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  1. #1
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    Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    I was watching The Great Gatsby yesterday, and was annoyed that it spelled out and announced all of the unspoken symbolism in the book, rather than letting it be poignant. The Sixth Sense had to explain the twist at the end, rather than let smart viewers get it on their own. A lot of TV shows announce the jokes, too - even shows I love like Parks and Rec sometimes go for the obvious.

    What are some movies or shows that give people credit for being smart? Cheap Seats was incredible at this. Arrested Development was usually good, although they sometimes over-explained jokes or went for cheap humor. Others?


    M 7/09

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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    I guess it also begs the question - do directors NEED to spell out the obvious or unspoken for today's audiences?


    M 7/09

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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    Quote Originally Posted by Angie View Post
    I was watching The Great Gatsby yesterday, and was annoyed that it spelled out and announced all of the unspoken symbolism in the book, rather than letting it be poignant. The Sixth Sense had to explain the twist at the end, rather than let smart viewers get it on their own. A lot of TV shows announce the jokes, too - even shows I love like Parks and Rec sometimes go for the obvious.

    What are some movies or shows that give people credit for being smart? Cheap Seats was incredible at this. Arrested Development was usually good, although they sometimes over-explained jokes or went for cheap humor. Others?

    Bruce Willis is dead, it's all good.



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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    Quote Originally Posted by Rural View Post
    Bruce Willis is dead, it's all good.
    That does solve a lot of society's problems.


    M 7/09

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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    Scripted shows always seem to end up insulting my intelligence at some point, so I essentially don't watch them anymore. I stay away from shows where they try to make up drama and just stick to sports, documentaries, a little bit of Family Guy/American Dad mixed in, and of course, The First 48.



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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    Quote Originally Posted by Angie View Post
    I guess it also begs the question - do directors NEED to spell out the obvious or unspoken for today's audiences?
    They never need to, but a lot of symbolism goes over most peoples' heads anymore. At the same time, even in novels, we're beat over the head with symbolism in there. I mean, just in The Great Gatsby, it's always pointed out the green lantern is at the end of Daisy's dock, and TJ Eckleberg's glasses are mentioned whenever someone talks about being watched by an omnipotent power. In Catcher in the Rye, the only time the hunting cap is mentioned is when Holden is nervous/afraid/upset. Never when anything good happens.

    As to "smart" movies, I would go with Donnie Darko, The Constant Gardner, and Syria (I think it was that one). Or whatever movie came out around the same time as Constant Gardner and only was played in Ames at Varsity Theatre.


    He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.

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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    Archer has references that require research. Love that show.



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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    I am personally a big fan of shows/movies that work on different levels at the same time. Going low brow with humor but still having subtle, not-so-obvious humor all wrapped up. For me the Farrelly brothers do this very well in their movies or others like David Wain's "Wet, Hot American Summer" or "the State".

    No one would describe these as smart shows to be sure but they all have elements of subtlety that those looking for schtick and cheap laughs may not catch.



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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    I know that Inception was kind of a high concept mess overall, but I enjoyed the spinning top at the end. I appreciated that Nolan left it open ended for the audience to come to their own conclusions about where Leonardo DiCaprio's character ended up.



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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    Wait Bruce Willis was dead in Sixth Sense?



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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    Anything by Aaron Sorkin...TV (West Wing, Sports Night, Studio 60) OR movies (A Few Good Men, The American President). Right now he's got one on HBO called "The Newsroom".



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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    At least we can all agree that Big Bang Theory is the smartest show on the air, right??



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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    Quote Originally Posted by Tailg8er View Post
    At least we can all agree that Big Bang Theory is the smartest show on the air, right??
    I was going to add the question - Over/under on number of posts before this turns into a big bang theory ******* match? Looks like the under is a good bet.



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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    Breaking Bad had lots of symbolism and rarely hit you over the head with it. And even if you missed them you could still enjoy the show.



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    Re: Friday OT - "Smart" Shows and Movies

    Quote Originally Posted by PabloDiablo View Post
    I am personally a big fan of shows/movies that work on different levels at the same time. Going low brow with humor but still having subtle, not-so-obvious humor all wrapped up. For me the Farrelly brothers do this very well in their movies or others like David Wain's "Wet, Hot American Summer" or "the State".

    No one would describe these as smart shows to be sure but they all have elements of subtlety that those looking for schtick and cheap laughs may not catch.
    I love David wain and the State. Miss that show so much.


    M 7/09

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