10 Ways TV Shows Blew Your Mind (Without You Even Realising)

Looking Glass' mask was 100% digital in every single shot.

Watchmen Looking Glass
HBO

There's no denying the ridiculous amount of work that goes into even a totally mediocre TV show, as they're generally forced to work to much tighter time and financial deadlines than movies, where every minute and cent counts.

Putting out a great TV episode requires the combined efforts of hundreds of cast and crew members, but audiences often end up taking small-screen entertainment for granted and fail to appreciate the absurd amount of work that goes into its creation.

These 10 TV shows, all among some of the most acclaimed and iconic of recent history, executed staggering magic tricks before your very eyes, from unfathomable visual effects feats you'd never guess weren't real, to practical wizardry you probably assumed was too complicated to execute in-camera.

In each case, that complexity largely flew over viewers' heads, who generally didn't give it a single thought and so failed to grasp the countless man-hours of toil that went into bringing them these scenes fruition.

So here's to the tireless efforts of the artists, designers, and other crew members without whom these stunning moments just flat-out wouldn't work...

10. Jesse's Floating High Wasn't Green Screened - Breaking Bad

Watchmen Looking Glass
AMC

Perhaps the single most memorable shot in the entirety of Breaking Bad occurs in season two's "Mandala," after Jesse (Aaron Paul) takes heroin for the first time and is shown levitating to the ceiling, symbolising the euphoric, otherworldly nature of his high.

To the untrained eye it's fair to assume that the scene was simply achieved by filming Aaron Paul against a green screen which would then be composited onto a separate plate shot of the camera craning upwards towards the ceiling.

The shot just looks CGI, in large part because the lighting source on Paul's face never changes, which screams "fake" to our brains.

But incredibly enough it was actually achieved entirely practically and in-camera. Rather than resort to green screen tricks, Paul was simply placed on a secure platform along with the camera that was then moved up towards the ceiling, creating the desired effect.

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.