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> British Comedies, The great humour of the good old brits
superfurryandy
post Dec 19 2004, 01:01 PM
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QUOTE (BadSandwich @ Dec 19 2004, 04:44 AM)
This thread needs some livening up. Far too much "arn't we the coolest?" backslapping and shoulder-punching going on.

So here goes.

American television used to be laughably bad but since the early nineties it has been producing shows of many different genres that has left us Brits standing. One of these genres is sit-coms.

Frasier, Malcolm in the Middle, Friends, Family Guy, South Park, Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show and the funniest TV show ever made - The Simpsons. All produced (mainly) since 1990 and all funnier than most of the (7 episodes per series, 4 or 5 series then we stop cos we can't be arsed to really stretch ourselves creatively and we DO get SO tired with all our voice-over work) British output of the same period. 

Only a handful of British shows (produced over the same period) can stand up to these and they have all been mentioned previously.

Still Game has been shown south of the border - and is very funny indeed. Loved it.

Max and Paddy started very badly but seemed to pick up from episode 4. Then it stopped. Why? Because they had done the requisite six episodes and needed a lie down. Peter Kay needed to rest. He's produced a WHOLE THREE HOURS OF TV THIS YEAR. He works SO hard. Just like all the rest of our domestic comedy talent. Am I alone? Does anybody else think that the traditional "blink and you miss it" approach to the British sitcom series needs to change. Do you want MORE!?
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Ok - you've mentioned 8 US shows and then claimed that only a handful of UK shows can match them in that period - shows such as The Day Today, Spaced, Black Books, Big Train, Brass Eye, Jam, I'm Alan Partridge, Happiness, 15 Storeys High, Phoenix Nights, That Peter Kay Thing, Early Doors, Nighty Night, Marion & Geoff, Human Remains, The Royle Family, Peep Show, Look Around You, and others I've forgotten - that's quite a big handful.

And there's a difference in the way that shows are produced - quite often they're a labour of love for two or three people in the UK, whereas in the US they've developed the art of having teams working on shows - we tried that with My Family and look where it got us. Will you accuse Pegg & Stevenson of being lazy as they've only produced around 5-6 hours of Spaced, or can you recognise the sheer amount of hard work and craft that's gone into producing and refining the show into the true comedy landmark it is? I'm not saying that one or the other is best, and you have a point that US comedy is easily criticised, but that can apply either way.

This post has been edited by superfurryandy: Dec 19 2004, 01:03 PM
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Jubei
post Dec 19 2004, 01:12 PM
Post #32


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QUOTE (superfurryandy @ Dec 19 2004, 01:01 PM)
Ok - you've mentioned 8 US shows and then claimed that only a handful of UK shows can match them in that period - shows such as The Day Today, Spaced, Black Books, Big Train, Brass Eye, Jam, I'm Alan Partridge, Happiness, 15 Storeys High, Phoenix Nights, That Peter Kay Thing, Early Doors, Nighty Night, Marion & Geoff, Human Remains, The Royle Family, Peep Show, Look Around You, and others I've forgotten - that's quite a big handful. 

And there's a difference in the way that shows are produced - quite often they're a labour of love for two or three people in the UK, whereas in the US they've developed the art of having teams working on shows - we tried that with My Family and look where it got us.  Will you accuse Pegg & Stevenson of being lazy as they've only produced around 5-6 hours of Spaced, or can you recognise the sheer amount of hard work and craft that's gone into producing and refining the show into the true comedy landmark it is?  I'm not saying that one or the other is best, and you have a point that US comedy is easily criticised, but that can apply either way.
*

just to be pedantic, does look around you qualify as a sitcom? sorry sorry

you know, my gf can't put CD;s away without turning them the right way round...
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superfurryandy
post Dec 19 2004, 01:18 PM
Post #33





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Are we talking sitcoms, or comedy in general?

*checks earlier post*

I see what you mean, but my point still stands, with added League of Gentlemen!

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that in order to defend something, you don't have to do something else down.
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fear_of_pop
post Dec 19 2004, 02:26 PM
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Canadian comedy is clearly superior to both.
Kids in The Hall pisses on our collective heads.

wink.gif
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BadSandwich
post Dec 19 2004, 05:13 PM
Post #35





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QUOTE (superfurryandy @ Dec 19 2004, 01:18 PM)
Are we talking sitcoms, or comedy in general?

*checks earlier post*

I see what you mean, but my point still stands, with added League of Gentlemen!

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that in order to defend something, you don't have to do something else down.
*


I was talking about sitcoms only. I don't believe I have seen a US sketch show that is worth seeing twice.

I am disappointed that I received such a reasoned and logical response to what is clearly an inflammatory and wholly insubstantial argument. Where's that Sophie Lover chappie when you need him? I wanted a fight.

It wasn't my intention to do anybody down. On rereading, however, I can see how my sarcasic sense of humour got the better of me. Of course I don't think Peter Kay is lazy. He is the funniest man in Britain. I wouldn't dream of calling Jess/Simon lazy either. Perish the thought. For yea, are they not the greatest comedic team to walk this damned and blighted land? Does their poop not smell of pot pourri? We are not fit to gaze upon........(shit. Doing it again. Sorry)

I am aware of how US sitcoms are made. And yes, My Family failed but that does not mean that another show written in the US style would not work. If it did work - we could have 26 cracking episodes per year of a comedy we all loved instead of 13 episodes all told.

I will now nitpick and say that Brass Eye, Jam, The Royle Family, Peep Show, Early Doors, Nighty Night and Marion & Geoff do absolutely nothing for me. Titter me not. ESPECIALLY THE FUCKING ROYLE FAMILY! HATE! BILE! DEATH TO RICKY! I WOULD RATHER WATCH 2 PINTS OF LAGER! (not the show, I mean I would rather sit and stare at 2 pints of beer for half an hour.)
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J.R
post Dec 19 2004, 05:22 PM
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QUOTE (BadSandwich @ Dec 19 2004, 05:13 PM)
II WOULD RATHER WATCH 2 PINTS OF LAGER! (not the show, I mean I would rather sit and stare at 2 pints of beer for half an hour.)
*



To be fair , I think thats what the writers do as well.
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Jubei
post Dec 19 2004, 05:48 PM
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I too hate the Royal family. DO SOMETHING!!! I could just watch me and my mates farting and watching telly if I so chose. Marion and Geoff on the other hand is such subtle humour I love it! The first series especially.

As for American sketch shows, what about that program which Will Ferrall started out on? I can't claim to have seen it, but I believe it is a sketch show, is it Saturday Night Live or something? Anyway, surely anything with Will Ferrall is funny? Can anyone shed any light on this?

EDIT: How many spelling mistakes did i make??!?! huh.gif

This post has been edited by Jubei: Dec 19 2004, 05:55 PM
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BadSandwich
post Dec 19 2004, 07:09 PM
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I havn't seen Saturday Night Live since Mike Myers, Jim Carrey and Dana Carvey were on it at the end of the 80's. Whatever happened to those guys anyway? Did they go back to theatre work or summat?
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Stella MM
post Dec 19 2004, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE (BadSandwich @ Dec 19 2004, 04:44 AM)
Max and Paddy started very badly but seemed to pick up from episode 4. Then it stopped. Why? Because they had done the requisite six episodes and needed a lie down. Peter Kay needed to rest. He's produced a WHOLE THREE HOURS OF TV THIS YEAR. He works SO hard. Just like all the rest of our domestic comedy talent. Am I alone? Does anybody else think that the traditional "blink and you miss it" approach to the British sitcom series needs to change. Do you want MORE!?
*

I take your point about longevity - 13 years of the Simpsons compared to 13 episodes of Fawlty Towers does rather make it look like we're just not pulling our fingers out, bucking our ideas up and making an effort.

On the other hand, there's the old saying about quality versus quantity. There's plenty of British sit-coms that have run for a relatively long time and all the ones I can think of have turned into festering cess-pools of non-talent after a few years.

Absolutely Fabulous, for example - hilariously funny and satirical at its beginning, now it's just a bloated excuse for Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders to totter around the screen swigging Bolly. Boring!

Or how about Only Fools and Horses - plodding on predictably for nearly 15 dull as fuck years, with a couple of awful "this is the last one, we promise!" Christmas specials tacked onto the end.

I think the blink-and-miss-it approach gives writers the chance to cram as much quality as they can into a short space of time, and leave people wanting more. If only the creators of Friends had taken that route...
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wherearethespoon...
post Dec 19 2004, 09:21 PM
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QUOTE (BadSandwich @ Dec 19 2004, 05:13 PM)
Of course I don't think Peter Kay is lazy. He is the funniest man in Britain.


I think the sarcasm is back...
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BadSandwich
post Dec 19 2004, 09:28 PM
Post #41





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No I really meant that.


Really.


Or did I?


You'll never know.


Or care.
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rabbit57i
post Dec 20 2004, 05:15 PM
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QUOTE (BadSandwich @ Dec 18 2004, 11:44 PM)
Does anybody else think that the traditional "blink and you miss it" approach to the British sitcom series needs to change. Do you want MORE!?
*

To get more, won't another series do? I wish that American sitcoms were more like the British ones in that they had a limited amount of episodes. Part of the advantage of that is each series is like an extended movie. You have a beginning, middle & end. And to write in complete arc like that takes forethought and planning. The writers aren't struggling to think of ideas to fill the episodes.

I won't even mention how the British sitcoms tend to be created & written by the performers thus making it quality viewing.
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Starscream`s Gho...
post Dec 30 2004, 03:09 PM
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I`ll be honest, I wouldn`t consider myself much of a fan of US shows. Frasier and the almight Scrubs (funniest TV show aside from Spaced IMHO). The story arcs tend to piss me off, mainly because they always tend to be milked to death i.e. Ross and Rachel. By the end of it I really couldn`t have cared less if they got back together, I didn`t even see the last episode of Friends so still don`t know. Or care.

I definitely think we have the advantage of quality over quantity, I can`t remember every single episode of Seinfeld, but I do every episode of The Office or Fawlty Towers, so I think that British Comedy will always be remembered more eventually.

And lest we forget, most of the US talent was inspired by what the Brits have done (Python, etc.).
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rebelstar
post Dec 30 2004, 04:28 PM
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QUOTE (Badger @ Dec 19 2004, 09:47 AM)
Has anyone mentioned Absolutely?
*


Or Mr. Don & Mr. George (hint, hint)?
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Starscream`s Gho...
post Dec 30 2004, 05:31 PM
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Vaguely remember it, wasn`t Jack Docherty something to do with it? And Morwenna Banks?

If so, that explains why I didn`t like it.
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