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Wisecrack Edition is a special series by the collective members of Wisecrack. Narrated by Jared Bauer, Wisecrack Edition picks a specific intellectual property (Anime, Western Animation, Films, Video Games and even individual characters and celebrities) and delves into analyses on the kind of philosophy, sociology, theology, economics and politics that they demonstrate.

This series provides examples of:

  • Above Good and Evil: In "The Philosophy of Dragon Ball", Jared points out that the Dragon Balls and the powers they possess represent the Buddhist concept of "Emptiness", the idea that they have no inherent meaning, including inherent good or evil, but simple stores of energy that can be used for either, not unlike the blank scrolls from Journey to the West.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Some of the videos present horrifying implications about the fictional worlds, including...
    • "The Emoji Movie: What Went Wrong? – Wisecrack Edition" fails to teach the lesson that the movie tries to push - be yourself and not what society demands of you - and instead pushes the opposite; at the end of the day, you can only function in how you were meant to function in the eyes of society (like Jailbreak embracing her princesses identity instead of leaving into the cloud like she wanted). The film portrays how the system worked as being oppressive, but by the end the system may seem more inclusive (but still exists in a flawed form), but in the end everyone has to fulfill their duty lest the god-head that is Alex decides to delete the contents of his phone and essentially kill everybody.
    • "The Lion King: Is Simba the VILLAIN? – Wisecrack Edition" implies The Lion King (1994) to be propaganda for the provocation of an unfair class system adhering to a "natural order" (the Hyenas representing the poor and downtrodden kept starving and out of the way for the Lion elite) and that disrupting this "natural order" would only lead to ruin, something used by tyrants and authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. The Might Makes Right Mufasa uses in his and Simba's dominance over Scar is a sign of their nobility, while Scar's intelligence is centered on his "scheming".
  • Body Horror: "How Humanity Ends (Akira, Videodrome, Tetsuo: The Iron Man)" explains that movies like AKIRA, Videodrome and Tetsuo: The Iron Man use body horror as a genre to explain how technology and media change not just society, but human nature itself and how it can stimulate human evolution.
  • Content Warnings: Aside from the usual "Spoilers Ahead", Jared has given disclaimers about episode-specific triggers.
    • Jared issued a particular trigger warning in The Philosophy of Attack on Titan, stating that while they would be analyzing the anime through the intellectual lens of infamous Nazi jurist and political theorist Carl Schmitt, neither the anime, nor the various collaborators of Wisecrack condone Carl Schmitt's war crimes and fascist ideology, flat-out referring to him as "a piece of shit," and simply seeing the anime as a hypothetical to his political philosophy.
    • Less serious was the disclaimer during the How to Destroy a Hero episode, where Jared said they would use clips from the Watchmen movie and the comic book, and asked the audience not to freak out
  • Crossover:
    • The very first episode - The Philosophy of Bioshock - included a guest appearance from MatPat from Game Theory.
    • Their NieR: Automata episode was co-written by the Extra Credits team, and in turn they helped write EC's episode on the same game.
  • Edutainment Show: Wisecrack Edition is a show meant to give a broad overview of one school of philosophy through a piece of pop culture. The Wisecrack team isn't afraid to put jokes in the essays, though.
  • Freud Was Right:
    • In a take on the Dark Souls franchise, "The Philosophy of Dark Souls" views the philosophical implications of Dark Souls (and by extension Demon's Souls and Bloodborne) through the lens of psychologist Sigmund Freud. Said video was uploaded on April 1st aka April Fools Day though, so it may or may not be intended as a joke.
      Jared: Dark Souls is about wanting to climb back into your mom's womb, getting your dick cut off and being endlessly miserable. I am completely serious about this. I'm Jared and welcome to this Wisecrack Edition on the Dark Souls series.
    • The beginning of Dark Souls beginning with a symbolic birthing scene, plunging into a tonic-crevice deep within the Earth into a pit where "things" are born, but only a few (the Old Gods) developing names and identities via the Lord Souls. The beginning of Dark Souls II has the protagonist exit an underground labyrinth and breaching the surface through a yonic-shaped crevice.
    • Themes of openings and other tonic imagery (symbolic of the mother) being blocked by a masculine figure with phallic weapons that seek to stop your progress (symbolic of the father). This also applies to the protagonist needing to enter through deep dark caves for both progress and fulfillment in the story, symbolic of the Freudian desire to return to the womb.
    • Vagina Dentata symbolically represented in Chaos Witch Quelaag and Mytha, the Baneful Queen, attributing to themes of metaphorical castration.
    • Kilns, thrones and the First Flame representing the womb, fighting metaphorical fathers as to return to this metaphorical womb and finally finding satisfaction.
  • The Horseshoe Effect:
    • In "Assassin's Creed: What Went Wrong? – Wisecrack Edition", it is pointed out that the Assassin's titular creed - "Nothing is true, everything is permitted." - is so vague and open to interpretation that it has led to various members of the Assassins working both sides or betraying the Order for the Templars all-together, with the prologue to Assassin's Creed III illustrating this by fooling the player into thinking that Haytham Kenway was an Assassin until the game flat-out tells us that he was actually a Templar the whole time.
    • In "The Philosophy of Fight Club – Wisecrack Edition", the group interprets the message Fight Club deposits on modern, ultra-consumerist Capitalism as being similar to Fascism in that the Rationalism that makes both Capitalism and Fascism work makes the people of society mere cogs in its machines that can be replaced and discarded, nothing but numbers and collateral for the whole.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "Why Hopelessness Is Hilarious (Rick & Morty, Archer, Gary and His Demons)" ends on a surprisingly upbeat note, revealing that with the increasing trend of Deconstructive Parodies in modern Speculative Fiction, more mundane things represented in media (like Job Simulator) increase because there is "gratification by relishing in the utterly mundane."
  • Rule of Drama: In The Philosophy of ONE PUNCH MAN, One-Punch Man is seen as a commentary on fulfillment found in conflict, and how modern convenience has robbed mankind of that fulfillment. Boredom is a heavy theme in the show and manga, creating a unconventional narrative to express this philosophy in both the story and Real Life.
  • Satire/Parody/Pastiche: The distinction between the former two is the entire basis of their How to Destroy a Hero video. According to Jared, Watchmen is a satire (taking the form of the superhero story and pointing out the flaws in them), while One Punch Man is a parody (an Affectionate Parody, to be specific; exaggerating common tropes in the superhero genre and the anime medium and critiquing them, while still treating both genres as great).
    Jared: With that in mind, we can label things like Team America, Dr. Strangelove, and Heathers as satire alongside Watchmen, and Deadpool, Galaxy Quest, and Blazing Saddles as parody alongside One Punch Man. And The Big Bang Theory is none of these things because f*** that show.
  • Seemingly Profound Fool: "The Philosophy of Sacha Baron Cohen" reveals that most of the characters Sacha Baron Cohen plays acts as this; he plays the part of an inoffensive clown that acts as a Foil to others so that they can reveal their own hypocrisies and contempt whether they meant to or not.
  • Special Guest:
    • MatPat from Game Theory starring in The Philosophy of Bioshock
    • Sparky Sweets, PhD from Thug Notes in The Genius of Michael Jackson's Thriller.
  • Take That!: The group hate The Big Bang Theory and won't pass-up the opportunity to remind you of that.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: "Why Hopelessness Is Hilarious (Rick & Morty, Archer, Gary and His Demons)" makes the claim that the reason why a lot of modern day comedy and generally beloved pop culture (such as Archer, Rick and Morty, Deadpool (2016), The Good Place, One-Punch Man, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, etc.) are so Deconstructive, cynical and willing to take the piss out of common tropes found within their respective genres (like Bond One-Liners) is because modern society has numbed the populace of "the cheery idealism of the past" because "our fantasies have been deconstructed."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In "Why Our Villains Are Different Now (Thanos, The Joker, Killmonger)", it is highlighted that the villains of modern media (Thanos, Killmonger, Evelyn Deavor, etc.) contrast sharply to villains that dominate The '50s. Whereas fifties villains were menaces that sought to destroy an inherently good system, modern villains seek to change an inherently bad system for the better, and it's only their extreme methods that make them the bad guy.
  • Wicked Pretentious: In "IDIOCRACY: Did It Come True?", Jared argues that in modern America, anti-intellectualism (that is the contempt towards education and the appreciation of art) is not prevalent, but rather America is suffering from a wave of pseudo-intellectualism (a lack of consensus of truth leading to the distribution of bad science - like the Flat Earthers and Anti-Vaccers - using the scientific method to explain itself).
  • Your Favorite: Out of all of the various properties that have been covered on Wisecrack Edition, Rick and Morty have the most, to the point where an entire spinoff series - Wisecrack Quicktake - devoted to deconstructing each episode of Season 3. Jared lampshaded this in the Monty Python episode, claiming Wisecrack is "a Domain switch away from becoming a Rick and Morty fanclub."


Video Example(s):


Capitalism and Fascism

In "The Philosophy of Fight Club - Wisecrack Edition", the group interprets the message Fight Club deposits on modern, ultra-consumerist Capitalism as being similar to Fascism in that the Rationalism that makes both Capitalism and Fascism work makes the people of society mere cogs in its machines that can be replaced and discarded, nothing but numbers and collateral for the whole.

How well does it match the trope?

3.6 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheHorseshoeEffect

Media sources: