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Showing posts from April, 2017

"Mom", "The Ranch", and the Dawn of Dark Sitcoms

No multi-camera comedy series has won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series since Everybody Loves Raymond in 2005. Although multi-camera was once the dominant format for television sitcoms, the acclaim and popularity of shows such as Arrested Development, The Office, 30 Rock, and Veep have heralded the rise of single-camera as the most celebrated form of TV comedy in the 21st century. One of the virtues of this format is the ease with which shows can add more dramatic elements without completely offsetting the tone. Shows such as Sex and the City, Scrubs, Nurse Jackie, Louie, and Transparent have all mixed comedy with more serious or darker plot lines and have been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series for their efforts. For multiple reasons, a traditional multi-cam sitcom cannot simply attempt darker material and expect the same praise. Firstly, when every joke is followed by booming laughter, either from a laugh track or a studio audience, any plot that does not end with a punch…