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If you want to get the public to attend a picture show
It's not enough to advertise a famous star they know.
If you want to get the crowds to come around
You gotta have glorious Technicolor
Breathtaking CinemaScope
And Stereophonic sound.
Peggy Dayton, Silk Stockings

All forms of showing off in a work, to impress the audience. Frequently used to set the mood and serve the Rule of Cool.

For example, for Live-Action TV, this includes exotic scenery, lighting, props, elaborate costuming, makeup, bombastic background music, sound effects, and Special Effects in general. Live Action movies use Scenery Porn, glamorous locations, car chases, Stuff Blowing Up, and computer generated imagery. For Comic Books, it includes things like coloring and lettering. For theater, operas, and musicals, spectacle is achieved with a large number of dancers, flamboyant, glittering costumes and so on. A rock or pop concert may use smoke machines, lasers, pyrotechnics, choreographed dancers, a moving stage platform, and huge screens.

The name comes from Aristotle's Poetics and is used more broadly here. He considered using spectacle to cover deficiencies in plot and character a flaw. If they are just in addition to good plots and characters, then these are just a bonus.

Not to be confused with Glasses Tropes.

See also Garnishing the Story, Opulent Outfits, and Rule of Index.

Contrast with Dogme '95, a film movement that was against special effects and spectacle. Some other styles of art deliberately avoid special effects, such as traditional folk music and lo-fi music.


Alternative Title(s): Eye Candy