There are few themes that are hardly the laughing matter, like someone’s death, illness, being broke or having the personal crisis. Yet comedy series managed to deal with all those themes without actually crossing the boundries. Death? Getting on (British or American version). Illness? Only When I Laugh or Scrubs. Personal crisis? The Fall and Raise of Reginald Perrin for example. Being broke? Oh, this list would be too long - from Steptoe and Son to Married with Children and many more. The Job Lot is another example of trying to make comedy of something that on first glance seem hard to achieve - unemployment.
In early 1960s all American TV comedies were more or less all the same - either variety shows with stars or basic sitcoms about married couples. Only very few people were trying to do something completely different, one of such examples was program called Fractured Flickers that did not made much impact, but was innovative enough to influence other people.
Simon Nye created quite few sitcoms throughout his career, from great Men Behaving Badly, through unusual Is It Legal? to a lost chance with Hardware. The one thing they all had in common was that... they were completely different. How Do You Want Me? produced in 1998 and 1999 is hardly similar to any other of his sitcoms, but unfortunately in this case it wasnâ€™t a good thing.
Jack Rosenthal started his career as writer for British soap opera Coronation Street, but after he wrote spin-off called Pardon the Expression (starring Arthur Lowe) that was rather typical sitcom his next project was something from completely other dimension - The Dustbinmen. The title pretty much explains the topics covered in this sitcom, but the approach to comedy was something completely unconventional.
It’s not often that British sitcom takes the American approach to comedy and is created in same manner as in United States. Even "My Family", created by American Fred Barron, was still close to other British productions. But Not Going Out is a completely different matter.
British comedy series had sometimes quite strange concepts - Only When I Laugh was taking place pretty much in a single room throughout 4 series, Last of the Summer Wine was about elderly people looking for something interesting to do throughout 20 series, Red Dwarf was taking place after human kind ceased to exist throughout 10 series... Benidorm was another completely surprising idea - group of Britons spend their all inclusive holiday in hotel sitting next to pool or in karaoke bar. How can you stretch such idea to 10 series? Obviously you can...
Roy Clarke is one of the best comedy writers in Britain with such titles in his resume as Last of the Summer Wine, Keeping Up Appearances or Rosie, often concentrating on the Yorkshire, where he was born, and often writing a bitter-sweet stories. But one of his early productions is still fondly remembered by the audience - Ronnie Barker as stingy shop owner Arkwright and his always suffering nephew Granville as errand boy.
Have you ever wondered how many sitcoms are produced every year? About a hounded. Not all of them get a full season, some of them donâ€™t get beyond the pilot episode, some of them materialize for only few weeks and disappear in the archives of TV. Have you ever wondered how many characters would it take to fill all those sitcoms? Five.
Since 1980s the comedy series started to look for new themes, one of which was of course the new generation of... unique young people known as the nerds. The revolution started with computers led to such shows as Dweebs, IT Crowd or lately Silicon Valley and Big Bang Theory. Lab Rats, similiar in concept and atmosphere was showing a different world - the world of scientists working on ground-breaking experiments... Well, working anyway.
While Dad’s Army was in a full swing David Croft has joined Jeremy Lloyd in another project that started his long streak of successful sitcoms in his career - Are You Being Served? Just like in Dad’s Army it was based on real experience of the author, just like in Dad’s Army the idea was rather simple, and just like in Dad’s Army it proved that the simple ideas have the best potential.
Comedy Series Blog - we search all the interesting (and sometimes not that interesting) comedy series from around the world. Some of them might be slightly better than the others, but in comedy there are no strict rules - sometimes less funny series, but made with skillful touch could be a hit. On the other hand there are series that try too hard to be funny and lose on the plots and characters building.
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