Making a really good, detailed TV show requires a cast and crew to put in a massive amount of effort to ensure that the final product is as close to perfection as possible. However, some go above and beyond the standard amount of (tons of) work, going to extreme lengths and putting in an incredible amount of effort to create television shows that demonstrate meticulous attention to areas or aspects that most viewers will never even notice.
While this may seem like a waste of time and energy, it's actually a trait that the best directors, writers, and producers have in common. They are the people who are completely obsessed with tiny little details that many people simply would not bother with, ensuring that everything is as accurate as humanly possible. This can lead to television shows that have had an immense amount of work put into little details that helps to elevate them above most other series that are on air.
The creators of The Walking Dead didn't just want the zombies to look as realistic as possible when they appeared on screen; they also wanted them to decompose as if they were real corpses. This meant that the filmmakers studied exactly how a body would begin to deteriorate in specific temperatures and environments, so that the costume department could slowly have the zombies waste away with high levels of accuracy.
Basically, this means that over the course of the seasons, the walking dead have started to look more and more skeletal as if the flesh is literally disintegrating in real time. According to executive producer Greg Nicotero, as "the show progresses each year, you can always get the impression that zombies are decaying more and more."
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The Wire won plaudits for its realism and accurate portrayal of life and crime in the Baltimore area. The fact that creator David Simon had worked as a police reporter in the location gave him an insight into the workings of the force as well as a deep understanding of Baltimore, which allowed him to go into extreme detail when writing the show. This also meant that Simon could include plenty of real-life details that are not usually present in these types of dramas, including details about the police vulnerabilities that the drug dealers would use to fool the fuzz. The Wire was a little too accurate on that score, and several forces contacted the creators and asked them to change certain aspects to protect them from others who might attempt to emulate the methods.
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Considering how educated the writers of Futurama are - including a collection of PhDs on staff - it should not come as a surprise that the animated show is littered with references to science and math. There were constant references to equations and scientific problems in almost every single episode, requiring the team to have an extensive knowledge of mathematics that they painstakingly implemented into the background of the show. Perhaps the most impressive example of this was when writer Ken Keeler came up with a brand new theorem to explain how the characters could all switch back to their original bodies without swapping with the same person. The joke would have worked equally well without a real equation to explain it, yet Keeler went to all of the effort of creating it and including it in the episode.
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Considering that Leonard and Sheldon are both physicists at Caltech, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the show likes to display the math and science they are involved with in the background of episodes. Most television series would just include whiteboards that have numbers and equations on them to give the appearance of being genuine, but The Big Bang Theory goes one step further. Every whiteboard contains meticulously calculated mathematics that always maintain a strong degree of accuracy. In fact, there’s so much science in the show that the producers actually hired a consulting scientist to make sure that everything that appears in the show is as accurate as possible.
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Community built itself a reputation for being a clever show that contained a number of hidden Easter eggs and jokes that fans had to actively look and wait for over the course of its run. However it took this to the extreme with one particular joke. In this instance, the show writers spent three years setting up a joke that only appeared in the background of one episode for a few, brief moments. The creators subtly included the word “Bettlejuice” in three separate episodes spanning the three-year period, until on the third time it was said, the character of Beetlejuice actually appeared in the scene.
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Many people were shocked when photographs came to light that showed just how drastically President Obama had aged between the time he was elected to the end of his time in office. It seemed like the pressure of government was so high, he was literally aging with stress. The makers of House of Cards understood this process perfectly and put a remarkable amount of effort into the little details of Frank Underwood to show how he was changing before the viewers eyes. This included having his hair very slowly begin to turn grey in Season 3. In addition, Kevin Spacey has been careful to alter his posture so that he appears less erect as the series progresses.
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The attention to detail shown in Archer is almost unrivaled in terms of animated television shows. The creators have put an incredible amount of effort into ensuring that all of the items in the show are as accurate and detailed looking as possible. This is most obvious in the weapons used by the agents, which all look exactly like their real-life counterparts - even the ammo is incredibly realistic. Even more impressive is the continuity the show demonstrates. Show creator, Adam Reed has said that he wants many of Archer's wounds to be persistent throughout the show's run. For example, Archer is shot by Lana in an episode, and the scar from that wound continues to show up in later episodes.
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When the BBC produced the critically acclaimed Versailles in 2016, one thing that immediately jumped out to viewers was the quality of the clothing and accessories worn by the actors. This was no accident - the costume department put an extreme amount of effort into the tiny details of each piece to ensure they were historically accurate and as beautiful as possible, researching literature and paintings from the 17th century and sourcing fabrics from all over Europe. This even meant that small additions that couldn’t even be seen on camera were put into clothes, and the wigs were individually made by sewing one hair at a time.
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