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.6 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 Gadus6 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 Leersen11 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! – Gavroche11 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. Jankowski6 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)5 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.6 months ago
TV shows like Friends, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and Little Britain come under fire more and more with each passing year: what they got away with comedically even only 10 years ago wouldn’t fly today. Where do we draw the line? Is Friends an inherently ‘bad’ show because of its non-PC jokes and lack of inclusivity, or do we accept that the times have changed? Does the self-referential and inherently satirical tone of IASIP automatically give it a free pass when it comes to black face, or should we be holding it to a higher standard?
This is a great topic. I think it's important that we start to consider the historical context of works before we dismiss as bad because they do not miss today's societal standards. Friends for example, while having some problematic jokes is also full of humor and storylines that are still good today so should we dismiss it as a bad show because of the non-PC instances? – TheHunterBishop6 months ago
I think this is an important topic. A work needs to be understood in the context it was produced. It is easy to get lost in anachronism when analizing from the present. It prevents, for instance, the appreciation of the progressive angles the work may have. I think Little Britain is a good example of it because it's sketch conedy and it goes a bit over the top. In the Fatfighters sketch we get to laugh at the unwillingness to integrate foreigners through the character of Meera, who's never understood by the coach even when she speaks clear English.
Regarding lack of diversity, Friends is just one among the majority of sitcoms from that era.
In short, few things are timeless. – RFusaro6 months ago
Great topic! This is very controversial. Tina Fey recently came under fire because she removed episodes of 30 Rock from streaming platforms that featured characters in blackface. While she was applauded by many, others thought that she should have let the episodes stand as is. Her argument: "I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness." But not all ugly tropes can be erased from television, of course. Should past sitcoms and comedy shows be dismissed because their comedy has aged poorly? – myacolwell6 months ago
"Amos ‘n’ Andy," began as a radio show in 1928. The show was set in Harlem, a section in New York City predominately African-American. The radio show was a spin-off from a minstrel act that involved two white actors in black face. Protests by African-American organizations against the show began in 1931. These protests were unsuccessful, and the show eventually became a television show beginning in 1951 (CBS) with the lead characters being black actors not white in black face. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) began protesting the show and wanted it removed almost from when it first appeared on television. One of the main characters (the Kingfish) was portrayed as a con man, another was presented as a dim-witted cab driver. The language spoken by the characters was a gutter form of English meant to convey a stereotype of all African-Americans. CBS cancelled the show in 1953, but it lived on in syndication until 1966. There were episodes of the show produced that were not shown at the time CBS cancelled the show and those episodes lived on. American television was slow to eventually remove the show, in contrast with CBS sending reruns of the show to Kenya in 1963 where it was banned almost immediately. Someone agreeing to write on his topic can address several issues: 1) How was the show received by both white and black audiences when it first appeared on television, and; 2) the protests to remove first the radio show then the television show can focus on how effective or ineffective these protests were and what they say about African-American influence, and the NAACP in particular, on radio and television content regarding portrayals of black America.
In some stories, the main character’s love interest seems designed to be an almost perfect mirror image of themselves. These characters’ lovers share their same personalities, tastes, and motivations, and might even look something like them. "The Umbrella Academy" is one notable show that does this. So far both seasons feature a central character falling in love with someone who is almost exactly like themselves (Vanya in Season 1 and Diego in Season 2). What are some other examples of this trope? How popular is this phenomenon in fiction and what factors contribute to it?
See the story of Narcissus (Ancient Greek figure who falls in love with her own reflection). – J.D. Jankowski7 months ago
There is also a hilarious 30 Rock episode about this concept. They discussed the concept of dating yourself is a "double edged sword" where as your weaknesses as a person are the weaknesses of your partner. 30 Rock: Season 5, Episode 14 – Sean Gadus7 months ago
To add to Sean's point, there's an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry starts dating the "woman version" of himself. He initially finds this attractive until he remembers he "hates himself." – aprosaicpintofpisces7 months ago