History Main / ViewersareGeniuses

24th May '17 6:45:12 PM BiffJr
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[[folder:Media in General]]
* ''Byte'' Magazine used to run an ad every April advertising some form of "write-only memory", such as "[[LogicBomb erasable write-only memory]]" or "high-speed write-only memory". Every May they'd print some of the orders they had received.
* Twelve years before the famous War of the Worlds broadcast a genial priest created a similar, although less extreme, panic with his [[http://www.planetslade.com/ronald-knox1.html Broadcasting the Barricades]]. People missed the fact that the rioters' ringleader was one Mr Popplebury, the Secretary of the National Movement for Abolishing Theatre Queues. As Evelyn Waugh (a great friend of Knox) wrote in his autobiography: “It was prefaced by an explicit statement that it was a work of humour and imagination, enlivened by realistic ‘sound effects’, which were still a novelty. Read today, it seems barely credible that it could have caused a tremor of alarm in the most timid listener. [Ronald] had no idea of imposing on anyone. The intention was broad parody.”
* Any especially clever, layered, or subtle satire has a tendency to go right over people's heads. Things like ''Website/TheOnion'' or the aforementioned ''Series/BrassEye'' have had their material mistaken for real news on several occasions (the latter even counted on people not getting it and frequently made them an unwitting part of the joke). In fact, sometimes even when viewers ''are'' geniuses, they still can't pick out the satire due to PoesLaw.
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[[folder:Media in General]]
* ''Byte'' Magazine used to run an ad every April advertising some form of "write-only memory", such as "[[LogicBomb erasable write-only memory]]" or "high-speed write-only memory". Every May they'd print some of the orders they had received.
* Twelve years before the famous War of the Worlds broadcast a genial priest created a similar, although less extreme, panic with his [[http://www.planetslade.com/ronald-knox1.html Broadcasting the Barricades]]. People missed the fact that the rioters' ringleader was one Mr Popplebury, the Secretary of the National Movement for Abolishing Theatre Queues. As Evelyn Waugh (a great friend of Knox) wrote in his autobiography: “It was prefaced by an explicit statement that it was a work of humour and imagination, enlivened by realistic ‘sound effects’, which were still a novelty. Read today, it seems barely credible that it could have caused a tremor of alarm in the most timid listener. [Ronald] had no idea of imposing on anyone. The intention was broad parody.”
* Any especially clever, layered, or subtle satire has a tendency to go right over people's heads. Things like ''Website/TheOnion'' or the aforementioned ''Series/BrassEye'' have had their material mistaken for real news on several occasions (the latter even counted on people not getting it and frequently made them an unwitting part of the joke). In fact, sometimes even when viewers ''are'' geniuses, they still can't pick out the satire due to PoesLaw.
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8th May '17 2:06:18 PM crashkey
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So you sit back and watch the ratings -- which plummet faster than a rocket-propelled brick in a nosedive. What went wrong? In trying to avert making the classic mistake that ViewersAreMorons, you went too far and ended up assuming that they're ''geniuses'' instead. Of course, if you're working in a medium that doesn't need an audience of millions to be profitable, you may not care. While a lot less common than its more insulting opposite (any show without the "mass-market appeal" that the less high-brow stuff has will be ScrewedByTheNetwork without mercy), overestimating the audience can be more of a death knell than underestimating it, even without network sabotage. Remember that loading up your work with loads of obscure references solely for the sake of having them there is just pretentious. Just because your characters know who Derrida is does not make them interesting or your show any better than one that doesn't namedrop. Don't think your show/book/game is smart just because you're quoting smart people.

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So you sit back and watch the ratings -- which plummet faster than a rocket-propelled brick in a nosedive. What went wrong? In trying to avert making the classic mistake that ViewersAreMorons, you went too far and ended up assuming that they're ''geniuses'' instead. Of course, if you're working in a medium that doesn't need an audience of millions to be profitable, you may not care. While a lot less common than its more insulting opposite (any show without the "mass-market appeal" that the less high-brow stuff has will be ScrewedByTheNetwork without mercy), overestimating the audience can be more of a death knell than underestimating it, even without network sabotage. Remember that loading up your work with loads of obscure references solely for the sake of having them there is just pretentious. Just because your characters know who Derrida is does not make them interesting or your show any better than one that doesn't namedrop. Don't think your show/book/game is smart just because you're quoting smart people.
sabotage.
6th May '17 12:41:38 AM ZombieAladdin
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* Creator/LarryNiven expects his readers to be conversant in a basic level of physics. His character will occasionally mention some scientific principle, but will ''never'' explain that principle, or why it's important to the story, because they (the characteralready know what it means. So when a character mentions it takes six hours to get a message because of light-speed delay, or mentions the tidal differential of a ship in orbit around a neutron star, or starts talking about a thickened gas torus in high gravity rotational environment and it confuses you, Niven expects you to do the research and keep up.

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* Creator/LarryNiven expects his readers to be conversant in a basic level of physics. His character will occasionally mention some scientific principle, but will ''never'' explain that principle, or why it's important to the story, because they (the characteralready character) already know what it means. So when a character mentions it takes six hours to get a message because of light-speed delay, or mentions the tidal differential of a ship in orbit around a neutron star, or starts talking about a thickened gas torus in high gravity rotational environment and it confuses you, Niven expects you to do the research and keep up.



* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' takes this UpToEleven. It purposely leaves clues for its viewers to solve, sometimes years in advance. Some of the clues include [[CreativeClosingCredits cryptograms in the credits,]] backwards messages, and [[FreezeFrameBonus details hidden in the background.]] Creator Alex Hirsch has said that he did this so that if anyone was as weird as him, they would find what they're looking for.

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* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' takes this UpToEleven. It purposely leaves clues for its viewers to solve, sometimes years in advance. Some of the clues include [[CreativeClosingCredits cryptograms in the credits,]] backwards messages, and [[FreezeFrameBonus details hidden in the background.]] Creator Alex Hirsch has said that he did this so that if anyone was as weird as him, they would find what they're looking for. Regarding the cryptograms, Season 2's is written in a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigen%C3%A8re_cipher Vigenère cipher]], an encoding process regarded impenetrable for over 300 years and remains extremely difficult to break in the present day without a key or a decryption computer program.
17th Apr '17 8:28:22 PM _____________
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* ''Franchise/GhostInTheShell'' is pretty hard on the brain. ''Anime/GhostInTheShell 2'' is harder on the brain than ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty''. ''[[Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex Stand Alone Complex]]'' discusses sociology and memes, and if you understood it fully the first time, you either already had an undergrad understanding of sociology, or earned one in the process of puzzling it out.
** While difficult enough at parts the comparatively lightweight anime series has a tendency to have characters spout plot points (often convoluted political situations) at an accelerated clip. It then rarely, if ever, repeats itself. Example: In 2nd Gig the full source of the title 'Individual Eleven' and its supposed contents are explained once. Despite coming in in multiple episodes before and after the explanation. The extent of the subtleties in these conversations are enough to quickly lose all but astute Political Science majors the first time through, much more so than the sociology and philosophy references. Not to mention being [[spoiler:ultimately a RedHerring]].

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* ''Franchise/GhostInTheShell'' is pretty hard on the brain. ''Anime/GhostInTheShell 2'' is harder on ''[[Anime/GhostInTheShell Ghost in the brain than ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty''. Shell 2: Innocence]]'', for example, is an intertextual rumination on posthumanism that requires an understanding of the works of people like [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Bellmer Hans Bellmer]] for proper comprehension.
** While being comparatively lightweight,
''[[Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex Stand Alone Complex]]'' discusses sociology and memes, and if you understood it fully the first time, you either already had an undergrad understanding of sociology, or earned one in the process of puzzling it out.
** While difficult enough at parts the comparatively lightweight anime series
out. It also has a tendency to have characters spout plot points (often convoluted political situations) at an accelerated clip. It then rarely, if ever, repeats itself. Example: In 2nd Gig the full source of the title 'Individual Eleven' and its supposed contents are explained once. Despite coming in in multiple episodes before and after the explanation. The extent of the subtleties in these conversations are enough to quickly lose all but astute Political Science majors the first time through, much more so than the sociology and philosophy references. Not to mention being [[spoiler:ultimately a RedHerring]].
8th Apr '17 6:56:35 AM TristanJeremiah
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[[caption-width-right:247: TheSnarkKnight reads "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, and TheDitz [[DontExplainTheJoke thinks it's a romance novel. ]]

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[[caption-width-right:247: TheSnarkKnight reads "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, and TheDitz [[DontExplainTheJoke thinks it's a romance novel. novel]].]]
8th Apr '17 6:55:51 AM TristanJeremiah
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[[caption-width-right:247: TheSnarkKnight reads "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, and TheDitz thinks it's a romance novel. ]]

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[[caption-width-right:247: TheSnarkKnight reads "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, and TheDitz [[DontExplainTheJoke thinks it's a romance novel. ]]
24th Mar '17 12:48:34 PM BeerBaron
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* Similarly, ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' contains books which question in obscure and cryptic terms the nature of games, the role of the player, and the meaning of life. One of the most prominent series of books consists of 36 volumes which must be cross-referenced with one another and deciphered. Unfortunately, understanding the lore of Tamriel is likely to just raise more questions.

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* Similarly, ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' contains books which question in obscure and cryptic terms ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' has the nature ''36 Lessons of games, the role of the player, and the meaning of life. One of the most prominent Vivec'', [[InGameNovel a series of 36 sermons]] penned by the PhysicalGod himself. At first glance, they seem like the [[BlatantLies scribblings]] of a [[UnreliableNarrator mad man]]. However, if the books consists of 36 volumes which must be are cross-referenced with one another and deciphered. Unfortunately, understanding the lore deciphered, one finds a world of Tamriel is likely to just raise more questions.[[MetaphoricallyTrue Metaphorical Truths]], BreakingTheFourthWall, {{Anvilicious}}ness, TropesAreNotBad, and GettingCrapPastTheRadar with a sprinkling of InJoke.
10th Mar '17 8:36:43 AM kensu
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Added DiffLines:

* One of the reasons why JohnnyDangerously has never caught on like other famous parody films from the same period ({{Airplane}} and {{Film/TopSecret}} for example) was because it was parodying a genre (the 1930s gangster movie) that had faded from the public consciousness. Not only had 50 years passed since the genre was at its height, its place in the American collective unconscious had been supplanted by TheGodfather and its derivatives. It's very strange to note that although the movie came out in 1984 and was a parody of gangster movies, that there wasn't a single reference to TheGodfather in it.
27th Feb '17 1:42:02 PM Statzkeen
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Added DiffLines:

* Among the reasons that ''Series/PoliceSquad'' only lasted was season was that ABC thought it was guilty of this trope. According to ABC, the show required the viewer to pay too much attention in order to understand the humor. TV Guide called this "the most stupid reason a network ever gave for ending a series".
16th Feb '17 7:56:32 PM Jaro7788
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Added DiffLines:

** In many non-English speaking circles, especially in continental Europe, an advanced grasp of at least written English is taken pretty much for granted and job annoucements sometimes won't even mention this particular requirement due to it being not as much as a highlight as lack thereof would be considered a disadvantage (just like nobody boasts of being able to read and write). If you were to post a link to a news article in English on, say, a Swedish gaming forum, even if any of the users actually needed a translation, chances are they wouldn't dare to ask for fear of humiliation.
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