Robert Hampton

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15th July 2010

Laugh and the world (or at least, a studio audience) laughs with you
Posted by at 11.38pm | Television | No responses

I like sitcoms with live studio audiences. There, I said it.

In some quarters, this admission will land me with Cliff Richard fans and bus-spotters in the credibility stakes. However, I think that those who automatically dismiss studio sitcoms as a relic from the past are missing out on a treat, and I shall try to explain why.

The mainstay of television comedy, from the fuzzy black and white era right up to the late 90s, was the studio sitcom. Shows such as Hancock’s Half Hour, Dad’s Army, Fawlty Towers, The Young Ones, One Foot in the Grave and Father Ted are fondly remembered by successive generations.

The audience sitcom has gone rather out of fashion in the 21st century, however, with the arrival of the “realistic” comedy in the shape of shows like The Royle Family and (of course) The Office, with a rather more subtle style of humour than the larger-than-life characters and farcical situations favoured by most traditional sitcoms.

In Extras a key plot point was the crap sitcom When The Whistle Blows, a show whose success seems to entirely revolve around the lead character’s spouting of a lame catchphrase week in, week out. By the way, is it a coincidence that this show-within-a-show seems quite similar to Dinnerladies?

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21st November 2008

IT Crowd
Posted by at 6.11pm | Television | No responses

Hurrah! The The IT Crowd is back tonight!

Um, that’s it.