Before you begin reading, please understand that this isn’t even close to being a knock on the greatness of The Office, Outnumbered or The Thick of It. I also don’t want this to seem like a planting of the flag for the good ‘ole days syndrome. Merely a celebration, as The Independent‘s Tim Walker brilliantly writes, of the return of the sitcom or old-school comedy as we’ve come to know it over the years.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been some great new comedies coming to the telly from independents like Hat Trick and Baby Cow, but what seems to have been missing in recent times are the multi-camera sitcoms shot in front of a live, studio audience. Please don’t mention at this point, “….oh, but we have My Family and Two Pints of Lager” neither of which, to me, deserve the long run they’ve enjoyed over the years. We’re talking the likes of Fawlty Towers, Yes Minister and The Good Life, etc.
When The Office crashed on to the scene in 2001, the advent of no studio audience, single-camera, on location comedies were all the rage, and have been for some time. But, there is room for both, which is why the newest breath of fresh air, Miranda, is a definite welcome sight if you’re a fan of good, old-school comedy. Hopefully, her trifecta at the recent British Comedy Awards is a signal of good things to come for comedy output in the not-too-distant future.
**A little tellyspotting quiz to kick off the weekend….what comedy series was the first to use the multi-camera, in front of an audience, studio-based approach to filming? Use the “contact” button at the top of the page to submit your answer. Who knows, there may be a prize in it for the lucky winner.***
Hint: it’s not British….