Observation Dome

Tonight, On Channel 4

21:00 Who Killed the British Sitcom?
In this two-hour special, David Liddiment explores the rise and fall of the British sitcom and discovers how shifts in society, class, family life and the ways of TV itself have all contributed to the decline of the sitcom.

22:15 The Ultimate Sitcom
Featuring interviews with the industry's top comedy actors, writers, producers and directors as they decide on which is the funniest sitcom of all time.

No idea if Dwarf's likely to be mentioned (although it bloody should be), but should be worth a watch regardless. Certainly more so than Alison Graham's insane babblings.

Comments

Interesting. Or maybe just an excuse to show some clips. The deliberate mistake seemed to be that sitcom hasn't died at all, it's merely changed form since the 1970s and 80s. Give me I'm Alan Partridge, The Office and Spaced over Birds of a Feather, It Aint Half Hot Mum and Are You Being Served anyday.

Polymorph made an appearance shortly after The Young Ones was covered. Apart from the Paul Jackson link, I don't think Dwarf qualifies as 'anarchic' or really even 'revolutionary'. It's pretty traditional, really.

And ending on a hopeful note by celebrating the success of My Family? Urgh.

Highlight was Carla Lane writing while sitting next to a cat's bum.

Perhaps they could offer a sequel show : "What happened to Ben Elton?"

By Pete Martin on 02-01-06 @ 22:33

Missed it. Watched Rebus. It'll be on More 4 or on Channel 4 at 4am at some point.

By Rad on 02-01-06 @ 22:37

"Give me I'm Alan Partridge, The Office and Spaced over Birds of a Feather, It Aint Half Hot Mum and Are You Being Served anyday.

Wheras give me any of the latter three over The Office any day. They actually make me laugh.

I think you're right that the sitcom is changing form. Now, I have no problem with audienceless sitcoms - but I would be *very* upset if the traditional, shot in front of an audience sitcom disappears. And it's looking like they will do, in ten years or so. *Both* forms are equally valid, and each can do things the other can't do. They both deserve to coexist. But I can't see it happening, and that's a great shame.

Spaced wouldn't work shot in front of an audience. But equally, Blackadder wouldn't work shot without one.

By John Hoare [TypeKey Profile Page] on 02-01-06 @ 22:47

It's on More4 again at 10pm tomorrow, or 11pm if you have More4+1. On again after that on the Saturday night.

By Rad on 03-01-06 @ 15:09

I only caught bits of each programme. Which one was Red Dwarf featured in?

By Smeghead2044 on 03-01-06 @ 20:45

Sadly I only caught the last three of the Ultimate Sitcom. I rate Seinfeld over Frasier so I would have put it at number one. Well I've never really enjoyed Frasier (sue me), and Seinfeld is one of my favourite shows of ever ever, along with Ted and...it slips my mind...some wacky show about a robot, a vampire and a guy with an H stuck on his head. The Seinfeld DVD releases are fucking amazing.

Fawlty Towers at number two...I don't know. But I don't agree with people who say it shouldn't be included because it's only 12 episodes. I'd put the first series of I'm Alan Partridge up there and that's only 6 episodes.

By performingmonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] on 03-01-06 @ 22:40

Incidentally, I'm watching Shameless at the moment and it's funnier than most sitcoms. Pure brilliance once again from Paul Abbott.

By performingmonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] on 03-01-06 @ 22:49

> Pure brilliance once again from Paul Abbott.

I'm wrong, he didn't write this.

By performingmonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] on 03-01-06 @ 23:20

Even though I really like the show, I'm very surprised Frasier came top of that poll. It's highly enjoyable, but I don't see what sets it apart from other sitcoms.

If it really is the best then The Ultimate Sitcom should have gone in to more detail about why, because frankly, I'm at a loss here.

By Smeghead2044 on 04-01-06 @ 20:04

"Fawlty Towers at number two...I don't know. But I don't agree with people who say it shouldn't be included because it's only 12 episodes. I'd put the first series of I'm Alan Partridge up there and that's only 6 episodes. "

And I'd say Hyperdrive is better than Red Dwarf and it's only had one episode!

By Dan on 16-01-06 @ 15:27

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