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Talk:Episode 104: You Don't Have a Pet to Be Popular

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James van der Beek

I added a trivia note about James van der Beek's appearance in this episode, with the screenshot from his page. Andrew took it out, with the edit summary: "Van der Beek already included in cast list".

I know that he's already listed on the page, but I think his appearance is an interesting trivia note and worth spotlighting with another sentence and a picture. There's not a heck of a lot that's worth saying about Aliens, so I think there's no harm in spotlighting the soon-to-be-famous guest stars. I think we could do the same for Aaron Eckhart and Allison Janney, especially if we could find some screenshots of them from their episodes. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 00:21, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

It just looks really odd, awkward and redundant, and moreso since the same info is already on Aliens in the Family (in the trivia section, but I see that's been pushed down since a gallery of placeholders for each episode was added; I think that could also be jettisoned, since the episode category is a better way to navigate). If you really want to leave it there, but it just looks like repetition, since the fact is right below, the picture's on van der Beek's page, and most know he starred on Dawson's Creek. It doesn't seem to really relate to the episode page, and it just looks really odd. I have the whole run, by the way, in variable quality. An image for Janney is doable (though I think there's better ways to expand that page when I get to it), but Eckhart's is brief, blurry, and pretty pointless (it's easier to tell it's him by his voice, uttering his one line). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:33, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't seem redundant to me. Yes, his name is on the page, but it's in the middle of a list of other actors like Blaze Berdahl who aren't very interesting. I've been fixing up those pages a bit today, and when I saw his name in the guest cast, I thought, "wow, really?" I think it's worth including that note and picture so that other people have that same experience, when they might otherwise pass it by. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 00:42, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
It's just that we don't do that on Farscape, and it seems like something that could lead to a trivia note for every actor; Nate could argue that Robert Westenberg deserves a note, and so on. There's plenty of similar examples on Dinosaurs voices and we don't do that there, and on and on. It especially looks weird as a trivia note. It would work better worked into the summary; i.e. "Heather prepares for her date with Ethan (played by a pre-Dawson's Creek James van der Beek)." That seems more natural while also being interesting, as opposed to, "Oh yes, this Van der Beek guy, did you know he was on Dawson's Creek?" I still don't think we need a guest star image on every page, though, and if anything, I'd say dump that episode listing on Aliens in the Family and take that "Trivia" section, which is right now about guest stars, and use it as a kind of all-purpose "Before we knew who they were" gallery/note section. Especially since, in fact, it is easier to spruce up individual episodes, but harder to make coverage of the show as a whole very interesting (two episodes aired in prime time, most were run off on Saturdays). Taken en masse, I'd say they're more interesting than a thumbnail below a link to the person's page with the same image. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:48, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I actually think we could have something like that for Farscape and Dinosaurs; it would liven up those episode pages considerably. I wouldn't mind a note about Robert Westenberg, or anybody who's had a memorable career. I think it works much better as a trivia note than wedged into the plot summary. I'd rather keep the synopsis focused on the story, and put the guest cast stuff into another section.
Right now, our episode pages are fairly anemic. We have a section for guest cast that's just a dull list of names. There's no pressure to keep those pages short, so why not build up that section? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 01:43, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm finishing up my Muppets and Money thing right now, but if it's just repeating the same images and info as on the person's page, and reminding you they're a guest star? (And it looked especially odd right above the cast list). That's something you've often argued against, after all. The episode pages need work, sure, but that trivia note was just awkward (now it's on the page in a more organic manner), and there's plenty of weird stuff from the episodes themselves to add (from this one alone, there's a Barney handpuppet parody and a Weekly World News mock-up involving an alien and Clinton). I'll show you what I mean as soon as I have time. But if you really think it was better before, I don't have time to mess with it right now, so go ahead. I still think it looked very oddly wedged in, though. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:51, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
No, I've argued against the opposite thing -- taking a piece of information from an article and spinning it off into its own page, just for the sake of having another page. I don't like that because it reduces the information value of a click -- offering no reward for taking the trouble to click on a link. Bringing information together increases the information value of the page.
I think having the trivia note and the picture here makes this page more interesting. Now that you've mentioned it, I'd love to see more stuff like this for shows like Farscape and Dinosaurs. They had lots of interesting people as guest stars, and I think it's worth highlighting that.
I tried adding the piece back as part of the Cast section, since you didn't like having it as a separate Trivia note, but I don't think it works... This feels "wedged in" now, whereas the other way was just another section on the page. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 02:31, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
It looks wedged having a repeated picture there in the corner (that kind of gallery mix always looks odd when it's not truly necessary) and such a flat statement. And there's plenty of better stuff I wanted to put there, from the episode, the weird little jokes which don't mix as well with a random guest star image that already has a home, but oh well. We'll consider this closed, I guess. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:27, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Looking at it again, a guest star gallery, placed *below* the credits, would avoid that wedged feeling. I still don't think we really need the sentence, since it's a flat statement of "So and so plays such and was later on blank" and pretty obvious (and also pretty much all that's on Van der Beek's page, which needs work). I write a lot of those sentences, mind, but they work better on the actor's page than just tossed in (which we really don't do, and I'm not sure we should do, unless we have some anecdote or something to back it up; we would never note on The Great Muppet Caper that "Charles Grodin also appeared in Rosemary's Baby" or something). It could be added as a caption instead (and putting it further down, it distracts less from the main image). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:39, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I put the sentence and picture above the credits, because credits are boring and not fun to look at. It's kind of like what we do on The Great Muppet Caper -- trivia and production notes go at the top, cast and credits lists go at the bottom. It's important that that information is there, but when your typical reader sees a list, they're going to start clicking on something else. Anything that we put underneath a list is going to be essentially invisible.
I think there's inherent interest in saying "hey, guess who's in this episode!" For a Dinosaurs episode like "Switched at Birth", I think it's worth noting that the voice cast includes George Costanza and Lieutenant Commander Worf. (Also, if anyone cares, Dharma's mom.) Similarly, "Too Good to Be True" has Claire Bennet, and "A Very Brody Tweeznax" has C.J. Cregg.
I wouldn't do that for any random actor -- just for the people who would qualify for a Celebrities page, and just to note the thing that they're a Celebrity for. The actor pages are there so we can go more into depth about the actor's career if we want to, and to spotlight people like Jayce Bartok who would never get to the Celebrities level. But if there's a legitimately famous person in an Aliens in the Family episode -- especially if it's a "before they were famous" situation -- then I think that's worth talking about. It's interesting, it's fun and it doesn't do any harm to the page. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 04:01, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
All right, go ahead and do whatever you want. You have more time and energy for it right now anyway. (Though below the credits, it looks less lopsided and weird). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 04:10, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Okay, that works for me. I split up the trivia bit and the cast; hopefully that looks less weird to you. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 04:15, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

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