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Dear TMDb Community,

In the next few months, you might notice some changes on our site. My primary goal is, and always has been, to build the best media database on the internet and in order for me to stay true to that goal, we will be making these changes to enable TMDb to be more robust and reliable than before.

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I've noticed that this is missing, which seems strange but I assume that the idea is for people to use "music". Not something I agree with, but something I can live with. However I went to add the genre to La La Land and found that it was locked against any additions, suggesting this has been an issue in the past. So what's the deal? Does this site have something against musicals?

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@lineker said:

@NC_Bullseye said:

@lineker said:

If you find the big discussion you will see who was/is in charge and made the final decision. It's not a secret. Some genres were removed, some were added. I was not very involved back then.

Could you provide a link to the big discussion?

I found it: https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/51b5fe1a760ee359996a0e62

Now I'm really confused. I just read through that thread (a couple of times) and if Travis Bell is the one who makes the decisions then "Musical" should be one of TMDBs genres. It's listed in his "initial proposal for TMDb's new set of genres is going to be the following:" list. Now, my eyes are a bit old so if I missed where it was dropped in that thread I apologize up front. :)

Maybe the final decision was made in the office. wink I just thought it would be interesting for you to see the old discussion.

@lineker said:

Maybe the final decision was made in the office. wink I just thought it would be interesting for you to see the old discussion.

I really appreciate you digging that up for me! I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be an oops where someone deleted the wrong genre and it got lost in the shuffle. Do you think that Travis would be able to chime in? It'd sure be nice to get the musical genre back in place.

I think I mentioned this before, but when users asked about the musical genre last year Travis said there are no plans to change this.

Im just gonna add my thoughts on this because I find the discussion of genres pretty intellectually interesting.

The way I see it "Musical" isnt, philosophically, a genre. There are probably practical/pragmatic reasons why its good for people to use it as a genre- for commerical reasons- but Id rather a database like tmdb be as "purist" (does that make sense lol) as possible- detailing movies in a philosophically accurate way.

Genres imo should be a qualitative descriptor of movies and tv shows. As in, movies and tv shows are essentially vessels for stories to be packaged and delivered in- and genres describe the color, the tone, the essence of that story. If stories could be eaten and tasted, genres would be words like "sweet", "salty", "bitter", or maybe even "dessert" or "main course" etc. Descriptors like "Musical", or "Animation" imo are not genres. They don't describe the "taste" of a movie- "made out of songs" doesnt tell you the "taste" of a movie- not inherently anyway (and neither does "Animation"). Words like "scary" or "humorous" do (associated with genres like Horror or Comedy). "Musical" and "Animation" are to movies like "baked" or "fried" are to food. Although you probably have associations- descriptive words associated to the taste/experience of eating something baked or fried- the words "baked" or "fried" dont directly describe the taste/experience of the food in the way that words like "burnt", "crunchy", "soft", "gooey" do. Their primary meaning is something more "external" to food- how it was made.

Obviously in the observable musical movies out there there are probably some accurate assumptions/excectations you could have about the "taste" or experience of a potential movie thats a musical. However, this is based on the musical movies that have been made/are popular and not inherent in "movie told with songs". Same goes with "movie shown with animations".

Another way to put it is, Musical is a technical description- its how the audio of the story in a movie was made. Animation is a technical description of how the visuals of a story in a movie was made. Genres like Horror, Comedy, Romance, Mystery, etc. arent technical descriptions about "external" aspects of a movie- they intimately and directly describe the "quality" or "timbre" of the story contained in the movie or of the experience of watching the movie.

Lol, sorry for the rant. anyone agree with what I said? or disagree.

(its also possible somebody already might have said what Ive tried to say here but probably in a more concise and clearer way lol)

the anologies I used here are not perfect but I think they help illustrate why people (or at least I do) think Musical isnt a genre.

@lineker said:

Since you are the first person to not understand the meaning of that recommendation I changed the wording. Is it clear enough now?

I understood it perfectly as it was written, the words written didn't convey what was meant. "Recommend" is a suggestion, not a requirement. While I still don't agree with this decision, the current wording is much clearer.

@elebe11y I understand where you are coming from, but if we went that route we would need to support both types of "genres". If we exclude Musical because it is not a "taste" genre, then we should exclude Animation, as you mentioned, Foreign, TV movie, Documentary, History, Music, maybe others? I would argue, though, that musicals are more than just movies told by song. The entire direction and creation of the movie comes in and through the musical creative process. For the most part musicals are created without the cinematic approach as they can stand on their own in live performances, as would opera or ballet. I think this is part of why it is such a distinctive category that, for me, really does impact the taste of a movie.

I also think the goal of genres being displayed for most movie databases is to provide the user with a quick determination of what kind of movie it is and whether or not they would enjoy watching it. This means telling the user the most important tastes or features of the movies. For instance I stay away from Horror films, for the most part. If I found a new/unknown-to-me movie that said Horror as a genre, I would not think twice about skipping it. Similar results if I saw Documentary or Foreign. Animation is also a strong motivation. Now I love animated movies, but when I am trying to find something that I want to watch, there is definitely an Animated or not night. Even if it is a great animated movie, it is still a significant impact to my movie viewing experience to change my decision. I think we will find that most people will feel strongly about whether they like musicals or not because this style is so distinctive.

@munpip214 Animation should be excluded imo, for the same reason. Foregin doesnt exist as a genre on this db, so its already excluded (rightfully so). Ive heard some talk from moderators that believe TV Movie should be excluded from genres- but they just havent gotten round to it. And I disagree, documentary, history and music are "taste" genres in a way "musical" is not. Documentary, history, and music should be included as they are proper genres (unlike musicals, animation, foreign, or TV Movie). So if we were to exclude musicals, then the only other one that would have to be removed (on the same merit- on the same reason) is Animation. No other genre would have to be removed.

Your point about the genres having a practical function, I understand, and acknowledged previously.

I would be happy if Travis Bell implemented his proposed New Set, made here:
https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/51b5fe1a760ee359996a0e62
Just to remember:

| key | TMDb OLD        | TMDb Today      | TMDb New Set            |
|-----|-----------------|-----------------|-------------------------|
| 1   | Action          | Action          | Action                  |
| 2   | Adventure       | Adventure       | Adventure               |
| 3   | Animation       | Animation       | Animation               |
| 4   |                 |                 | Biography               |
| 5   | Comedy          | Comedy          | Comedy                  |
| 6   | Crime           | Crime           | Crime                   |
| 7   | Documentary     | Documentary     | Documentary             |
| 8   | Drama           | Drama           | Drama                   |
| 9   | Family          | Family          | Family                  |
| 10  | Fantasy         | Fantasy         | Fantasy                 |
| 11  | Foreign         |                 |                         |
| 12  |                 |                 | Film-Noir               |
| 13  |                 |                 | Holiday                 |
| 14  | History         | History         | History                 |
| 15  | Horror          | Horror          | Horror                  |
| 16  |                 |                 | Musical                 |
| 17  | Music           | Music           | Music Videos & Concerts |
| 18  | Mystery         | Mystery         | Mystery                 |
| 19  | Romance         | Romance         | Romance                 |
| 20  | Science Fiction | Science Fiction | Science Fiction         |
| 21  | Thriller        | Thriller        | Thriller                |
| 22  | TV movie        | TV movie        |                         |
| 23  | War             | War             | War                     |
| 24  | Western         | Western         | Western                 |

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