Is the modern TV sketch show lazy in its writing? Page 3

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His Own Devices

  • Sunday 27th February 2011, 7:54pm
  • England
  • 126 posts

Maybe I was wrong about two of those shows, but they did have their moments where they were like that.

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Gluben

  • Friday 11th March 2011, 4:48pm
  • Great Dunmow, Essex, England
  • 145 posts

I suppose another factor is marketing. It's far easier to sell a DVD or T-shirt overseas which has a catchphrase or recurring character instead of a one-off sketch. Obvious exceptions include Monty Python, of course, but by and large, it's repetitive ones all the way.

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His Own Devices

  • Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 4:54pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 126 posts

Reading this again, the begining of this thread does also mention the cost of filming a sketch show. So out of curiosity, as sketch shows do tend to mix pre-recorded sketches with ones filmed in a studio, which of thoose two is more expencive? And sorry if it's off topic.

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Blenkinsop

  • Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 5:28pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 2,013 posts

I don't claim to be an expert but location filming is a much more expensive way to shoot stuff.

The studio offers a much more controlled environment, and also many of the extraneous costs incurred in getting technical crews, actors, gear and obtaining shooting permissions and sometimes paying for locations themselves, are negated with a studio set-up.

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David Bussell

  • Tuesday 22nd March 2011, 5:42pm
  • London, England
  • 9,943 posts
Quote: Blenkinsop @ March 22 2011, 5:28 PM GMT

I don't claim to be an expert but location filming is a much more expensive way to shoot stuff.

The studio offers a much more controlled environment, and also many of the extraneous costs incurred in getting technical crews, actors, gear and obtaining shooting permissions and sometimes paying for locations themselves, are negated with a studio set-up.


This is correct. Plus you get rained on outside.

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Tim Azure

  • Thursday 24th March 2011, 4:39pm
  • Kent, England
  • 2,037 posts
Quote: Griff @ March 22 2011, 5:43 PM GMT

I think I've been told that audience sitcoms are actually more expensive to make than studio ones, since sets have to be built from scratch, TV studios have to be hired (even if these are internal costs/cross-charging they are still a cost), and there are a lot more crew to be paid than on a single-camera location shoot.


All sitcoms require studios and sets. My feeling is that OBs cost more as you have to transport the actors, crew and catering.

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David Bussell

  • Thursday 24th March 2011, 4:47pm
  • London, England
  • 9,943 posts
Quote: Tim Azure @ March 24 2011, 4:39 PM GMT

All sitcoms require studios and sets.


That's really not true at all. Some are shot on location. Off the top of my head, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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italophile

  • Thursday 24th March 2011, 5:39pm [Edited]
  • Italy
  • 213 posts

It all depends. In simple terms, for a short series, say 6 or 8 eps, it's cheaper to shoot on location, particularly working single camera with a small crew. If you're going to build and maintain sets, use multiple cameras, you need a longer run to amortise the cost.

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Robert Pimblott

  • Thursday 24th March 2011, 10:08pm [Edited]
  • Stoke-on-Trent, England
  • 6 posts

It's my belief that there is no new sketch shows because there are no new comedy groups, it's all individuals that collaborate sometimes. The last one I saw was The Peter Serafinowicz Show. He made it with his brother and the main problem was stretching ideas thin. If they had more people with their humour they could bounce off more.
The best sketches have come from groups in the past, or performers and their group of friends (my favourite being Vic and Bob's group which started loads in the 90s).

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Robert Pimblott

  • Thursday 24th March 2011, 10:33pm [Edited]
  • Stoke-on-Trent, England
  • 6 posts
Quote: Griff @ March 24 2011, 10:09 PM GMT

There are loads of sketch groups on the comedy circuit.


Yes but what about telly? No good on the circuit in relation to the subject. I'm on about proposals from groups coming forward e.g. The Fast Show premise proposed by Paul Whitehouse to the BBC.

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Shandonbelle

  • Thursday 24th March 2011, 10:53pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 6,571 posts

As all the modern sketch shows originate in different sources and are by different writers (usually) I think calling them 'lazy' is too much of a generalisation. If anything I'd say today's writers have it harder as it's all been done before so it's harder to capture an audience's attention for long and the pressure is on to keep characters interesting and funny. The Fast Show for example repeated the same characters each week but this succeeded because they were really good funny sketches and funny characters, and they built on that week by week. I'd assume this is a good way to do it, nothing lazy about that.

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Zap222

  • Tuesday 24th May 2011, 11:37am [Edited]
  • England
  • 1 posts

I don't think comedy 'formatting' is a new thing. Keeping Up Appearances ran for 5 years where the format of each show was pretty much identical. Hyacinth tries to social climb, her son is gay and nobody has the heart to tell her. Richard is a doormat for a quiet life, Elizabeth is intimidated every time she is summoned 'for coffee' (including the Royal Doulton cups with the hand painted periwinkles). Emmet keeps getting sang to, Daddy goes missing, and sister Daisy (that's not the one with the Mercedes and room for a pony) is desperately trying to reignite husband Onslow's passion, who is more content with watching the racing on TV with a can of beer. Rose is intent on chasing any man that would give her the time, that on occasions includes the vicar who is more intent on avoiding the 'Bucket woman' who invites everyone to a candle lit supper which falls flat on its ass for some reason leaving Hyacinth's hat dishevelled across her face [end credits and theme tune].

Send my fee to the usual address :D

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His Own Devices

  • Tuesday 24th May 2011, 2:53pm
  • England
  • 126 posts

Actually, it might not just be the consistancy of recurring sketches, but also the style of humour. Sketch shows seem to be a bit dumbed down and in your face, when a while a go the humour used to be quite intelligent and subtle. At least that's what I think.

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Ben

  • Tuesday 24th May 2011, 7:07pm
  • England
  • 18,350 posts

I think there needs to be some new sketch duos/teams coming to the fore in sketch comedy. Mitchell/Webb/Armstrong/Miller/Whitehouse/Enfield are all very good, but where are their replacements? You get the occasional pilot from people who have gone down well at Edinburgh e.g. Pappy's Fan Club, but they never go on to whole series'.