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Playing With / Viewers Are Morons

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Basic Trope: The idea commonly held by show creators and network executives that viewers don't know what's going on unless you tell them in the simplest terms possible.

  • Straight: Characters in Adjective Noun Fred are always explaining their motivations and actions, despite said information having being well explained repeatedly in previous occasions. For example, in every single episode, the Big Bad will exclaim that his goal is take over the world.
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  • Exaggerated: Even everyday, mundane actions need an explanation and the explanation involves a very long-winded Character Filibuster or a Wall of Text.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice and Bob get Strangled by the Red String, mainly due to Relationship Writing Fumble.
    • Information is repeated a couple times before the show seems to trust that the viewers have got it. For example, the Big Bad says that his goal is to take over the world the first time he tries to do it and repeats it the next time, but it's pretty much taken as read from then on.
  • Justified:
    • The show is a Cooking Show, Science Show, or other How To; viewers are there to learn something, so each step must be shown and sometimes they even tell you why a step is required or recommended.
    • It's a broadcast of a sporting event; the audience doesn't want to miss a thing, but sometimes it's hard to tell what's going on in such a fast-paced setting. (And some audience members may not be familiar with moves or plays, particularly if they're seldom used for some reason.)
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    • Sometimes, it's hard to express feelings or other abstract concepts without discussing them explicitly.
    • The Mind Screwdriver
  • Inverted: Viewers Are Geniuses, helping to prevent or fix Mind Screws or Authors Are Morons.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
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  • Zig Zagged: Sometimes things are explained, sometimes they're not.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced:
    • "We want to prevent Adjective Noun Fred from becoming a Mind Screw."
    • The writer has trouble with expressing abstract things like feelings and relationships.
    • "This is Edutainment; the audience needs to learn, and we need to teach them."
  • Lampshaded:
    • A TV-exec mantra goes like this: "Never treat the viewers like they're stupid but don't forget that they are."
    • "Just in case you forgot, I'm trying to take over the world! Okay, are we clear? You got that? Just checking."
  • Invoked: Adjective Noun Fred has a Kudzu Plot, with lots of dynamic battles and relationships.
  • Exploited: Somebody writes a How To book or program, especially one for beginners.
  • Defied: The author assumes that the audience has at least some idea what's going on, and adheres to the Law of Conservation of Detail.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

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