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"No one can be told what the Matrix is" - "complicated" media that isn't

awesomeocalypse

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"Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself."
Good line, well-delivered by Lawrence Fishburne. Perfect for using in trailers and promotional material.
It's also demonstrably incorrect. Most people can be told what the Matrix is in a sentence or two and will understand it without too much trouble. "The seemingly modern world you live in is actually just a virtual reality simulation run by robots, your body is actually hooked up to a bunch of wires in a vat in the dystopian, futuristic, robot-ruled real world". Compare to an actually complicated IP, like trying to explain the plot of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, and conveying the basics of the Matrix is actually quite straightforward.

What are other media properties have unearned reputations for being complicated or hard to understand?
 

Dweller in Darkness

Excelsior
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I'll get blowback for both of these, but in a fair number of fandom circles, Harry Potter and Doctor Who have a reputation for being complicated, but neither of them really is. I still love both fictional worlds, but they aren't complicated.
 

Rolzup

Dinoczar
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I got the impression that the Morpheus quote wasn't so much "This is difficult to describe" and more "This is so unbelievable that you need to see the reality of it in order to really accept it as truth."
 

Isator Levie

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It's also demonstrably incorrect. Most people can be told what the Matrix is in a sentence or two and will understand it without too much trouble.
I wonder if it's out of order to compare it to the difference between being told about the experience of being trans and feeling it first hand.

Also to question the point of trying to outsmart stories.
 

SorcererNinja

Ace Valkryie Pilot
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I'll get blowback for both of these, but in a fair number of fandom circles, Harry Potter and Doctor Who have a reputation for being complicated, but neither of them really is. I still love both fictional worlds, but they aren't complicated.
I think trying to explain aspects of Doctor Who continuity can be complicated, because there's a lot of stories that have been told and nobody is really sure which ones count, but the basic premise is pretty straightforward, yeah.
 

awesomeocalypse

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Inception is a common example.
Most Chris Nolan movies, actually. They tend to play with timelines and chronology, but in pretty simple, straightforward ways and most of his other big twists are quite uncomplicated as well. Compare the time shenanigans in something like Interstellar to a movie like Primer or End of Evangelion and the Nolan story looks very accessible.
 

LordofArcana

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I'm not sure if these works are perceived as "complicated" per se, but the classics are famously thought to be erudite and highbrow, with their dramas being infinitely more refined than the vulgar material of the present.

Aristophanes's Clouds pretty quickly has the protagonist make a masturbation joke and the title was seemingly chosen so as to create the setup for a fart joke. Its basically an entire play about how intellectuals are weird and dishonest with everyone being an idiot.

The same sort misconception occurs with Shakespeare's works, aided and abetted by people censoring all the "objectionable material".
 

Mister Gridlock

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I got the impression that the Morpheus quote wasn't so much "This is difficult to describe" and more "This is so unbelievable that you need to see the reality of it in order to really accept it as truth."
I concur. From Neo's POV, he was living his real life and if he was simply told this, he wouldn't believe it. It's not--from a movie watcher's POV--hard to understand as a premise for fiction.
 

awesomeocalypse

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I concur. From Neo's POV, he was living his real life and if he was simply told this, he wouldn't believe it. It's not--from a movie watcher's POV--hard to understand as a premise for fiction.
the marketing definitely took that line and ran with it to convey the message that the only way to understand the Matrix is to see it. which is a smart commercial play, but not actually true at all
 
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