV cameras intercut with behind-the-scenes stuff shot by 'invisible' cameras. Whereas in Frasier the whole thing is shot using 'invisible cameras', so there's always an extra layer of fiction between the show and the audience. I think that the double-show should be counted as a separate 'format'. Does that make sense?

Morgan Wick: Well, Home Improvement seems to blur the lines. We see Tool Time as though it were a show geared to us, not from a behind-the-scenes perspective as in Frasier.

Incidentially, Space Ghost Coast to Coast would be the Garry Shandling-type.

Mister Six: I'm trying to think of a good title for this and coming up blank. Of to YKTTW...
Andyroid: Removed all this, as it's covered by Embedded Prequel

A great many computer games have a computer somewhere within the game which, when operated or examined, is revealed to be running (or even allows you to play) a game. This game is quite often either the actual you're playing itself or a previous/future/cancelled game by the same people that made it:
  • The preeminant example is in Day of the Tentacle, wherein if you examine a particular computer it will reveal the the game's predecessor Maniac Mansion, running in its fully playable entirety within an emulator!
  • The SNES game Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures has an arcade which contains playable versions of the original Pac Man and Ms. Pac Man. The Genesis version substitutes Pac Man Jr. for Ms. Pac Man.

Doen't with page require some discussion of Star Trek TNG's imfamous abuse of the Holodeck to overcome dry spells in the script department?

Rob Mandeville: Do we need a sub-page to deal with animated characters that are used as actors in multiple shows? For examples, take Veggietales (they don't make new veggies for biblical characters: the same cucumber played Nebbu K. Nezzer and King Xerxes), the Muppets (for instance, in Muppet Treasure Island, they use Kermit as the Captain and Sam the Eagle as Mr. Arrow), or Looney Tunes (Yosemite Sam, a "cowboy", has been both a British knight and an Arabian). It's not quite Show Within a Show, because many of these shows don't even reveal the outer "frame" story. It's more like a reusable virtual actor.
Tzetze: Did some sorting.