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 Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy 
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Storm Trooper
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
It has dated somewhat in terms of the style of comedy I think, but all the characters are great, and most of the performances too, so I find it endlessly watchable really. Although, I prefer Frasier to be honest.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:03 am
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Darth Fucking Vader
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
I like Frasier, but Dee's right about it - fairly generic (if well-made and entertaining) sit-com that got a reputation for being "clever" and sophisticated by having characters who are clever and sophisticated, without actually doing anything particularly unusual. Good jokes though, which is obviously what matters.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:06 am
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Storm Trooper
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
I never felt that the writers or cast were trying to be clever though, more that it was about pricking their pomposity and the relationship between the main characters, while still making them warm and likeable. For me the father is what makes it though, great performance by John Mahoney.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:26 am
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Darth Fucking Vader
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
I agree that the writers weren't aiming for that, but that's the reputation it got.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:28 am
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Darth Fucking Vader
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
Certainly at the time, anyway. The state of TV comedy is sufficiently different now that it's probably seen in a different way by younger viewers, but I certainly remember lots of hot air in the 90's about how clever it was.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:29 am
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Super Trooper
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
Just Mo wrote:
Painkiller wrote:
Sparkle Motion wrote:

Fist of Fun


What did Baddiel have to do with Fist Of Fun? I thought Lee and Herring wrote all the material themselves, a lot of it for their radio show.


This but Big Train.


Sorry, I didn't punctuate that post very well. I meant that Newman and Baddiel and The Mary Whitehouse Experience were good things that David Baddiel was involved with, Fist of Fun was something else great from the 90s and Big Train was a great thing from later on. I've been drinking all day.

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Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:41 am
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Space Ranger
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
Just Mo wrote:
Cheers is on ITV 4 at the moment.

It's 5 earth-shattering fists.

5 fingernails on a blackboard more like.

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Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:27 am
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Space Ranger
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
Just Mo wrote:
See the second half of Friends for a lot of this.

Dip the cast and any viewers of Friends in acid.

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Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:33 am
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Climate Control
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
I dont like many sit-coms

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Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:50 am
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Super Trooper
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
The Wretch wrote:
I never felt that the writers or cast were trying to be clever though, more that it was about pricking their pomposity and the relationship between the main characters, while still making them warm and likeable. For me the father is what makes it though, great performance by John Mahoney.

I'm sure you already know this, but to prove I've watched the DVD extras - Frasier was originally supposed to be a show about his relationship with his dad (which you can see in the very first episodes), but then they cast David Hyde Pierce as his brother purely because they couldn't believe how much he looked like a young Kelsey Grammer - the character wasn't even supposed to have a brother at first. Then the show became about their relationship.

Frasier is my favourite sitcom. It's great. As has been said, it's obviously that the characters are clever, rather than the show itself being clever - it's a pretty standard sitcom, although at least the character's jobs are integrated into the way the characters act and develop As compared to Friends - I quite like Friends but the fact that the main characters are a university professor (who apparently teaches everything from dinosaurs to human evolution - so much for specialising), a top-flight chef, a TV actor, etc. makes it so fucking bourgeois, even more so when they could really have any jobs and it wouldn't affect their plotlines much. Even more so in How I MEt Your Mother, which sees another professor (at the age of 30-odd), a TV presenter, two lawyers and a teacher - everyone in New York leads such fabulous lives!

Anyway. Frasier kind of dips a bit in the middle - the series where Daphne goes off to fat camp is particularly stupid, and her mother is an awful, pointless character. I never understood why they tried to introduce a rival for Frasier in the Cam Winston character either - and then he's kind of forgotten about again. It picks up for the last series though I think - Laura Linney - thumbs up. Most Yank sitcoms take a while to get going, hit their stride around the 3rd-5th series then run out of ideas and drag on too long, but I think Frasier was consistently great from the second half of the first series up til maybe the 6th.

My missus has started watching Cheers recently, she loves it. I don't really get it, it seems pretty old-fashioned to me now, and not in the way Fawlty Towers does, if you know what I mean. It is funny to see actors who've been in many other things in those early roles though.

Am I the only one who finds Lilith from Cheers/Frasier slightly attractive?

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Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:18 am
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Star Trooper
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
No ,you are not on your own i think Lilith as a strange sexy quality to her .


Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:24 am
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Climate Control
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
Cheers is the best sircom and yes, Lilith was a bit nice. Kirsty Alley in her prime, too.

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Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:44 am
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Storm Trooper
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
Cheers, Friends, Frasier shit sitcoms for shit cunts.

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Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:54 am
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Storm Trooper
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
Ed Blackadder wrote:

Anyway. Frasier kind of dips a bit in the middle - the series where Daphne goes off to fat camp is particularly stupid, and her mother is an awful, pointless character.


Yeah, I wasn't keen on that either. Brian Cox aside, her family were awful, especially Anthony LaPaglia as Simon. For me the only other big dip was just after Niles and Daphne ran away from her wedding, the whole thing about his being blackmailed by Mel was boring as fuck. I fucking hated Donny as a character too. I don't particularly like Saul Rubinek as an actor either, which didn't help much.

Ed Blackadder wrote:
Am I the only one who finds Lilith from Cheers/Frasier slightly attractive?


No. In fact I fancied the arse off her since Cheers.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:38 pm
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Space Ranger
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
Ed Blackadder wrote:
Even more so in How I MEt Your Mother, which sees another professor (at the age of 30-odd), a TV presenter, two lawyers and a teacher - everyone in New York leads such fabulous lives!


In the US all uni lecturers are "professors", unlike the UK, where you have rise up the scale. You've just highlighted another thing I hate about US sitcoms, the characters are, generally, all wealthy and successful. I'm aware that in the US they may have to pander to the "American Dream" bullshit and that Yanks like to see that sort of thing in their entertainment, it's just that it's money and success are often an obstacle to comedy than anything. There's a lot more humour in desperation or struggle, not to mention dramatic tension and pathos than there is in success.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:59 pm
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Super Trooper
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
I recently revisited Bottom on box set and it still makes me laugh. I like the isolated world of Ritchie and Eddie given that the majority of the storylines take place in their flat. It manages to get ridiculous and far-fetched but still remain funny as opposed to just being a bit odd or off the wall. Their penchant for violence gets a bit old sometimes but all in all I think it was a great show. The outakes are usually great too.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:51 pm
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Super Trooper
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
The Wretch wrote:
Yeah, I wasn't keen on that either. Brian Cox aside, her family were awful, especially Anthony LaPaglia as Simon. .

See the 'Actors and their terrible terrible accents' thread. As I said there, one of the best jokes in it is the idea that one set of brothers could be played by Anthony LaPaglia, Richard E Grant and Robbie Coltrane - presumably were they casting today they'd get Chris Rock, Stephen Fry and Danny Dyer.

The Golden Fang wrote:
In the US all uni lecturers are "professors", unlike the UK, where you have rise up the scale. You've just highlighted another thing I hate about US sitcoms, the characters are, generally, all wealthy and successful. I'm aware that in the US they may have to pander to the "American Dream" bullshit and that Yanks like to see that sort of thing in their entertainment, it's just that it's money and success are often an obstacle to comedy than anything. There's a lot more humour in desperation or struggle, not to mention dramatic tension and pathos than there is in success.

Difference between US and UK sitcoms I suppose, I'd never thought about that, but UK sitcoms are mostly about pathetic poor (as in not rich) losers, from Steptoe and Son to the Young Ones to Fawlty Towers to Peep Show.

Another thing that's noticeable - maybe just to me because I live in a big city - is that everyone is so goshdarned white. I don't mean it has to be politically correct - I mean Friends and HIMYM are set in New York, which I'm fairly sure has quite a lot of people who aren't white living in it. I can think of two non-white characters in the entire run of Friends. It's not offensive (to me at least), it's just not realistic.

The Big Bang Theory is slightly more out there by having one of the five major characters being Indian I guess - but the fact that's still something worth remarking on is a bit odd.

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Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:01 pm
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Space Ranger
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
US entertainment, of any sort, almost always has to have an additional level of "fantasy" - everyone is rich, good looking and white, apart from the token characters. Unless the "show" is a "Black show" in which case everyone is black, apart from the token white characters. Do they have "Asian shows" yet? It's only a matter of time. You also a not allowed to have mixed race relationships in US entertainment, as that is just unthinkable.

The Wire is a notable exception to these all pervading norms. I'm surprised at the lack of mixed race relationships in London, they do exist but they are far less common than I'd imagined before moving here. Americans that I've met have told they are far more common here than in the US, which says an awful lot.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:45 pm
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Lifer, Deather, Hesher, Whatever.
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is worth checking out as far a US sitcoms are concerned it doesn't really follow any of the traits you both listed, all the characters are total bastards, they run a shitty little bar and at least two of the characters live in squalor.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:54 pm
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Space Ranger
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Post Re: Sitcoms/Other TV Comedy
Steven wrote:
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is worth checking out as far a US sitcoms are concerned it doesn't really follow any of the traits you both listed, all the characters are total bastards, they run a shitty little bar and at least two of the characters live in squalor.


That is filmed differently and doesn't have the lazy, superficial glamour that many US shows have, iut also does have more naturalistic acting/comedy, I just don't find it funny though.


Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:02 pm
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