Sitcom is an abbreviation of Situation Comedy, named after the status quo situation throughout its performance. In this genre of comedy, the characters share the same situation, series after series. The situation is usually a home, a workplace or any other enclosed environment. The dialogue is often humorous and close to real life. Historically, the roots of comedy are traceable to the ancient Greek, Roman and European civilizations. Sitcom was a development of the mixed musical performances like vaudeville. With the advent of radio, it became possible to present the same situation and characters repeatedly at a fixed interval and time. With the invention of television, sitcom became an almost exclusive type of TV show. Pinwright’s Progress, comprising of ten episodes, was the first television sitcom, broadcast on BBC from 1946 to 1947.
1. Only Fools and Horses
Only Fools and Horses is a British sitcom, which from an average beginning in 1981 constantly kept on rising, till it achieved the record highest U.K.audience for a sitcom episode. The record episode, titled Time On Our Hands, was broadcast in 1996. It attracted 24.3 million viewers, which equals to almost one third of the total British population. The sitcom was set in Peckham, in South London, and its first seven series were broadcast on BBC One. Its stars included David Jason, Derek Trotter, Nicholas Lyndhurst and younger brother Rodney, and Pearce, whose character was replaced by Uncle Albert, played by Buster Merrifield. The sitcom is a recipient of a Royal Television society award, the National Television Award, and the BAFTA Award. According to BBC polls in 2004, it was voted Britain’s Best Sitcom.
2. The Neighbors
The Neighbors is a popular American television sitcom belonging to the science fiction genre. It is being aired on ABC in the 2012-2013 television seasons. The sitcom was written by Dan Fogelman and is produced by ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment. The story is set in New Jersey and revolves around a family which has relocated in a walled townhouse community, known as Hidden Hills. The family soon after its arrival comes to realize that all the residents of the community are in fact residents from another plant. They have been there ten years, awaiting their journey back to their original planet. They are named after sports people and their actions are rather odd. They take their food through the eyes and cry through their ears. The sitcom was renewed for the second season on May 11, 2013.
3. Kath and Kim
Kath and Kim is a popular Australian sitcom. It is set in the fictional suburbs of Fountain Lakes in Melbourne. The sitcom debuted on May 16, 2002 on ABC TV. It was conceived and written by Jane Turner and Gina Riley, who also starred as main characters. Jane Turner played a suburban mother while Gina Riley played her daughter. The main characters include a happy fifty years old woman, Kath Day”œKnight, her daughter Kim Craig, Kath’s second husband, Kel Knight, and Kim’s second best friend, Sharon Strzelecki. Kath and Kim won two Logie Awards for outstanding Comedy Programme and the Best Television Drama Series. The fourth series of Kath and Kim was started on August 19, 2007 and it attracted more than 2.5 million audiences at a national level. It earned the highest rating for the first episode of any first episode in the history of Australian television.
4. Langt fra Las Vegas
Langt fra Las Vegas is one of the most respected Danish sitcoms. Langt fra Las Vegas literally means far from Las Vegas. The sitcom comprised of 53 episodes of 25 minutes each, broadcast over five seasons. The sitcom was aired from 2001 to 2003 on Danish TV channel TV2Zulu. The story revolves around a newly started morning TV show, called Jump Start. The sitcom is driven by the main character Casper Christensen and the situation of performance is the office and studio of the fictional TV show, Jump Start. Casper is shown always in trouble, trying to mend the situation with lies, and being ultimately caught. In spite of including sex-related topics like pedophilia, the sitcom has been accepted by parents at a national scale, without being censored.
5. The Jaquie Brown Diaries
The Jaquie Brown Diaries is a New Zealand sitcom. It was created by Jaquie Brown, Gerard Johnstone, and Hayley Cunningham. The sitcom debuted on July 25, 2008 and was broadcast by TV3. U.S. cable television channel, Logo, started broadcasting it on June 12, 2010. It is a satirical sitcom and revolves around the real life television personality Jaquie Brown, who plays a fictional, overambitious, and status conscious personality. The first series is about different aspects of her life. She joins as a reporter after leaving music station C4 and tries to become a celebrity, often using unfair means. In the end she confesses her sins.
6. Avrupa YakasÃ„±
Avrupa YakasÃ„±, meaning European side, was one of the most popular Turkish sitcoms when it started. It was the creation and writing of Gulse Birsel and it was produced by Sinan Cetin. The sitcom was first broadcast on ATV Turkey, on January 11, 2004 and continued until June 24, 2009. In the story, Asli, played by Gulse Birsel, works in a fashion magazine called Avrupa Yakasi. Asli’s family own a restaurant, run by her brother Volkan, played by Ata Demirer. The sitcom is driven by Asli and Ata Demirel, who was the most popular character of the sitcom. In the end the sitcom lost a notable share of viewers
7. 8 Simple Rules
8 Simple Rules is an American sitcom television series. Its title was derived from the book, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter: And other tips from a beleaguered father (not that any of them work), written by W. Bruce Cameron. The show debuted on ABC on September 17, 2002 and ended on April 15, 2005. John Ritter and Katey Sagal were the original stars of the show. The story includes the rules: Use your hands on my daughter and you’ll lose them afterwards; You make her cry, I’ll make you cry; Safe sex’¦is hazardous to your health; Bring her home late, there’s no next date; No complaining while you are waiting for her; and Dates must be in crowded places. Ritter died on September 11, 2003, but his character was not replaced.
Blackfly is a Canadian sitcom that was aired on Global Television Network from 2001 to 2002. It utilized the single-camera set up, wherein each shot required for the scene to complete is taken individually. Instead of a live studio audience, a laugh track was used to create the effect of an audience. The sitcom was produced by Salter Street Films and its reruns were started in the fall of 2009. The sitcom is set in 18th century Canada, when ‘beaver fur was as good as gold’. The story revolves around Benny Broughton, nicknamed Blackfly and played by Ron James. At the isolated Fort Simpson”œEaton, he meets the British officer Corporal Entwhistle, who belongs to the elite class and is played by Colin Mochrie.
9. Camera Cafe
Camera Cafe is a French sitcom, created by Bruno Solo, Alain Kappauf, and Yvan Le Bolloc’h. The title of the show is taken from a French pun on Camera Cachee, literally meaning hidden camera or Candid Camera. It was broadcast on M6 channel from September 2001 to December 2003. Seven hundred episodes of three minutes each were produced and rerun on M6 in 2004. The story revolves around an abandoned office. A notable feature of the sitcom is that the camera is fixed on the automated coffee machine in the office.
10. Home with Kids
Home with Kids is a Chinese sitcom, comprising of four series, aired between 2004 and 2007. Unusually, children play main roles in this sitcom. It is filmed in the backdrop of Beijing. The story is about Xia Donghai, who is a director of Children’s Drama. He has two kids, a son called Xia Yu or the little Yu and a daughter Xiao Xue or the little Xue. After his divorce, he marries a divorced woman, Liu Mei, who has a son Liu Xing. The family, comprising of five members, lives happily in a flat in Beijing. Parents guide the children to differentiate between good and bad, and to go with good, for good.
According to Walt Disney, ‘Laughter is America’s most important export.’ In India a school of thought seriously believes that laughter paves the way to good health. Sitcom is a character-driven genre and much depends upon the availability and persistence of the protagonist. A sitcom character is constrained to laugh on stage, when at times facing a tragedy in their personal life. It is a difficult task to laugh for others, concealing one’s own grief. Charles Chaplin said ‘I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.’
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