Comedy-dramas...? Page 4

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Blenkinsop

  • Sunday 20th March 2011, 11:42pm
  • England
  • 2,013 posts
Quote: Chappers @ March 20 2011, 11:35 PM GMT

I remember the original Randall and Hopkirk and I enjoyed both that and the R & M remake. The same but very different.


As a youngster I loved the original but hated the R&M remake. Just didn't see the point really. But then again I have never seen the point in any remakes really.

I have seen very view, if indeed any at all, which bettered the originals. Except perhaps for the Likely Lads; but Whatever Happened... wasn't really a remake as such - more of a continuation of the original 60s series albeit after a lengthy lay-off.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Sunday 20th March 2011, 11:49pm
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,816 posts

I'm a bit put off ever watching the remake, from the comments here, but R&M seem to fit the bill somehow to me.

The 60s did put out a lot of 'quaint', lightweight, slightly odd TV shows that look more appealing now than they did then. I'm loving the re run of The Saint on ITV4, much less so The (turgid) Champions. R&H was superb as I missed it first time round.

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Steve Sunshine

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 12:03am
  • Dagenham, England
  • 14,524 posts
Quote: chipolata @ March 20 2011, 5:56 PM GMT

We might have done this before, but I'd be interested to hear what shows people think of as comedy-dramas? Shows that succeed in both being dramatic and funny?


I think we've mentioned a few good comedy dramas
But what of the Sitcoms that aren't quite funny enough to be considered Sitcoms they often get called Comedy dramas wether they like it or not.

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ToddB

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 12:11am
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts
Quote: Steve Sunshine @ March 21 2011, 12:03 AM GMT

I think we've mentioned a few good comedy dramas
But what of the Sitcoms that aren't quite funny enough to be considered Sitcoms they often get called Comedy dramas wether they like it or not.


I think that the opposite often happens. Sometimes, when a comedy-drama is done in a half-hour format, it unfortunately gets labelled as pure sitcom and people expect regular, laugh-out-loud jokes. When they don't get them - they get vocal about what an unfunny sitcom they've been subjected to and how sitcoms just aren't what they used to be. An unfortunate state of affairs.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 12:28am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,816 posts

Yes indeed. This happened very recently with shows like Rev, Roger & Val, Him & Her, The Trip and possibly more. I wonder if the BBC thought about this effect before they commissioned a string of 'half hour comedy dramas'?

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Aaron

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 12:52am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,309 posts

No, sorry, I can see the argument in the others, but there's no way that Him & Her could have been considered anything other than sitcom.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 1:07am [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,816 posts

Except that a lot of viewers didn't find it funny, I recall. I liked it myself and yes it was a sitcom, but it was slow, fairly gag free and very The Office like in its humour. Not a typical sitcom but yes a sitcom. I didn't actually mean to put it in, I was thinking of Grandma's House which although is a sitcom did get some people calling it a comedy drama.

I'm pretty sure the lack of studio laughter in all these shows leads many to instantly think comedy drama rather than sitcom? Are we used to half hour laugh track free sitcoms yet? I'm not sure I am yet, being immersed as I am in 70s and 80s studio sitcoms.

I was going to say Whites but couldn't remember if it was half hour or not, but I believe it was.

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Aaron

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 1:33am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,309 posts

Whites was half-hour, yes. I don't subscribe to the notion of length having anything to do with genre though. It's all in the style and pace - and long Christmas special eps of sitcom favourites prove that you can do a sitcom at 50 or 60 minutes just as you can at 30.

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chipolata

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 6:44am
  • England
  • 29,595 posts
Quote: ToddB @ March 21 2011, 12:11 AM GMT

I think that the opposite often happens. Sometimes, when a comedy-drama is done in a half-hour format, it unfortunately gets labelled as pure sitcom and people expect regular, laugh-out-loud jokes. When they don't get them - they get vocal about what an unfunny sitcom they've been subjected to and how sitcoms just aren't what they used to be. An unfortunate state of affairs.

Laughing out loud Sorry, Todd. No matter how much you might like to redefine Viviene Vyle and Jam and Jerusalem they were very much sitcoms-that-weren't-much-cop.

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Buddy Sorrel

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 10:51am
  • East Anglia, England
  • 55 posts

Anything half an hour long is a sitcom. The drama is what we go through waiting for the laugh.

I have a distant memory that Shine On Harvey Moon started out as a half hour sitcom and when there weren't enough laughs generated they doubled the length and called it comedy/drama.

I also remember, sort of, a show with Lenny Henry in it that I'd been watching for about five minutes when the audience laughed and frightened the life out of me. (No replies, please - I don't want to know what it was called.)

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Marc P

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 10:54am
  • England
  • 17,698 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ March 20 2011, 11:12 PM GMT

This may be open for debate, but they were indeed very excellent. Of this, no question is there.


Ah I thought you were talking about Sharpe's Rifles lol.

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ToddB

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 11:14am
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts
Quote: chipolata @ March 21 2011, 6:44 AM GMT

Laughing out loud Sorry, Todd. No matter how much you might like to redefine Viviene Vyle and Jam and Jerusalem they were very much sitcoms-that-weren't-much-cop.


No idea what you're talking about - I actually laughed plenty. Now those old ones - "Dad's Army" and "The Good Life" - what was with them, what were they going for? I always found it difficult to find a laugh there... :D

I know, I stand against a tide. :D

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Blenkinsop

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 11:35am
  • England
  • 2,013 posts
Quote: ToddB @ March 21 2011, 12:11 AM GMT

I think that the opposite often happens. Sometimes, when a comedy-drama is done in a half-hour format, it unfortunately gets labelled as pure sitcom and people expect regular, laugh-out-loud jokes. When they don't get them - they get vocal about what an unfunny sitcom they've been subjected to and how sitcoms just aren't what they used to be. An unfortunate state of affairs.


Yep, agree with that. I think that a lot of the negativity about Episodes was for this very reason.

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Mark

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 12:00pm
  • Hampshire, England
  • 2,668 posts

Channel 4's Teachers is the perfect example of a Comedy Drama - plot twists, love triangles and things... but all the time never forgetting to be funny, featuring as it does some top lines, funny characters (love Bob!) and visual gags.

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chipolata

  • Monday 21st March 2011, 12:05pm
  • England
  • 29,595 posts
Quote: Blenkinsop @ March 21 2011, 11:35 AM GMT

Yep, agree with that. I think that a lot of the negativity about Episodes was for this very reason.


But as much as I ended up enjoying Episodes, there was just no drama in it. At least not until the very last episode.

To me a true comedy-drama has to be able to work as both drama and comedy. Take out the comedy and you've still got a servicable drama, and take out the drama and you still have a comedy.

I agree with other posters that too often sitcoms that just aren't very funny end up being labeled as comedy-drama in an attempt to hide the fact they're a bit rubbish.

Quote: Mark @ March 21 2011, 12:00 PM GMT

Channel 4's Teachers is the perfect example of a Comedy Drama - plot twists, love triangles and things... but all the time never forgetting to be funny, featuring as it does some top lines, funny characters (love Bob!) and visual gags.


Not sure time has been too kind to Teachers. and again, the drama seemed largely non-existant from what I can remember.