Aniruddha

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    2020: Death knell for the "family comedy"?

    The "family comedy" has always been a fixture on American TV: The Jeffersons, Family Matters, Family Ties, All in the Family, Roseanne, Fuller House, Home Improvement to name a few, have been hugely popular and critically acclaimed. However, the family oriented sitcom went into a decline when shows like Seinfeld, Friends and That 70s Show premiered, signalling in a new trend of sitcoms centering around a group of friends, or unrelated people bonding, hanging out and experiencing things together.

    But then, 2009 was seen as the year the "family sitcom" was revived, with Modern Family and The Middle premiering on ABC. However, with The Middle ending its run in 2018 and Modern Family and Schitt’s creek, a Canadian sitcom that came close enough to be considered a "family show" airing their final episodes in April this year, are family oriented sitcoms no longer in vogue? Is this indicative of an already individualistic society moving further into a greater degree of individualism? Or is it just an overreaction? Are we not looking around enough? Maybe there is such a show that’s not getting the attention it deserves.

    Also, is it the same in other countries, especially the eastern countries, where societies are known to be extremely collectivistic? Do the shows airing there still have "family" as an inherent theme?

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      Latest Comments

      A great article, full of astute observations. Personally, I find structuring my thoughts to write a clutter-free and readable essay the most challenging. As soon as I’m done researching, I’m full of these ideas, thoughts and insights and I find myself extremely overwhelmed. Which piece of information goes where, is this information relevant at all, among other things, are one of the first things that come to my mind.

      Crafting the College Essay: Method and Motivation

      An interesting article tackling a topic that enjoys relevance across film industries all over the world. The fact that History is an extremely dynamic subject open to interpretation has allowed the film world to take their own spin on a historical event. The degree of liberty afforded to the filmmakers and determining a boundary line for the same is indeed debatable. From an Indian perspective, historical accuracy in films/TV shows is a very active issue, and historical inaccuracy is often taken very seriously, to the extreme, and is dubbed “historical distortion” by the media. This distortion has included inserting dance sequences, changing character graphs among other things. Indian communities are known to be extremely proud of their shared history and any “distortion” made by a filmmaker on grounds of a creative license, has evoked widespread protests by the communities these films deal with, including the actors and directors receiving death threats due to their association with that particular film. But then most of these films go on to do very well at the box office, proving, for better or for worse, that dramatising historical events in order to make the film palatable to the typical Indian audience works very well. After all, there’s a reason why these films get made the way they are in the first place.

      How Important is Historical Accuracy in Films?

      Wow! What a well written article! I agree with every single point made by the writer. I think what made the show unique was how it didn’t focus entirely on the lead characters’ old age by reducing them to walking stereotypes moping around, cursing their fate, reminiscing about the “good old days”. They were hilariously witty, strong women, determined to live their lives to the fullest, having as much fun as they could! The show was indeed way ahead of its time, covering issues as sensitive as same-sex relationships thirteen years before Will and Grace premiered, a show which notably received a considerable amount of flak for focusing on the two lead characters’ sexuality to the point that most of the show’s humor revolved around that part of their identities instead of their other personality quirks. This again, is not to say that the show didn’t tackle the problems of old age, though, because it did so from time to time, and each episode ended on a positive note with the women rallying around each other for support, passing on the universal message of how friends and people you love are the only things necessary for a hapoy life, which made the show appealing to people younger than the characters. A true TV classic that was instrumental in changing the society’s perception of the elderly as “old, infirm misfits” by treating them as any other sitcom character and focusing on their individual peculiarities/personality traits that made people laugh and empathise with them along the way.

      How The Golden Girls Changed the Face and Narrative of Aging