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What is a sitcom?
• Sitcom is a short for situation comedy, it is a sub-genre of comedy
that usually features the daily lives of a group of characters that are
trapped in a particular situation or in a complicated relationship.
• The idea of the sitcom is for viewers to form a long-term relationship
with the characters and return to view them repeatedly.
• A continuing story
• It is often to have a huge impact towards its audience as well as the
• Sitcoms were TV versions of established radio
• Popularity during the 1990‟s
Currently, sitcoms are popular to an extent. However,
not all are completely successful. Though there are
exceptions, there are few sitcoms that heavily
influence society. Such as How I met your Mother.
• Each episode has a situation that must be resolved in
approximately 30 minutes
• Simple plot which revolve around small issues and everyday
• Presented to the audience with a “laughter” audio track
• Have few central locations
• Characters which resembles “regular people” in a society
• Characters are faced with regular people situations that
people can relate to
• Often centered on families
• Most of the conflicts involves relationship, work, career
choices, and family
• Known to use common comedy techniques in the script such
as; “One liner”, “Irony”, and in most cases “Slapstick”.
Audience vary greatly between teenagers, and adults in
their 40s or even 50s
However of course the audience of each sitcoms depends
on the sub-genre of the sitcoms itself whether it‟s a
romantic drama or more of a family oriented kind of
In addition, access to TV cable, and online streaming in this
day and age have increased the amount of audiences of
popular sitcoms, which then can be concluded that
sitcom‟s audience have now reached a global level.
The huge variety of sitcom‟s audiences also contributes to
the fact that successful sitcoms have tremendously high
rating on television.
Sitcom and How I met
How I met your mother is one the example of a very
successful sitcoms in history. It has proven to be the
most appealing sitcom since “Friends” mainly due to
its formulas on narrative, characters and cinematic
The central character of the show, Ted serves as the
series narrator telling his children the story of “How I
Met Your Mother”. Ted‟s journey has thrown him into
many failed relationship but he isn‟t giving up on his
search for the perfect woman. Each episode brings
Ted one step closer to meeting his future wife.
Robin was introduced in the very first episode
where she went on an awkward date with Ted
which leads her befriending other members of the
gang. Robin serves as an on-and-off girlfriend of
Ted throughout the series. As of the current
season, Robin is to be wedded to Barney Stinson.
Marshall is Ted‟s best friend and the husband to
Lily Aldrin, his college sweetheart. Out of all the
members of the gang, Marshall is the most
compassionate member of the gang. Through his
progression, we see him quitting his job as a
corporate lawyer to pursue his dream of saving
the world through environmental law.
The wife of Marshall, Lily is the best friend of Robin
and Ted‟s closest friend since they met in college.
An avid painter, Lily quit her job as a kindergarten
teacher to become an art consultant to The
Captain. As of season 6 of the series, Lily gave
birth to Marvin, Lily and Marshall‟s first son.
Self proclaimed best friend of Ted, Barney is a
serial womanizer with father issues. He first met Ted
in their usual hangout MacLaren‟s Pub. Since then,
he has been a big part of the gang. Barney
Stinson‟s character development throughout the
series is most unique because he realise that he is
capable of love and being in a relationship.
• The Act
• Recurring Storylines
• Nonlinear Storytelling
• Typical Sitcom Situation
Impacts on Society
The impact of “How I met your mother” is massive to its audience.
It has influenced a global audience into westernization
• Lifestyle – Hanging out with friends in bars, clubbing, going to strip
clubs, never appear to be working, perception of adult life being
• Point of view towards life – The best city in the whole world “New
York”, implying how easy the “Adult life” is.
• Relationships – Ted‟s views on married life, Barney‟s love of the
• Careers look easy – Lawyer, Teacher, Bank executive, Architect,
Pop cultural references
towards its audience
• The drug is playfully thrown around, as if it‟s socially
accepted in this society
• Referred to as a „sandwich‟ in an attempt to shelter
the other characters, however the message is
implied to the audience
• “Best movie ever”
• Encourages audience
Becoming a pop culture
“HIMYM” is so successful that it has turned itself into an
iconic symbol of pop culture.
• Popular phrases like emerging into everyday
conversation, “Legendary”, “Challenge accepted”,
“Bro-fist”, “Suit up” and “Sandwich”
• Characters becoming a meme on the internet
• ‟The Bro Code‟ being published
“HIMYM” is the first sitcom that introduces the next level of product
placement in a TV series.
To capitalize profit, the editor of “HIMYM” decided to introduce different
product placements on the reruns of “HIMYM”‟s episodes.
Product placements can be changed based on the producer‟s
necessity and demographics
For example in area 1 the rerun might show a product placement for
product A while in area 2 the rerun will show a product placement for
product B, even though it is on the exact same spot and episode.
Which Episode are we
looking at? Season 8
The Close Up
• Displays tense situation between characters
• Sets the tone for the scene, serious/intimate/personal
The Mid Shot
• Allows characters body movements to further determine the mood of the scene
• Allows characters to interact
• Shows character body language
The Mid-wide Shot
• Display of what is happening around the characters
• Mid body shot, allows audience to interpret character interaction
• Allows for wider range of body movements
The Zoomed Close Up
• Allows audience to interpret facial expression/reaction
• Shows audience that serious
• Allows for the scene to end by zooming into the characters after the
conversation has ended
• Outside bank- implies next scene is inside bank
• Implies tense situation
• Implies something is happening fast, from person to
Mise en scene
• Attitude towards real life events- superficial/self involved
• Audience applause- Implies that you are watching a sitcom
• Phone ringtone- Implies danger, however portrayed in a
• Music towards end of scene- Concludes the scene, mysteriously
To conclude, we believe that How I met your Mother is
a successful sitcom.
• Heavily impacted its audience
• Has emerged itself into our society
• Has set a basis for future television series
• Contributed to the progression of popular culture