My comparison of Sitcoms new and old Essay
My comparison of Sitcoms new and old
All 3 of my sitcoms I have chosen are great British, hugely popular and critically praised. All of them were written by there own single writer unlike in America where they had a team of writers to produce a single sitcom. The 3 sitcoms I have picked are Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers and Porridge. Only Fools and Horses was first shown on the BBC in 1981 and started with a total of 3 main charters and 5 regular sub-characters.
The 3 main characters they started out with were Del, Rodney and Granddad Trotter. Only fools and horses have 7 or 8 series in all with quite a few special feature length episodes like the one where they go to France. Fawlty Towers was first shown on the BBC in 1975 and started with the 3 main characters Basil Fawlty, Sibal Fawlty and of course the punch bag from Barcelona in Spain Manuel. There were countless episodes but fortunately no film so no one had there sides split open with laughter.
It had comedy arising from a consistent situation. Porridge was a Sitcom first showed on the BBC in 1974 and based in “Her Majesty Slade Prison” with the main and unforgettable “Norman Stanley Fletcher” and his young cell mate “Godber”. It was a huge success because it had its own language of insults like “Nurk” because it was on at prime time so it could not swear, giving it a prison feel.
Only Fools and Horses some of the sets are the council flat where Del, Rodney and granddad live called Nelson Mandela Towers in Peckham, London, Mike’s pub called the Nag’s head it’s a sort of pub for the working class people, the local market area, Boycie’s car dealership which is a car garage for people with a lot of money to spend on cars like Rolls Royce’s and there the Reliant Robin which is a frequent location.
Fawlty Towers was set in the South-west of England near Torbay in a quiet and relaxing setting the hotel was a hotel that looked respectable but the staff were a little on the strange side you never or rarely saw more than the Kitchen, Lobby and Dining area. But this was all you needed to see because there was comedy all over this hotel. Porridge was set in an old prison where you would see a fair bit of it, you would see Fletcher’s cell, the Lobby where they would play all there card games, the farm, the allotments, the governors office and the tech shop (garage).
Del from Only Fools and Horses is a real “wide boy” he is the Brains of the outfit if there are any, he is always calling the shots even when he is declared bankrupt and not allowed to be a director of any company he forces Rodney to be the director and he tells Rodney what to do and still buys all the merchandise they sell and Rodney still does exactly what del says. Where as Rodney is a well educated “IDIOT” that is extremely passive he tries to object to what del says at time but soon decides against it and carries out what dell said he is even persuaded to stand in the pouring rain and try to sell Australian sunhats.
Basil Fawlty is a guy who has always got something up his sleeve, whereas Manuel always has Basil’s sleeve wrapped around his face, Sibal is the one who just about keeps the hotel up and running she is the sensible one out of the 3 of them. Fletcher is the big guy in prison in more ways than one he tells most of he others what to do and they pretty much do it, but Fletcher does care about what happens to some of the others one in particular his cell mate Godber.
Fletcher is always doing some thing that benefits himself by taking eggs or trading “snout” for reading someone’s letter for them or even betting with one of the strictest wardens there is. One of the situations the Fawlty towers staff find themselves in is Basil says to the chef he can go then finds out the chef is needed so he pretends to be the chef and when he gets told off about the foods pretends to beat the chef up but to make it real he beats himself up.
Some of the situation the boys from Only Fools and Horses find themselves in is where they quickly load Denziel’s lorry with duty frees and accidentally trap the prince of France in the lorry get back to England and think he is a illegal immigrant and end up getting arrested for abduction. Or the time where they were taking down priceless antique chandeliers and granddad trotter goes to the top of the wrong chandelier and lets it drop to the floor smashing it to pieces and therefore losing the contract.
The canned laughter they use in Only Fools and Horses I think helps you to realize that there was a joke or something funny a minute ago and it helps you to laugh because generally when you hear someone else laugh it makes you want tot laugh. But some people find that it intimidates them because if they didn’t understand the joke then they think they are dumb and start thinking that the people are laughing at them.
The type of people Only Fools and Horses is aimed at is the people who like a bit of a laugh and the age range is really anyone who wants to watch it because I find it funny and it’s not to out dated in fact I don’t think it’s out dated at all, think if you want a laugh then you should watch it. Only Fools and Horses appeals to many people because of Del and Rodney’s underdog status that you feel sorry for.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 11 September 2017
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