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Introducing sitcom[1]

Introducing sitcom[1]






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    Introducing sitcom[1] Introducing sitcom[1] Presentation Transcript

    • Sitcom Introducing Situation Comedy
    • The ‘ sit ’ and the ‘ com ’ of sitcom
      • Most sitcoms feature a group of characters trapped in a particular situation or in a dysfunctional relationship. The situation could include being part of a family; being married to a grumpy old man; or working with annoying people. This is the sit uation .
      • Sitcoms are also supposed to be funny. We laugh at, or along with the characters,
      • recognising and understanding their situation.
      • This is the com edy.
    • Location
      • Sitcoms are usually based in a limited location. This makes it cheap for producers. They can use the same main set for most of the episodes.
      • The sets usually reflect either the domestic setting - the home (My Family, Malcolm In the Middle), or the workplace (The Office, Red Dwarf, The IT Crowd).
    • The location Link these sitcoms to their main locations.
      • The Mighty Boosh
      • Fawlty Towers
      • Friends
      • Porridge
      • Red Dwarf
      • Only Fools and Horses
      • The Office
      • The Royle Family
      • My Family
      • A family home
      • An office
      • A spaceship
      • A hotel
      • A zoo
      • A flat in Peckham
      • A front room
      • A prison
      • A New York apartment
    • The Comedy
      • Sitcoms can use a range of different types of comedy:
      • Physical comedy – falls, fights, or exaggerated physical comedy like slapstick.
      • Black humour – jokes around dark or taboo subjects such as death and disease
      • Comedy of manners – focussing on a particular social group and mocking or satirising their behaviour
      • Romantic comedy – focussing on the pitfalls and difficulties of falling in or out of love
      • Social or political satire – jokes or observations related to the political or social issues of the time.
      • Parody or pastiche – where the humour arises from the use and mockery of conventions from another media genre
    • Types of characters
      • Sitcoms usually focus on a small group of main characters, eg Ross, Rachel, Joey in Friends
      • There are also usually some supporting characters who have regular minor parts, e.g. Gunter, Ross’s wife.
      • There can also be transient characters, who have small or very occasional roles, including guest stars, and walk on parts ( e.g. George Clooney playing a doctor in one or two episodes, the newspaper seller).
    • The plot
      • Sitcoms usually have fairly simple narratives, which revolve around small issues and everyday crises.
      • They rarely involve life and death situations or saving the world.
      • They focus on the common everyday occurrences that most of the audience can relate to: covering up mistakes, hiding the truth from someone, misunderstandings, trying to make yourself look better and being found out, and so on.
    • Which would or would not make good sitcom plots? Why?
      • Celebrating Christmas with the in-laws.
      • Preventing a meteor from destroying the earth.
      • A blind date goes wrong.
      • Hunting for the serial killer.
      • A crazy friend is in town.
      • One character is promoted at work, the other is not.
      • Gang warfare breaks out on the streets of LA.
    • Over and over again
      • Part of the situation in sitcom is that the characters never really escape their situation – the family stays together in My Family, Delboy and Rodney never get rich in Only Fools and Horses, The workers stay in their dull jobs in The Office.
      • Occasionally, in long running series or to end a series, things will change – Nana dies in The Royle Family, Chandler and Monica get married, Dawn and Tim get together in The Office.
      • But, on the whole, characters end each episode in more or less the same place or situation they started in.
      • These circular narratives keep characters in their amusing situation; this helps producers sell series for repeats as they can be watched in almost any order; it also helps the audience know what to expect each time they watch.
    • Crossing over
      • Sitcoms are endlessly variable. From the classic sitcoms like Fawlty Towers and My Family, sitcoms can be set anywhere (on an island, Father Ted, in a zoo, The Mighty Boosh) and in any time in the past (Blackadder; Allo, Allo), or in the future (Red Dwarf).
      • They can cross-over with sci-fi (Red Dwarf, Astronauts, Third Rock From The Sun) and reality TV (The Office).
      • They can be ironic (Spaced), surreal (The Mighty Boosh) or even disturbing (The League of Gentlemen).
    • Audiences love sitcoms because…
      • They provide light relief and humour.
      • They reflect problems many of us have to deal with in everyday life.
      • They have likable characters we enjoy relating to – perhaps they feel like our friends.
      • They are safe – we know what sort of things will happen, we know how episodes will end.
    • Producers love sitcoms because…..
      • Limited sets and few outside locations mean they are cheap to make.
      • A limited number of characters keeps costs down too.
      • They are popular with audiences.
      • They are endlessly variable, and can be made to appeal to any age range or type of person.
      • Series can be sold around the world and shown as re-runs for years, generating more profit.
      • Scheduling is easy for re-runs as episodes don’t need to viewed as a series or in order.
    • Summary
      • Sitcoms have a restricted location
      • Characters tend to stay in same situation, episode after episode.
      • There is a limited number of main characters.
      • Plots are based around everyday events.
      • Humour is based around personalities and the smaller problems in life.
      • The characters usually reflect the target audience.
      • Sitcoms are relatively cheap and easy to make.
      • They can appeal to a wide range of different audiences.