sitcoms - Taylor Mitchell History Broadcasting & Film...

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Taylor Mitchell Dominique Harrison November 28, 2011 The Birth of Sitcoms If your tuned into a show that focuses on a group of friends or family members that make constant jokes and seems to have the live audience laughing hysterically, then your most likely enjoying a sitcom. A sitcom is simply short for situational comedy. A situational comedy is typically a half an hour television narrative of a group of friends or family members that share a common environment. Sitcoms are highly popular and can be viewed on mostly all television stations. “A sitcom usually has four main characters.”( How Sitcoms Work , Winfred Fordham Metz) There's the protagonist, antagonist, the romantic lover, and the companion. Characters of sitcoms are very humorous and commit running gags that carry the show and last in the episodes throughout the season. Most successful sitcoms rely on good actors delivering funny jokes on a consistent basis. One show that did very well with that was Martin, the main character which was played by Martin Lawrence always had punchlines and catch phrases that had the audience engaged and entertained. Sitcoms are usually filmed on a set in front of a live studio audience. On a set with a live audience in attendance the set will include three walls and an opening so that cameras can record and the audience can watch. Some newer sitcom shows tend to use the more realistic route, opting to film at a real location. There is no particular way a sitcom can be shot. “They may be filmed using a single camera or multiple cameras. The single camera approach offers more control over the filming, providing the opportunity for close-up scenes, wide shots and lots of movement. Shows like "Scrubs," "My Name is Earl" and "The Office" use the single camera technique to follow characters as they go from place to place.”(Metz, 2008)
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Animated cartoons can even be considered situational comedies as well. Believe it or not, the longest running sitcom on television in the U.S. is The Simpsons, which is an animated show. The show is about a not so average family where the father is a funny idiot, the mother is a soft mannered stay home mom, the son is a wild child and the daughter is a kid genius. The Simpsons have been on television for twenty one seasons and have aired over four hundred and fifty episodes, paving the way for other animated sitcoms such as South Park, Family Guy, and American Dad . The longest sitcom running in the world is the British sitcom Last of the Summer Wine which aired thirty one seasons lasting from 1973 to 2010. Last of the Summer Wine was aired on BBC and was about a trio of humorous old men that remained the same age throughout the series. One of the most beloved
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sitcoms - Taylor Mitchell History Broadcasting & Film...

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