- Saturday 5th February 2011, 11:46pm [Edited]
- 2,013 posts
I posted more or less this view on the deterioration thread but it was probaly the wrong place, so I'm making it a thread on its own.
I wouldn't say that the sketch show of today is any worse or indeed any better than previous incarnations; each having its own merits, however in the matter of the writing of both I would contend this.
The work-rate of the writer / writers in today's version is, by virtue of modern formats, a hell of a lot less, and therefore the contemporary version is a lot easier to write; and here's why I say so.
In the old days you had shows like Not The Nine O'Clock News, for example, that had perhaps ten or more sketches throughout the half hour. All of them different in character, subject matter, and crucially, punchline. Then, and I know this is hard to believe but stay with me here, the writers had to write another ten plus totally different sketches for each of the subsequent shows, in some cases for another nine or twelve weeks. Just imagine that, mental wasn't it?
If only they'd have been aware of modern requirements they'd have had a much more stress-free time. Today's writers or writing teams seem to see it like this.
"What, write 120 different sketches for a series? Eff that for a game of soldiers"
Never mind that the job has already been made half as demanding because a modern run is only typically six weeks; making that only sixty-ish they'd have to come up with for the entire series if they worked like-for-like. But oh no, why write even sixty when you can get away with a total of only SIX for the whole bloody thing? That's a lot less work isn't it?
So in the event what we get is the entire six week duration padded out, by and large, with the same six effing jokes week after effing week. They don't even have to bother their arses writing 10-12 for the first episode because they're allowed to get away with doubling up the six they have already written.
I guess this must say something about us as modern audiences too. It seems that we are happy to watch minor variations on the same six jokes week after week or else how else do they get away with it?
Writers today? 'appen they don't know they're born some of them. Aye lad.