For many sitcoms, including applause and laughter after every punchline is something of a staple. Laugh tracks, or ‘canned laughter,’ have been used in comedic television programmes for decades. However, many shows are also filmed in front of a live studio audience to produce the same effect.
Evaluate the impact that filming before a live studio audience has on the programmes which use them. Moreover, how does this compare to the artificial laugh track? Is real laughter better than fake laughter? Or, are the criticisms ultimately the same? Such criticisms could include that the laughter is forced for unfunny jokes, it breaks the fourth wall, or it unsettles the timing of a show
When building an argument, specific examples of T.V. shows should be discussed. The writer should choose specific scenes to analyse in order to demonstrate how they have been directly impacted by the choice to film in front of a live audience, and how their reactionary noises are used within the show. Try to limit the amount of personal opinion here, and have your argument based solely upon the artistic criticism of the shows themselves.
Perhaps another important element to explore is the decline of studio audiences and laugh tracks in sitcoms in general. Ever since shows like Sex and the City, Curb your Enthusiasm, and Arrested Development pioneered the single cam approach, it's become much more the norm in the medium (the last time more than one multi cam sitcom was nominated for the Outstanding Comedy Emmy Award was 2005.) Whether for flexibility in shooting, less reliance on punchlines, or less restrictive genre conventions, comedy seems to be headed in that direction more and more, leaving both live audiences and laugh tracks in the dust. – Double U6 days ago
The recent BBC America production, The Watch, has received polarized reactions. It is inspired by characters from Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld book series, though it does not claim to be a direct adaptation. If one alienates the people who are already self-proclaimed fans of a certain work, where can one go from there? How important is the original author’s or family estate’s approval of an adaptation for a TV show or movie to be considered successful? Sometimes deviations allow for greater artistic license, but it can come at the cost of bearing little resemblance to the original source material and turning off the already-established fanbase. Alternatively, when sticking closely to the source material, it can attract a large number of people who are already invested in the characters and storylines but may also lead to sanitization and excessive caution in an effort to preserve the work’s and the author’s existent legacy. There are also legal issues to be considered here. Sometimes the difference can be a result of ownership (or lack thereof) of the author’s estate/works. One could examine The Watch’s resemblance and departure from the Discworld series and/or other similar ventures and their outcomes.
Doctor who features a time lord who can travel in time to anywhere he wants before it even happens.
As a Whovian, I'd love to read an article on how "Doctor Who" approaches time travel. It's almost mythologized in the show how the Doctor deals with the laws of time and time-travel and how it affects him and his companions. – angelacarmela965 months ago
Nice; can you flesh the topic out a bit? For example, what approaches would you compare Dr. Who to? – Stephanie M.2 months ago
It would also be interesting to ask the question, is it important? Does it improve the viewing on a viewer's level of enjoyment? Probably to a superfan, but compare that with a pick-up-and-play type of viewer - and you might find a different response. – Marcus Dean3 weeks ago
A British scientist explained the function of canned laughter used in TV shows as, “adding laughter to a joke, increases the humour value, no matter how funny or unfunny the joke is.” I Love Lucy (starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Farley), originally released in 1951, used canned laughter. The Honeymooners (starring Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows), which was originally released in 1955 also used canned laughter.
M*A*S*H (starring Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr), which was originally released in 1972, had the creators of the series wanting no canned laughter which was rejected by CBS, although there are episodes where there was no canned laughter. In addition, it was agreed that in surgery, no laughter would be used. When M*A*S*H was released on DVD, the option was added to watch the series with and without canned laughter. One person who commented about watching the series without laughter in the background said, “Hearing each and every one of these words for the first time was a treat.”
With COVID-19 eliminating fans from baseball and football stadiums, canned cheering and boos are used. This seems a derivative of canned laughter
A critical analysis of canned laughter should address the following: 1) Does it add to or detract from a series, and; 2) Can there be an “artistic” way of evaluating when it seems too much or inappropriate from being just the right amount.
A bottle episode refers to an episode of a T.V. show written to require only one or two sets, and only few non-regular cast members. These episodes are often the result of a dwindling production budget, or a pre-emptive cost-saving attempt.
Some people view these as lazy, but bottle episodes often make for great television.
An article on this could discuss specific examples of shows who have made successful bottle episodes, and how they have done so. Reasons could include great drama due to the restricted movement of characters. Or, many fan favourite bottle episodes are enjoyed because they showcase their characters in their truest form. The examples available are plenty, with famous shows like Friends, New Girl, or Community all having done them.
The writer of this article could also use poorly received bottle episodes as a contrast, so long as they discuss why they were not successful.
Good topic! Bottle episodes are fascinating. I know a few good ones, especially from shows like The Twilight Zone (I'm a fan of some of the older stuff). You could even argue that certain shows or seasons are made up of bottle episodes. Once Upon a Time is my favorite example, especially the early seasons, because if you leave Storybrooke, something bad will happen. (Or, hold on, is that a bottle, or just a "closed circle?") Anyway, love the topic. – Stephanie M.2 months ago
Is "The Fly" from Breaking Bad is another good example of a Bottle episode in a dramatic show. It was pretty polarizing when it was released but has some great acting from Brian Cranston and Aaron Paul. – Sean Gadus2 months ago
The TV series "BoJack Horseman" is a surreal dark comedy that takes place in a world in which some of the characters (including the title character) seem to be talking animals. BoJack himself openly suffers from several mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety, but could he also have a psychotic disorder, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder? Psychotic disorders interfere with people’s perception of reality, which might explain some of the more surreal aspects of the series. It might even explain the talking animals, since psychotic illnesses can include a delusion that one is an animal. So, what is the evidence for or against BoJack suffering from psychosis? If he does have a psychotic disorder, what kind does he have?
Pitch (2016, one season) starring Kylie Bunbury and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. This series focused on the first female major league baseball player. A good series that just suddenly stopped. What happened after she was injured as she had the opportunity to pitch a no-hitter? The series just ends with no conclusion. Graves (2016-17, two seasons) starring Nick Nolte and Sela Ward. This series focused on a former two-term Republican President and how he wants to now correct some of the "wrongs" he was responsible for. Suddenly, the series ends with his arrest and we never find out if his wife, the former First Lady, is elected as a Senator. It is frustrating to see good, well developed, well acted series, just end. Are viewers satisfied with what they watched? Is there some way to complete these series, as well as others, to bring them to some conclusion in a one or two part episode? Maybe Netflix, Prime, or Hulu can take up the cause.
Granted it doesn't detract from the main point the article is trying to make, perhaps a comparison could be made between shows that just stop and shows that remain running for too long when, perhaps, they should have stopped. – Samantha Leersen7 months ago
In the same vein than Samantha Leersen and with the same caution, maybe adding a comparison with shows whose last season has been cut short (Person of Interest is the first example that comes to my mind, though it isn’t that famous – sadly)? (And/or a comparison with endings that may have felt rushed to some viewers (Game Of Thrones, for instance)?)
Also, in the same vein than your last point, maybe the article could mention the role of fanfictions to conclude such shows with no proper ending?
Anyway, very interesting topic! – Gavroche7 months ago
There are also shows that people simply aren’t interested in. Those shows tend not to be missed, no matter what the ending or none at all. – J.D. Jankowski2 months ago
It depends... When the producer knows how to prepare each session artistically then the audience might be satisfied of the work even if it's without an end... When the producer hasn't enough expertise then the series without an end just would be a waste of time... – Gerald Mann (P. Ghasemi)2 months ago
It’s relatively rare to find fictional children who act like real children. More often than not, fictional children talk and act like miniature adults. Oftentimes, this is a deliberate artistic choice, which may either be played for laughs (as in Rugrats, The Simpsons, or South Park, for example), or used to show that there is something seriously wrong with the child in question (as in The Umbrella Academy, and many anime series). On the other hand, some creators seem genuinely unable to fathom how children think and behave, and so write them behaving like adults by default.
What are some examples of stories that portray children this way? What, if any, differences are there between stories that portray children acting like adults for artistic reasons, and those whose writers simply don’t know any better? What effects, if any, do fictional portrayals of unrealistically-mature children have on how people view children in the real world?
Oh, cool topic. Interestingly enough, the first examples I thought of regarding children who don't act like children, are from PBS (whose programs are all geared toward young children). Arthur, one of the longest runners, is an example. You'll also find some of this in older shows like Wishbone. Outside of PBS, the phenomenon exists on networks you mentioned, like Nickelodeon, or Disney Channel. Sometimes it works great (see the older show Fillmore for an example of unchildlike behavior as an artistic choice). Other times, the kids just act like brats (i.e., Hannah Montana). – Stephanie M.2 months ago