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The Death of the Sitcom

I’ve noticed lately that, in my opinion, sitcoms are declining in quality, and networks appear to be abandoning them and going for different genres. I think shows like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and The Wire have introduced a precedent for cinematic masterpiece that TV shows haven’t had to meet in the past. Will this shift kill the sitcom, or other genres of shows for that matter?

  • I think it has to do with the changes to the medium. Because audiences can stream whatever they want on the internet, television networks no longer have to fill airtime with superficial humor and can delve into more complex projects. Also, the internet brought about a new wave of competition. The way sitcoms are being made is also changing. Laugh-track, three-camera shows (I Love Lucy, The Big Bang Theory) are being replaced with updated styles, like The Office, or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Maybe they aren't dying, just transitioning? – joshuahall 5 years ago
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  • I have been thinking about this myself lately. I can re-watch Will and Grace and Friends repeatedly, but barely make it through one episode of these new "sitcoms." I have been speculating whether there is an association between the need to be politically correct and not offend people and the reduction in humorous shows. Nowadays it's all sexual innuendoes and crude jokes, no more intelligent jokes. – Catherine Conte 5 years ago
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The Death of Sitcom

With the emergence of online streaming, popular entertainment has shifted genres. Drama has taken over the world of television, knocking the previous ruler, Sitcom off the podium. It seems that nowadays, people’s thirst for suspense proves way stronger than their need for a laugh. Would you go so far as to say that comedy is a lost art?

  • Not entirely. Comedy I think has found a better place as part of an ensemble rather than as the chief aspect. Stand-up comedy is still quite strong these days. Animated cartoons are more dramatic but their humor goes a long way. The biggest place where comedy fails is and has almost always been in movies. So I wouldn't say the art of comedy is gone, so much as I would simply say that the interest in seeing straight, non-dramatic sitcoms has gone away, because there's a bigger emotional reward binge watching something like "Better Call Saul" or "NCIS" than there is binge watching "3rd Rock From the Sun" or "Frasier:" even if all four of these shows are strong, well-written, entertaining programs in their own right. – Jonathan Leiter 5 years ago
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  • Though I am not a fan of numerous comedies on television, I have to say that comedy is not dead, and in fact, has recently experienced a rebirth. For example: "The Big Bang Theory," number one sitcom on television, "Two Broke Girls," "Blackish," "Modern Family," "Last Man Standing," "Off the Boat," "New Girl," "The Goldbergs,"....the list it endless. And in regards to streaming,if you look at what's trending on Netflix, or most popular, you will find numerous comedies. I like your questioning of the programs on television, and I would suggest your possibly exploring the most popular television shows and looking at the aspects that stand out. Comedy is very much alive and has recently undergone a resurgence. – danielle577 5 years ago
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  • as two other guys have mentioned. I think sitcoms are alive. "The Big Bang Theory" is really great but I think most of them are imitations from "Friends" why? the producers of these genre can not be creative? for instance, compare "Friends" , "How I Met Your Mother", and "The Big Bang Theory" the locations, characters, situations, subjects look like each other. these sitcoms are really good but I think producers especially screen writers should be a little creative. – Elahe Almasi 5 years ago
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  • I would have to say that sitcoms are still popular. As there are some from the 21st century such as "Modern Family", the youth of the world still find the older sitcoms like "Friends" hilarious. TV sitcoms may start to be slowly disappearing it may be because they have not found one that attracts both generations! – fmorrison 5 years ago
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  • I've seen a lot of sitcoms on TV right now, but I think there hasn't truly been one in a long time that pulls people in. For example, Friends. It was big back when it aired and it is still big now, thanks to Netflix. It does seem like people like a good drama show much better because of the suspense, where as sitcoms are light and funny. – diehlsam 5 years ago
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  • I think this is a great question to ask. While the typical sitcom setup is outdated because of online streaming, there are many comedies that are short, sweet, and in the style of quick TV nowadays. "Portlandia" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" are two examples I think of that keep up with modern day watching without the laugh tracks and weekly waiting (except now shows like "The Mindy Project" are being put out weekly on a streaming basis). – cwinegargarrett 5 years ago
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  • There's a huge difference between single camera and multi camera sitcoms, the former tends to be much better and more poignant (Scrubs, Modern Family, Community) but there are great examples of the latter (Friends, Seinfeld, HIMYM). Whoever writes this topic should explore this in relation to the current state of the sitcom. – jprgplusme 5 years ago
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