SITCOM ~ A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community
Book review and technical detail SITCOM ~ A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community Saul Austerlitz
|Technical detail of SITCOM ~ A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community|
|Title||SITCOM ~ A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community|
|Category||Entertainment & Sports|
|Publisher||Chicago Review Press|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
Sitcoms acknowledge America’s alteration reality, writes the columnist in this agog overview of an constant genre. Movie and TV analyzer Austerlitz (Another Fine Mess: A History of American Film Comedy, 2010, etc.) brings his agog assay of American ability to sitcoms, continued the basic of prime time. Each affiliate focuses on a distinct adventure of a accepted show, which launches the author’s analysis into the change of comedy; the talents of stars, producers and writers; and the alteration expectations of viewers. As the columnist sees it, sitcoms emerged in the 1950s as “field guides to the new postwar consensus, an accomplishment to accompanying reflect the lives of their audiences and cautiously beacon their behavior.” The shows acclaimed ancestors activity and domesticity, alike back their capacity were sparring, childless couples, such as Ralph and Alice Kramden in The Honeymooners. Best aboriginal sitcoms featured common white families with calm mothers, accouchement who consistently got into and out of atrocity in bisected an hour, and fathers who did not consistently apperceive best. Those sitcoms, writes the author, “promised abundance and familiarity, the authoritativeness of an abiding present chargeless of all but the best cursory concerns.” In evaluating the genre, Austerlitz sets the bar high: I Love Lucy was brilliant, while Leave it to Beaver was repetitive and alone occasionally funny. Some of his discoveries may abruptness readers: The long-running, award-winning The Dick Van Dyke Show and Cheers were about annulled afterwards their aboriginal seasons; Carl Reiner envisioned Johnny Carson for Van Dyke’s role; the architect of the racist Archie Bunker was “a accustomed advanced humanist.” Roseanne, writes the author, disrupted the abstraction of ball as common abundance zone; Friends offered admirers “a backup family” in the anatomy of a accumulation of confidants; Seinfeld began a trend in which sitcoms spoofed television itself, “undercutting its medium, abusive its traditions and its bond assumptions.” Astute and beginning with information—an absorbing amusement for ball admirers and a admired addition to TV history.
The form is so elemental, so basic, that we have difficulty imagining a time before it existed: a single set, fixed cameras, canned laughter, zany sidekicks, quirky family antics. Obsessively watched and critically ignored, sitcoms were a distraction, a gentle lullaby of a kinder, gentler America—until suddenly the artificial boundary between the world and television entertainment collapsed. In this book we can watch the growth of the sitcom, following the path that leads from Lucy to The Phil Silvers Show; from The Dick Van Dyke Show to The Mary Tyler Moore Show; from M*A*S*H to Taxi; from Cheers to Roseanne; from Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm; and from The Larry Sanders Show to 30 Rock. In twenty-four episodes, Sitcom surveys the history of the form, and functions as both a TV mixtape of fondly remembered shows that will guide us to notable series and larger trends, and a carefully curated guided tour through the history of one of our most treasured art forms.
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