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Sitcom Format

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posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 08:20 AM
In another topic people were complaining about how the male lead was portrayed. As a dumb, comic relief. Why? It's called Television! What sells? Sweet, dumb, male lead, smart hot female lead, and so forth. It's a tried and true set up that works! Why reinvent the wheel?

Here is how a sitcom is set up

Male Figure is dumb but sweet, kind, and handy around the house. Usually the only one with a job and when not makes more as the female figures job is just a "hobby"

Femal Figure is hot as hell no matter how many kids she's popped out and is smarter but is almost always at home mother even though she is supposed to be so smart. Also she is helpless with anything that deals with cars and handy work.

Eldest Daughter is HOT, boy crazy, and the father is always over protective and embarrasses her at every moment. There are several models of this, like the prissy queen, or cheerleader, or tomboy but they are always hot.

Eldest Son, this one depends. If only one male son it can be split between the different types but if more then one this one is usually the jock but dumb.

Next in line Son, usually nerdy, really smart, but jealous of older brother for his looks and skills in sports that draws girls unlike his skills in Dungeons and Dragons and computer programming.

Also, notice almost NEVER do they have more then one daughter but usually have more than one son. Why? You only need one hot teenage girl to draw the teen and young adult males to the show.

Why are they like this? Its called marketing. You make a show about a smart handsome leading male and a fat ugly dumd drooling and knuckle dragging leading female and you don't have a show. People want to see the man be dumber then the wife but sweet and heart warming when it counts while seeing a hot wife no matter how many kids she's had.

Could you imagine a new sitcom where the husband was say, David Beckam and the wife was that "Dark sided! Gorgon! Did you ask if she was Christian!" woman from that wife swap show. It wouldn't sell because people don't want to see that.

Of course not all sitcoms are set up like this. Cheers, Seinfeld, Will and Grace, Friends, were succesful. But notice that? Cheers, the lead male was not as smart as the lead female. No kids but you have Woody, Norm, Cliff Clavin as the "kids"

Seinfeld though was a breakthrough. Smart male, not as smart woman but the difference is it wasn't really a lead male and lead female. Seinfeld was a lead cast, not lead character show. Seinfeld wouldn't have had a show without the cast. He couldn't carry a show, neither could the others. Why all shows they tried after Seinfeld failed. None of them were lead characters and can't carry a show.

Friends? Oops, two male characters are idiots, one woman is smarter than the rest. The three others are the "kids". One goofball, one genius and one prissy stuck up queen who was hot.

Will and Grace, Jack was the dumb male, Grace smart woman, then Jack and Grace's friend were the "kids"

See the common format of EVERY sitcom no matter how different they seem to be?

Why this post? I just wanted to discuss the format. What do you see? Grounded for Life? Family Guy? And of course what about the format of movies? Dramas? You see that there are really only abot 5-6 formats just different characters playing them out.

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 10:37 AM
Me thinks you watch a helluva lot of television. What about Roseanne? Not a hot wife?

Different Strokes? One Day at a Time? The Facts of Life? Those are older ones and I notice they don't fit exactly the same mold as the more modern ones. Perhaps it's a reflection of society and what they "think" things should be like. I think it plays on the hidden side of our psyche.

posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 05:45 AM
reply to post by ben91069

good point and example that you made. Yes Rosan was not the hot wife but did have hot darters.
A better question to ask though is did you like watching Rosan?

posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 07:16 AM
reply to post by RedGolem

No. I absolutely hated the Rosanne show. Probably my favorite all around sitcom would have been Three's Company.

posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 07:25 AM
reply to post by ben91069

Well threes company does meet the basic tried and true format that this thread is about. I was not to crazy about Rosan either. I did watch it in reruns, mostly because I liked the character of there children.

posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 09:00 AM

Originally posted by RedGolem
Yes Rosan was not the hot wife but did have hot darters.
A better question to ask though is did you like watching Rosan?

I don't know what show Rosan was, or what darters are...but Roseanne did NOT have hot daughters. You could argue that Becky was moderately attractive, but I don't think anyone would consider her hot. Darlene was antithesis of hot. Her whole character was about looking drab and unattractive.

If they had been hot, it wouldn't have fit the premises of the show anyway. I mean, two grotesquely obese people don't procreate to create super attractive offspring. That's just not how it works people.

I enjoyed the show. Being from a solid blue collar area in metro Detroit I could relate to just about everything in that show. Aside from being grotesquely obese that is.

posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 11:53 AM
Rosanne did follow parts of the format, when it comes to the children and husband. But Rosanne does follow parts of the format except for the being hot. Everything else fits like a T.

And yes, I do watch too much TV lol.

Thinking of sitcoms that don't fit the format closest I came to was Two and a Half Men. Except... The maid is the smarter woman, and there are lots of hot women... OR Charlie is the goofball husband and his bro is the smarter wife role. So while different it still falls mostly into the same format as all sitcoms.

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