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EPISODE 79 — Hidden Rules Behind Famous TV Shows

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A frequent topic on this podcast is the way all movies follow the same structure and how our brains are trained to look for these common rules. Whether it's Die Hard or Star Wars or The Godfather, all movies follow the same relatively specific beats. If they don't, we usually end up feeling short shrifted or confused. That's why a filmmaker like Terrence Malick can be so frustrating to audiences.


But how does this apply to TV, a medium where outside of the half-hour or hour-long time constraints, a premise could conceivably last for tens or hundreds of hours? How do you maintain and break expectations in a world where the Simpsons need to face a new conflict every week for 30 years? Rules, that's how!


This week on the podcast, special guest host Dan O'Brien is joined by Cracked editors Soren Bowie and Alex Schmidt to discuss the secret rulebooks that kept the Looney Toons and Community afloat, and how applying strict guidelines to TV shows both maintains their continuity and keeps them watchable.

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Good job filling in on the hosting/advertising duties Dan! Even with the Ash/Dragonball Z line, lol. The important thing is, you got the "Foot Noootes" right - yes you have to say it that way :D


Awesome episode. Great topic, good group of fan-favorite Cracked employees (NOT anything else; rules dictate that whatever context you meet, that's what you are forever!), fun discussion. Nice work guys!

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Hey, I've been reading some stuff on Cracked lately, and after reading this:




I doubt you guys check out the forums much, but I gotta ask anyway. Has Hollywood ever done a reboot of a movie using the original, abandoned pitch and/or script for the movie that they tossed out (that was obviously better)? I mean... what happens to this stuff? The script for Joss Whedon's original Alien Resurrection has to still be around the 20th Century Fox lot somewhere. Or the original Cool World animated/live action noir thriller/horror movie. These sound like awesome movies!

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