While am I personally against the merging of television and movies, it seems the community is for it, so I'll go along. However, as stated in Final TV Decision:


  • Works of Non-Fiction (News shows, need some more examples here too)
  • "Reality" Shows of any kind (Teen Mom, American Idol, Bachelor)

Are Off-Topic for this site.

Why this restriction? We aim to be a community now that's open to questions about My Little Pony, Gossip Girls, Thundercats, Firefly, and Dexter, but not Dirty Jobs, Sons of Guns, Top Shot, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Mythbusters, or Hoarders?

Why is that line being drawn?

  • 4
    I imagine that the original thought was because reality shows are crappy and horrible. I agree that most are, but your question has me rethinking the idea that we should be making this value judgment at all.
    – hairboat
    Jan 19 '12 at 15:47
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    Plus, documentary films are on-topic - those are non-fiction movies. Why not non-fiction TV as well?
    – hairboat
    Jan 19 '12 at 15:47
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    @AbbyT.Miller my thoughts exactly - I don't see the logic in barring a group of shows because of possible crappiness (or even a probability of poor questions). Let them come - perhaps there's value in them that people aren't seeing. Jan 19 '12 at 15:52
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    Also, oh god those shows should not be taken as a sample of shows I like. They are just what came to mind. Jan 19 '12 at 15:53
  • I was judging you in my head, but now I'll stop :) (I do love me some Mythbusters, though.)
    – hairboat
    Jan 19 '12 at 15:55
  • The prospect of asking/answering Mythbusters questions is probably the biggest draw for the inclusion non-fiction/reality shows. The question is, does it make up for the probable list questions (e.g. "In what episodes of Dirty Jobs does Mike Rowe get poo in his mouth?")? :P Jan 19 '12 at 15:59
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    There are crappy scripted shows just like there are crappy reality shows, and vice versa. I also don't see the reason for them being off-topic. Jan 19 '12 at 16:17

I don't believe that we should limit the scope of television. Documentary films are non-fiction movies and they are on topic here. Therefore non-fiction television shows should be on topic here as well.

  • 2
    Plus, most horrible reality shows are fiction. Unscripted fiction, perhaps, but still definitely not true 'reality'.
    – hairboat
    Jan 19 '12 at 16:35
  • yeah, thinking about it there's no real reason to not include most things.
    – DForck42
    Jan 19 '12 at 18:07

I think the site should encompass all movies (as in, moving pictures optionally accompanied by sound) that have some artistic value, as opposed to having a primarily practical purpose. This goes both movies with cinema releases and TV shows alike, though TV is the side with the most counter-examples. Here are some places where I'd set the limit:

  • Documentaries, with production values (e.g. Darwin's Nightmare or An Inconvenient Truth): on-topic. I don't know precisely where to draw the line on TV documentary series; I don't want to include news shows, for example.
  • News and current events shows: off-topic, because their primary purpose is to inform.
  • Commercials: off-topic, because their primary purpose is to sell.

I'm not sure where to draw the line with entertainment shows like Mythbusters¹. They're a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B. I recommend asking a few (good!) questions and seeing how they fly; it's difficult to judge topicality in the abstract.

¹ The only name in your list that I recognize.

  • 2
    Who is determining what does and does not have artistic value? Jan 20 '12 at 13:44

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