Overrated sitcoms? Page 18

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A Horseradish

  • Wednesday 29th April 2015, 9:04pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
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Quote: Paul Wimsett @ 29th April 2015, 6:53 PM BST

I wonder if trad sitcoms will remain universally popular though. Maybe things happen too slowly? Maybe it's too obvious that it happens in a studio? Maybe jokes do date?

There is a wide range of ages on this site. Birth dates span more than half a century. I think it is possible to spot broad trends in terms of interests. Does it lean : middle age to older - more sitcom - and younger to middle age - more stand-up? I think it possibly does but probably only slightly.

Among the most interesting people on this forum to my mind are the ones who really love sitcoms that they couldn't have experienced at the time they were made. That is a mystery to me as it doesn't include any component of nostalgia although it could be that there is some sentiment for a Britain in the past as it might seem to have been. The same applies to people into music from earlier eras. As it wasn't the original "soundtrack to their lives", I find that I want to ask that question "why?" and I yet I don't at the same time. Their reasoning is probably not overly complicated, unusual, odd or deep.

When it comes to the 1970s/1980s which some might regard as the golden age of sitcom, I think what is key is that people who do remember them the first time round are in their 40s/50s. Some of them are likely to be around for several more decades. Whatever the developments in new sitcom going forward, I doubt the trad stuff will be disappearing soon although it might become increasingly specific to generation - older - hence niche. But you probably also need to factor in the cultural resonance of sitcom vis a vis a sense of nationality. "The Dambusters Theme" (1955) has as much currency as Stonehenge. "Only Fools and Horses" will long continue to be as British as a cup of tea.

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Gussie Fink Nottle

  • Wednesday 29th April 2015, 9:06pm
  • United Kingdom
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Quote: A Horseradish @ 29th April 2015, 8:36 PM BST

Apologies. I meant Sir Godrey Pitkin. Hamilton-Jones was the predecessor to Lennox-Brown in the same programme - "The Men From The Ministry". I think what you are essentially talking about is warmth and how it is best that there is at least a dose of it. I agree. But I was looking at "To Kill a Mocking Alan" earlier - a terrible title for one of the best episodes of Partridge with the maniacal fan. I did laugh out loud again on several occasions and it was the situational aspects of it. I find chaos very amusing as long as I am not involved in it. I think it is the connection between anxiety and humour.

Some of this feels very subjective to me. You could see Hattie Jacques as a bit of a monster in many roles but we sense, I think, that her heart is in the right place. On earlier points - essentially vulgarity - I am at ease with thing being in their right place. So "The Inbetweeners" is alright to me. It is what it is - and I don't think it is terribly written. There is some pathos in the teenage thing. They get the alienation there sometimes rather well. I like the American films which played in the past to a not dissimilar audience rather better though - "Wayne's World", "Dumb and Dumber" etc - because they revel in their dumbness and I can engage with them on that level. It's like a slightly grown up version of the Banana Splits.

I can see where you're coming from with warmth. Usually the quality outfits contain some warmth. Their writers can bestow it and the actors can deliver it.

Let's take a classic prat like Rimmer in 'Red Dwarf'. He's perhaps one of sitcom's ultimate buffoons. But at heart he is a vulnerable creature. The writers invest quite a bit of effort in him.

When you create a loveable a*se like Rimmer you can then run wonderful skits. Like his alter ego, Ace Rimmer. Or the near deadly 'Rimmer song', during the first outing of which I almost died laughing.
But again, he is the foil, the counterpoint to the characters of Lister, Cat and Kryten. He is not just the t*sser. His being the prat is not the joke in itself. His relationships with the fellow crew mates form the base from which the gags are drawn. It's the relationships and reactions, not just finger pointing and calling him a tw*t.

However, I don't think it's only a matter of warmth.
It's the role in which the audience is being cast.
As said, perspective.
What sort of laughter are you seeking to induce? (that's if you accept that their non-traditional humour amounts to laughs)

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Gussie Fink Nottle

  • Wednesday 29th April 2015, 9:32pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 320 posts
Quote: A Horseradish @ 29th April 2015, 9:04 PM BST

There is a wide range of ages on this site. Birth dates span more than half a century. I think it is possible to spot broad trends in terms of interests. Does it lean : middle age to older - more sitcom - and younger to middle age - more stand-up? I think it possibly does but probably only slightly.

Among the most interesting people on this forum to my mind are the ones who really love sitcoms that they couldn't have experienced at the time they were made. That is a mystery to me as it doesn't include any component of nostalgia although it could be that there is some sentiment for a Britain in the past as it might seem to have been. The same applies to people into music from earlier eras. As it wasn't the original "soundtrack to their lives", I find that I want to ask that question "why?" and I yet I don't at the same time. The reasoning is probably not overly complicated, unusual or deep.

When it comes to the 1970s/1980s which some might regard as the golden age of sitcom, I think what is key is that people who do remember them the first time round are in their 40s/50s. Some of them are likely to be around for several more decades. Whatever the developments in new sitcom going forward, I doubt the trad stuff will be disappearing soon although it might become increasingly specific to generation - older - hence niche. But you probably also need to factor in the cultural resonance of sitcom vis a vis a sense of nationality. "The Dambusters Theme" (1955) has as much currency as Stonehenge. "Only Fools and Horses" will long continue to be as British as a cup of tea.

Crikey, you've just made me feel good about myself.
I regard Dad's Army as the daddy of all sitcoms and as for music, I rate BB King as my all time favourite.
Neither are 'of my time', so to speak.

But yes, I see what you mean. Much of what we usually like is the diet we're used to. I do know people who only rate music which was around when they were teens, and comedies which fit the same bill.

To me it doesn't matter whether it relates to me or my time in some way.
Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy are gods to me.
Hancock, Milligan, Wodehouse, Kishon are all greats to my mind, in this or that sphere of comedy.

I think about past comedy it really just depends on whether younger audiences get exposed to them or not. If they do, their quality will always win out sooner or later.

If not, then no doubt they'll grow old thinking 'The inbetweeners' is the best there is. Teary

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A Horseradish

  • Thursday 30th April 2015, 12:44pm
  • United Kingdom
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Quote: Gussie Fink Nottle @ 29th April 2015, 9:32 PM BST

Crikey, you've just made me feel good about myself.
I regard Dad's Army as the daddy of all sitcoms and as for music, I rate BB King as my all time favourite.
Neither are 'of my time', so to speak.

But yes, I see what you mean. Much of what we usually like is the diet we're used to. I do know people who only rate music which was around when they were teens, and comedies which fit the same bill.

To me it doesn't matter whether it relates to me or my time in some way.
Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy are gods to me.
Hancock, Milligan, Wodehouse, Kishon are all greats to my mind, in this or that sphere of comedy.

I think about past comedy it really just depends on whether younger audiences get exposed to them or not. If they do, their quality will always win out sooner or later.

If not, then no doubt they'll grow old thinking 'The inbetweeners' is the best there is. Teary

Yes indeed. :D

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Mary Kitman

  • Wednesday 24th June 2015, 10:41am
  • England
  • 2 posts

The Office and Fawlty Towers!

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Chappers

  • Wednesday 24th June 2015, 10:52am
  • Surreyish., England
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Quote: Mary Kitman @ 24th June 2015, 10:41 AM BST

The Office and Fawlty Towers!

Sorry. Both very good.

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TheRappingFrenchman

  • Thursday 25th June 2015, 5:11pm
  • England
  • 31 posts

I'd say How I Met Your Mother and Two And A Half Men. Just irritating comedies. They had their very short lived moments, but overall I'm not a fan.

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DougWonnacott

  • Thursday 25th June 2015, 10:30pm
  • Norwich, England
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Quote: Chappers @ 24th June 2015, 10:52 AM BST

Sorry. Both very good.

Yes. But not AS good as everyone claims. It's all about context.

I love Fawlty Towers, but it seems to be a default setting for a lot of idiots when the have to name the 'best' sitcom. It's like they can't form their own opinion so they pick something that they think they're supposed to pick.

Years ago the idiots used to use OFAH in the same way. Then Stewart Lee does a joke about Del-Boy falling though the bar, so now people switch to Fawlty Towers instead.

Then Trigger pulls a face.

It's like when people blindly say The Godfather or 2001: A Space Odyssey for greatest film ever made. Don't just say what you think you are supposed to say, MAKE YOUR OWN MIND UP.

I want to make it clear that if you genuinely feel Fawlty Towers is the greatest sitcom ever made, you may be right. ;)

Quote: TheRappingFrenchman @ 25th June 2015, 5:11 PM BST

I'd say How I Met Your Mother and Two And A Half Men. Just irritating comedies. They had their very short lived moments, but overall I'm not a fan.

I don't think it's overrated. I've never met a single person who's said anything positive about Two & a Half Men.

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TheRappingFrenchman

  • Thursday 25th June 2015, 10:36pm
  • England
  • 31 posts
Quote: DougWonnacott @ 25th June 2015, 10:30 PM BST

I don't think it's overrated. I've never met a single person who's said anything positive about Two & a Half Men.

Indeed!

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Alexei Q

  • Friday 26th June 2015, 9:19am [Edited]
  • England
  • 92 posts
Quote: DougWonnacott @ 25th June 2015, 10:30 PM BST

I don't think it's overrated. I've never met a single person who's said anything positive about Two & a Half Men.

Well, then let me introduce myself :)

I loathe most US sitcoms, the few exceptions being Cheers, Frasier, Seinfeld, Taxi, My Name Is Earl and..Two and A Half Men, well the first 6 series anyway. It did start going downhill in Charlie Sheen's last season and beyond that point it became utterly shoite. How I Met Your Mother, Married With Children, Two Broke Girls, and anything shown on C4 and C5 over the last 5 years. Feckin awful, the lot of them.

As for supposed classic UK sitcoms I'd say the default 'best ever' is Blackadder. When I was a young teen I guess a lot of the puerile and scatological humour worked for me. Having watched the whole series again in the last year I often found myself getting bored. Series 1 is woeful, series 4 is vastly overrated, series 2 has its moments and series 3 is generally the best of the lot.
OFAH has many great episodes from the first 5 series but IMO once the shows got longer and brought in Cassandra and Raquel, the laughs are fewer and far between.

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TheBlueNun

  • Saturday 27th June 2015, 11:53am
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 2,537 posts
Quote: DougWonnacott @ 25th June 2015, 10:30 PM BST

Yes. But not AS good as everyone claims. It's all about context.

I love Fawlty Towers, but it seems to be a default setting for a lot of idiots when the have to name the 'best' sitcom. It's like they can't form their own opinion so they pick something that they think they're supposed to pick.

Years ago the idiots used to use OFAH in the same way. Then Stewart Lee does a joke about Del-Boy falling though the bar, so now people switch to Fawlty Towers instead.

Then Trigger pulls a face.

It's like when people blindly say The Godfather or 2001: A Space Odyssey for greatest film ever made. Don't just say what you think you are supposed to say, MAKE YOUR OWN MIND UP.

I want to make it clear that if you genuinely feel Fawlty Towers is the greatest sitcom ever made, you may be right. ;)

I don't think it's overrated. I've never met a single person who's said anything positive about Two & a Half Men.

Absolutely Doug. Although I think both Fawlty Towers and OFAH are great sitcoms, I don't think that they really deserve all of the heavy praise that they still receive. Personally I always favour more cult stuff, such as Garth Merenghi and Look Around You.

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DougWonnacott

  • Saturday 27th June 2015, 11:11pm [Edited]
  • Norwich, England
  • 1,059 posts
Quote: TheBlueNun @ 27th June 2015, 11:53 AM BST

Absolutely Doug. Although I think both Fawlty Towers and OFAH are great sitcoms, I don't think that they really deserve all of the heavy praise that they still receive. Personally I always favour more cult stuff, such as Garth Merenghi and Look Around You.

Sometimes Blue I think you and I share the same brain. If I were going to name two cult comedies I love, I would have gone for Darplace and Look Around You as well.

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TheBlueNun

  • Sunday 28th June 2015, 5:05pm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 2,537 posts
Quote: DougWonnacott @ 27th June 2015, 11:11 PM BST

Sometimes Blue I think you and I share the same brain. If I were going to name two cult comedies I love, I would have gone for Darplace and Look Around You as well.

Yes! *punches the air*

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Paul Wimsett

  • Sunday 28th June 2015, 7:24pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,191 posts
Quote: DougWonnacott/The Blue Nun @ 27th June 2015, 11:11 PM BST

Sometimes Blue I think you and I share the same brain.

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TheRappingFrenchman

  • Monday 29th June 2015, 12:40pm
  • England
  • 31 posts
Quote: DougWonnacott @ 27th June 2015, 11:11 PM BST

Sometimes Blue I think you and I share the same brain. If I were going to name two cult comedies I love, I would have gone for Darplace and Look Around You as well.

Both shows are equally hilarious and fantastic, and Look Around You is a bizarrely accurate representation of so many educational science videos. Worryingly so, in fact.