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Old 04-07-2007, 06:26 PM   #16
Heidi
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Tyrone, that's so true. Every character should be developed in every kind of writing. Otherwise, they might as well not be there. Also, in more recent years, a lot of the characters on the American shows are kind of mean. I care more about the characters on the British shows because I like them.

adreed, I think that is because there is a bad tendency in America to treat us like we aren't going to get the joke so they have to draw it out.
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:25 PM   #17
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I think an important factor is that the best British comedy worked off of their societal rules and the class system. I've got a feeling that the farther away they get from their old class system, and the less formal they get, the less funny they are.
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Old 11-12-2016, 02:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antoniod
I think an important factor is that the best British comedy worked off of their societal rules and the class system. I've got a feeling that the farther away they get from their old class system, and the less formal they get, the less funny they are.
Disagree. I get your point, but most of the great UK sitcoms either don't deal with class at all or deal with it much less, as the class system had started to unloosen by the 60s/70s and onwards.

The best Britcoms deal with well rounded characters, usually in restrictive circumstances (think Steptoe), but don't necessarily use class as THE crux. It may be part, without being the basis. Harold Steptoe may have been a frustrated social climber, but the crux of that immortal sitcom was about how two people needed/hated each other. His pretentions were a funny and repeating part of the sitcom, but it wasn't the crux.
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Old 11-12-2016, 02:42 PM   #19
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Many second-rate American shows have been very popular in the UK - much more popular than any UK sitcom has ever been in the US. The best UK sitcoms match, but don't exceed, the best US shows in quality, and for quantity it's a mismatch - there are many more funny shows from the US, and they might churn out 150 episodes while the UK competitor ran out of steam at 20.
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Old 11-12-2016, 03:32 PM   #20
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Many second-rate American shows have been very popular in the UK - much more popular than any UK sitcom has ever been in the US. The best UK sitcoms match, but don't exceed, the best US shows in quality, and for quantity it's a mismatch - there are many more funny shows from the US, and they might churn out 150 episodes while the UK competitor ran out of steam at 20.
The fact that some US sitcoms have had UK success is no guide to quality. As we know, crap sells. Hyped crap even more so. American football was big here 30 yrs ago, but it was just a cultural fad. CH4 here used and still does top-load its comedy output with US imports. And if some UK sitcoms haven't broken the US, well that's America's loss. They remain classics even if Joe Public in Poughkeepsie or Idaho has never seen them.

Run out of steam?. No, its that the creators/writers/channels know when to stop. I far prefer the UK way of 6 episodes a series, with usually 3-4 series and 20-30 episodes. 150?. Even the best US sitcoms run out of steam long before 150. Usually long before 100. Give me 12 of Fawlty or 24 of Blackadder anyday. Or even 40-odd Steptoe.

Its not sheer luck that the greatest Britcoms of all time were 20/30/40 episodes. 12 in one famous case. Its ensured that they are classics because every episode was a timeless gem. When the writers/cast started to repeat, they stopped. Its not running out of steam, its knowing when the well is starting to run dry.
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Old 11-12-2016, 03:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Many second-rate American shows have been very popular in the UK - much more popular than any UK sitcom has ever been in the US. The best UK sitcoms match, but don't exceed, the best US shows in quality, and for quantity it's a mismatch - there are many more funny shows from the US, and they might churn out 150 episodes while the UK competitor ran out of steam at 20.
Actually, several big US sitcoms have flopped in the UK. Or done very average ratings. Seinfeld was a flop, Everybody Loves Raymond is used to fill morning schedule gaps on CH4. Others like Ellen did very average ratings and disappeared with no fanfare.

I am old enough to remember Carson bombing here and in the 90s, Letterman bombed on BBC2.
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:24 PM   #22
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Actually, several big US sitcoms have flopped in the UK. Or done very average ratings. Seinfeld was a flop, Everybody Loves Raymond is used to fill morning schedule gaps on CH4. Others like Ellen did very average ratings and disappeared with no fanfare.

I am old enough to remember Carson bombing here and in the 90s, Letterman bombed on BBC2.
Johnny Carson was only aired once a week in England - I believe it was in the 80's - and Johnny wasn't happy about it. He thought the show had to air every night to be successful. There is some humor that's universal and some isn't. I loved Johnny Carson. I thought he was the best ever, but i can see why other countries wouldn't necessarily get it.

I once saw a clip from an Egyptian Candid Camera kind of show and you know what they did? They had someone walk up to strangers at a public place like an airport and suddenly drop a suitcase they were carrying and run away as if there were a bomb in it. They thought it was funny. I think it's insane.
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