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PEEL - The Futurama Message Board    It's got a TV!    About those dysfunctional family sitcoms... « previous next »
Author Topic: About those dysfunctional family sitcoms...  (Read 306 times)
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KurtPikachu2001

Urban Legend
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« on: 08-03-2004 19:22 »

What is it exactly that everyone likes about them?  Why are the characters all so stereotypical?  (i.e. a drunk dad and a boy-crazy teen daughter).  I don't get what's so funny about them.  Plus, why does the family in those sitcoms always seem to try to hurt each other? 

I mean, there's dysfunctional families in real life, and they're serious!  Why would anyone want to make a sitcom out of something that happens in real life that isn't funny to begin with?
TheLampIncident

Urban Legend
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« Reply #1 on: 08-03-2004 19:26 »

Because TV industries are like music industries, they just sell the same crap over and over again because people hate change.

Next question.

Says the guy with the better Clamps avatar.
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #2 on: 08-03-2004 19:29 »
« Last Edit on: 08-03-2004 19:29 »

There are different styles of dysfunctional family sitcoms. I'm personally quite partial to The Royle Family.

As Al Jean stated in one of The Simpsons DVD commentaries, one of the ways they got so much mileage out of the show is that the premise of a family is a very simple one that can generate an almost inexhaustible supply of stories (emphasis on the almost, mind). You compare something as broad as that to a show like The Office, which has a more fixed premise. I couldn't see them going any further than the 14 episodes they made and staying fresh.
newhook_1

Urban Legend
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« Reply #3 on: 08-03-2004 20:19 »

I think another reason people like them so much is because they can relate to them. Let's face it, most families have their quarrels, they're just exaggerated on shows like The Simpsons or Family Guy, and people just find stuff they can relate to on some level funny. It's like when a stand up comedian singles you out when you sit in the front row, and you laugh as he makes fun of you.
leelaholic

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #4 on: 08-03-2004 23:16 »
« Last Edit on: 08-03-2004 23:16 »

^^ Exactly.

The characters are simply parodies on the American family. I'm sure that, at one time or another, you've been mad at your parents, or your siblings.
fryfanSpyOrama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #5 on: 08-03-2004 23:20 »

They makes us feel better about ourselves.  Like the Bundys on Married With Children.
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #6 on: 08-04-2004 02:31 »

If all TV families were nice, loved eachother and never really got into conflict, then you wouldn't have a very entertaining show, now would you?
paranoir87

Bending Unit
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« Reply #7 on: 08-04-2004 06:56 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Beamer:
If all TV families were nice, loved eachother and never really got into conflict, then you wouldn't have a very entertaining show, now would you?

Yeah, and you'd probably want to put your foot through the TV because it'd be plain annoying.

Dysfunctional families work. It's the classic laugh-at-those-worse-off-than-you thing.
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #8 on: 08-04-2004 08:30 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Beamer:
If all TV families were nice, loved eachother and never really got into conflict, then you wouldn't have a very entertaining show, now would you?

That's why shows like The Waltons aren't classed as sitcoms.  wink
ZombieJesus

Lost Belgian
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #9 on: 08-04-2004 08:39 »

Six Feet Under works out pretty well. A family that has a funeral director's business, lots of unusual characters.
One of the brothers is gay, the other one a skirt chaser, the daughter is an art student, etc.
SlackJawedMoron

Urban Legend
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« Reply #10 on: 08-04-2004 08:47 »

And they're always having bizarre metaphorical converstions with dead people.

It's a top show.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #11 on: 08-04-2004 12:16 »

As well, if real dysfunctional families are so "serious", that's precisely why there are sitcoms about them.  The most sad and depressing things often get turned into comedy, simply because those are precisely the things that people need to be able to laugh about.

The success of all these dysfunctional family shows, however, depends a lot on the execution and how well the creators understand the appeal.  The Simpsons has been so phenomenally successful largely because it presents an honest (if often bizarre) portrayal of a family, with real characters instead of mere props.  But something like "Grounded for Life" is going to struggle more, because its just purely mean spirited.
KurtPikachu2001

Urban Legend
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« Reply #12 on: 08-04-2004 17:52 »

I agree that Grounded for Life is a mean-spirited show.  Why can't there be other premises for sit-coms?  How about having a parent from a different country?  Or a teen boy or girl who's obsessed with video games instead of the opposite gender?
Or a mother who tries to turn their kids into something they're not?  I just think dysfunctional family sitcoms have been done to death.  I think there should be more sitcoms that aren't so stereotypical. 
fryfanSpyOrama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #13 on: 08-04-2004 18:06 »

TV families have to be dysfunctional, or else you get something stupid, boring and gay, like the Brady Bunch.
leelaholic

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #14 on: 08-04-2004 22:53 »
« Last Edit on: 08-04-2004 22:53 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by fryfanSpyOrama:
TV families have to be dysfunctional, or else you get something stupid, boring and gay, like the Brady Bunch.
The Bradys weren't gay. There was a husband and a wife....
fryfanSpyOrama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #15 on: 08-04-2004 23:12 »
« Last Edit on: 08-04-2004 23:12 »

When I said gay, I'm not talking about homosexuality.  I'm referring to them to being really, really lame, like a boy band or a reality show.  It is like when Stan or Kyle from South Park say, something it "gay".  They are referring to that thing as being really really lame.  Homosexuality has nothing to do with it.
leelaholic

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #16 on: 08-04-2004 23:18 »

 http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=joke
fryfanSpyOrama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #17 on: 08-04-2004 23:53 »
« Last Edit on: 08-04-2004 23:53 »

It might've helped if you ended your post with this.     wink  Then it shows it is a joke.

Anyway, I didn't take what you said seriously.  I'm just glad you aren't one of those uptight people, who take things the wrong way. 

You know if I say a certain word, you become offended, even though I didn't mean to offend anybody.  That's all.
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