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February 1995, Week 2


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John McInnes <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 10 Feb 1995 17:23:43 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
On Wed, 8 Feb 1995, Matt McAllister wrote:
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> I've been noticing
> for awhile now, in my opinion, that comedy is much better on TV than at the
> movies.
I agree, and I offer that one major factor in this equation is the
quasi-serial nature of sitcoms:  they can slowly build a "joke thread"
which may reach fruition several weeks down the line.  SEINFELD is a
prime example here, as are ROSEANNE and THE SIMPSONS.  The downside to
this phenomenon, however, is the outright repetition of jokes, a la
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.  The three former programs also share a strength in
that they derive humor from toying with the enduring conventions of the
sitcom form, while cinematic humor lacks a rigorous formula which can be
similarly subverted.  Just out of curiosity, does anyone out there
*disagree* with Matt's statement?
                                John McInnes
                                University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign