Do's and don'ts of successful British comedy

Whether you’re a budding sitcom writer searching for that next great idea or you’ve a viewer that has enjoyed British comedy for many years wondering just what it is that keeps you coming back week after week, there is hope on the horizon that could solve both your issues.

The folks over at leave the world of technology news and gadget reviews for a bit and enter the world of sitcom writing with a pretty simple, but comprehensive list of the do’s and don’ts for successful sitcom writing, which can also double as a viewer checklist as you become your own critic for that next potential “must see” series.

Many of the do’s and don’ts fall into to the “duh” factor pile, are pretty self-explanatory and not really earth-shattering. But, of particular interest to me was the subtle inclusion on the “don’t” list that could also be listed on the “do” list and that’s “DO know when to quit“. The list points to Fawlty Towers and The Office as shining examples of perfection. Unfortunately, many American sitcoms seem to had this page torn from their playbook.

Fortunately, for viewers on both sides of the pond, British comedy seems to adhere not only to the above point, but also to the “DO constantly push boundaries” point to a much greater degree. For this, I need point no further than to Coupling. **FYI***, this is where you try to convince me that Coupling is merely the British version of Friends. You can try, but to me, not even in the same league as Coupling surpasses its American counterpart with superior writing and production, hands down.

Next time you’re settled in for your favorite Britcom or sitcom, think of the do’s and don’ts list and e-mail me your thoughts and we’ll start posting reader reviews as they come in. You can e-mail your review to

In: Comedy