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Weekly Discussion: Multi-camera Sitcoms

Discussion in 'Entertainment Forum' started by popdisaster00, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. popdisaster00

    I'm usually deluded Moderator

  2. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    I think there's value in watching people work within traditions and tropes. It's like hearing a great cover version of a song where they find little nuances that make all the difference. Maybe Kelsey Grammer and Matthew Perry and Neil Patrick Harris never did a bit Dick Van Dyke didn't do first, but the way they bring a unique spin to a familiar set-up or physical bit is fascinating to me. And multicamera sitcoms always seemed to be the best at making sturdy, classic comedy set-ups and bits work. Cheers, Frasier, Friends, HIMYM, etc.
    ChaseTx likes this.
  3. iCarly Rae Jepsen

    run away with me Platinum

    I feel dumb for asking but does anyone have a list of multi cam sitcoms, I tried googling and they give examples but not like a comprehensive list
  4. Nathan

    Always do the right thing. Supporter

    Since How I Met Your Mother ended I can't think of a new multi-camera I've started watching, though I'm watching less TV nowadays. I know a lot of people trash on "laugh track" sitcoms but Cheers, Martin, and Seinfeld are some of the best examples of the television sitcom the medium has ever seen. It's tough for them to get too high-concept (most people's least favorite moments from How I Met Your Mother were when they tried to do something subversive or non traditional for the form, sometimes the criticisms were deserved, sometimes they weren't), which is where a show like 30 Rock or Community can be so unique and inventive, but they can also be really great character based TV comedies. Friends, Fresh Prince, the Jeffersons, How I Met Your Mother, Mary Tyler Moore... There are some top notch works of storytelling and character work within those shows.

    I just remembered the Carmichael Show, I've seen and enjoyed a couple episodes of it and should give it a good run through.
  5. popdisaster00

    I'm usually deluded Moderator

    There's something about shitty 90's sitcoms that feels like home. I'm talking like Home Improvement, Boy Meets World (not shitty but you know), Step By Step, and so forth. Probably because I specifically grew up on those, they give me weird comfort when I see their reruns. Most of them are just awful, though. It's funny to think about the awful writing, lazy tropes, or even lack of character growth in those shows.

    Having said that, Friends and Seinfeld are two of my favorite sitcoms and those DO hold up, more or less. So you can't entirely blame the format?

    When I think about my favorite sitcoms, it's probably this:

    1. Friends
    2. Arrested Development
    3. Seinfeld
    4. The Office
    5. Parks and Rec
    6. Curb Your Enthusiasm

    Worth noting: the multi-cam sitcom is alive and well at CBS. Seems like the other networks have abandoned them completely.

    It would have been interesting to see Mulaney take off.
  6. Jake Gyllenhaal

    Any questions? Supporter

    Which is why CBS is the preferred network for viewers over 50.

    I still love Mulaney and his stand-up. And I watched every goddamn episode of his sitcom. I don't know if it was an experiment in neo-surrealism.
    Kingjohn_654 likes this.
  7. iCarly Rae Jepsen

    run away with me Platinum

    yeah Boy Meets World totally holds up and I imagine Sabrina The Teenage Witch would too
    popdisaster00 likes this.
  8. David87

    Prestigious Prestigious

    All In The Family is still the greatest multicam sitcom ever created.
  9. Davjs


    Now that Nick at Nite has decided to make me feel old and start playing 90's shows, rewatching some of them I realize some of my favorites don't hold up. While Friends and Fresh Prince hold up, Family Matters and Full House are pretty ridiculous.
  10. David87

    Prestigious Prestigious

    as much as I lovvvve Fresh Prince the last season and a half really doeesn't hold up at all. You can tell they ran out of ideas lol.
  11. Davjs


    They are played out of order so I don't know which eps are which. I'd assume the new Vivian is in the later seasons, so I'd agree.
  12. joe727

    A DILAPIDATED BOAT! Prestigious

    As an adult i've gone back and watched a few multi camera sitcoms, and I found I like Frasier way more as an adult than I did as a kid. The writing on that show was so good.
  13. Davjs


    Agreed. As a kid I couldn't relate or find a lot of humor in Frasier. It's such a good show now though.
    cshadows2887 and joe727 like this.
  14. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Even when Frasier became less cerebral in the later years and got more broad and slapstick, the leads were just so good at slapstick that it still worked.
    joe727 and Davjs like this.
  15. joe727 Sep 14, 2016
    (Last edited: Sep 14, 2016)

    A DILAPIDATED BOAT! Prestigious

    I was thinking of why multi camera sitcoms have fallen out of favor with our generation, and do you think it has to do less with the overused tropes and corny laugh tracks but more to do with tastes changing to prefer shows that allow total escapism, hyper realism, and surrealism over the idealised reality of sitcoms?

    I mean the appeal of alot of classic sitcoms (Seinfeld being the obvious exception) had to do with people relating to those characters and situations, but at the end of the episode, season, or series things almost always end up being okay and working out. I don't know if that appeal is relevant to alot of millenials.
    ChaseTx and iCarly Rae Jepsen like this.
  16. iCarly Rae Jepsen

    run away with me Platinum

    The sitcom has definitely changed, there are definitely still traditional sitcoms like New Girl Brooklyn Nine Nine and Younger, but the subject matter and tone feels different

    Plus you got stuff like You're The Worst and Broad City which are harder to classify
  17. cshadows2887

    Hailey, It Happens @haileyithappens Supporter

    Honestly, people still find comfort in tropes. The talking head that The Office pioneered is as common as the laugh track.
  18. devenstonow

    Noobie Supporter

    I would say that the talking heads in P&R and The Office make them not "traditional" multi-camera sitcoms" and I personally have a hard time classifying them as such (ie. in the same vein of Friends, Seinfeld, etc...)

    with that said, t/f:

    HIMYM is the last great "traditional multi-camera sitcom"
    ChaseTx and iCarly Rae Jepsen like this.
  19. joe727

    A DILAPIDATED BOAT! Prestigious

    Well The Office and P&R are not "traditional multi-camera sitcoms" because they're not multi-camera, they're single-camera which has been the standard for tv comedies for around a decade or so.
  20. joe727

    A DILAPIDATED BOAT! Prestigious

    I've never gotten into HIMYM (that probably needs to change), so i can say that the last multi-cam sitcom i really liked was probably That 70's Show.
    iCarly Rae Jepsen and Davjs like this.
  21. iCarly Rae Jepsen

    run away with me Platinum

    I also never got into How I Met Your Mother
  22. Davjs


    Barney and Marshall are two of my favorite sitcom characters ever created.

    They make up for Lily and Ted not being interesting or funny.
    Luroda likes this.
  23. tumbleweedterror

    music is all we got

    This is an interesting question. Personally, I've always had a hard time with multi-cam sitcoms, and I'm not sorry to see their popularity wane. The structure and formula of a multi-cam takes me out of the plot and makes it harder to connect with the characters and the situations. Laugh tracks throw me off and I get the impression that multi-cams often care more about hijinks than characters. The same can be said about a lot of single-cams too, of course, but I have a much easier time suspending disbelief and connecting with a single-cam sitcom.

    That being said, I think there are some great multi-cams that manage to take chances and do interesting things with the genre instead of be weighed down by it. That '70s Show, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Seinfeld are the ones that come immediately to mind. I love those three shows and I think they all did a great job of being funny, unique, character-driven, and innovative.

    I have the complete opposite opinion about Disney/Nick multi-cams, though. In those cases, I love the formula and the kitsch. I could watch Hannah Montana every day of my life and still be entertained. I don't know what the difference is, but I feel like ~adult sitcoms~ do better as single cam and ~kid sitcoms~ do better as multi-cam.

    Wow, this was long winded. Apologies.
  24. Blake Solomon

    Mr. Emeritus Prestigious

    Shows like 30 rock and the office are not multi cam sitcoms.

    There's something about the theater vibe of multi cam that is so powerful and difficult to do well.

    Seinfeld is the epitome. They played with the format so much, especially once Andy ackerman directed the last half of the series.

    Mixing live audience and pre taped segments in a way that made the show feel quaint, but also gave it a distinct otherworldly view of New York. 30 rock, although not multi cam, is definitely Seinfelds spiritual successor in that resort, of creating its own New York. And himym did it too to a lesser extent (like the EP when they all race to a restaurant.)
  25. Mrk_Brdshw

    Dusted Groove

    Some of my favorites of the 1990s and 2000s are the obvious Seinfield, Friends, etc., but I would honestly say I would have loved That 70s Show and HIMYM just as much had the last couple seasons of each not been so bad.

    One that I just recently watched on Netflix is 3rd Rock from the Sun. Very underrated show/cast and an interesting concept for a sitcom. Feels so 90s, but the jokes and humor actually hold up very well.

    Another overlooked great is The Drew Carey Show. It's damn hard to find because of the whole music licensing issue, so I'm not sure if it still holds up, but I remember it being great back in the day.
    Kingjohn_654 and ChaseTx like this.