Sitcom Plots - Origins?

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Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby shrff » Mon 20 Sep, 2004 04:37 pm

Several years ago on a Christmas trip home from school, I watched over 24 hours of Leave it to Beaver episodes. I was somewhat shocked to see many, many plots which have been rehashed in sitcoms both today and in the interim. This got me thinking, "Where did all of these sitcom ideas come from?" Did the Leave it to Beaver guys come up with them, or did they steal them from somebody else, possibly from radio?

Another program I've seen with several now-rehashed plotlines is I Love Lucy. There may be others.

At any rate, I thought it would be fun to post well-worn sitcom plots and the shows that you've seen use them -- particularly the earliest examples. Let's see how it goes. I'll begin...
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In-Laws come to visit

Postby shrff » Mon 20 Sep, 2004 04:52 pm

It seems as though every program that features married people has an episode where the in-laws of one spouse come to visit, who consequently promote hilarity, tension, and misunderstanding. The earliest instance of this that I could find is episode 105 of I love Lucy, in which Ricky's Spanish speaking mother comes to visit creating problems with Lucy.

This particular device could be a simply commentary on the tension between a spouse and his/her in-laws prevalent in many American households, where independence is both encouraged and resented.

Nearly every modern sitcom has a few of these episodes. Who can forget the wedding of Ross and Emily in Friends episodes 4.23 and 4.24. I'm sure many additional examples are out there.
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Postby Sharifa » Mon 20 Sep, 2004 10:11 pm

I don't know about early examples of this, but it seems that many sitcoms have a childbirth episode. Occasionally the baby is born in a hospital, but it seems like often the main characters of the show end up helping some pregnant woman give birth in a random place like an elevator or an isolated farmhouse.

I also think it's funny that the newborn babies in these shows are often clearly a few months old.

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Postby Momma Snider » Tue 21 Sep, 2004 09:17 am

And the man always forgets the woman's birthday or their anniversary. I'm always sitting there yelling, "If you think he's going to forget, REMIND HIM!" It's like she wants to set a trap for him, hoping he'll forget so she can get mad. I hate that.

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Postby WiseNLucky » Fri 21 Oct, 2005 02:03 pm

Huh?
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Postby wilkster1 » Fri 21 Oct, 2005 02:25 pm

I think that must be message board spam?
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Postby Momma Snider » Sat 22 Oct, 2005 12:21 pm

That was funny, that the Meridia spam came right after my last post on this thread. It's like the spam master looked for a fat person's post.

Ha ha! I'll see your Meridia and raise you an Adipex!

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 07 Apr, 2014 03:43 pm

By looking at this thread, I now can remember when I had my foot tumor removed (2004) and took Adipex for a while and lost 35 lbs. in 2005. Gained some of those pounds back, of course, but not nearly all of them. That was a long time ago!

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby SDR » Mon 07 Apr, 2014 04:57 pm

It's the Way Back Machine! :)

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby Momma Snider » Tue 08 Apr, 2014 08:21 am

This really had potential to be an interesting thread, if it had kept going.

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby Momma Snider » Tue 22 Apr, 2014 03:21 pm

We watched an episode of Monk the other night, and I remembered one of my favorite things about the general plot of the show. Every time Monk comes up with an answer and tells it to the Captain, you're thinking that in any normal show, the Captain wouldn't believe him and there would be several minutes of frustration as the bad guy gets away (temporarily) because no one would believe him. But Captain Stottlemier always DOES believe him, and all is well. I like that.

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby SDR » Tue 22 Apr, 2014 03:49 pm

I really liked Monk. Speaking of which, I don't know if you watched Psych, the comedy drama that played its first few years while Monk's last few were playing out. Anyway, it just wrapped up its eight season run about a month ago.

Spoiler follows:

In the finale, Shawn, the main character, moves to San Francisco to be with his girlfriend. As he shows up at a crime scene with a body, he tries to get his old boss, the new chief, to hire him as a consultant. He is told "we already have a consultant; he's in the kitchen alphabetizing the spices" (or something very nearly that). I laughed and laughed and laughed! Too bad Monk didn't put in an actual cameo, that would have made it even better.

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby Momma Snider » Tue 22 Apr, 2014 09:38 pm

I did watch Psych, but haven't for the last season or two, for some reason. I will have to make sure to watch at least the last few episodes. That "spoiler" sounds awesome!

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby SDR » Tue 22 Apr, 2014 09:53 pm

I watched a lot of Psych the first few seasons, then got out of the habit for some reason. Binge watched everything from the beginning about half way through season 7 then stayed current with it for the rest of the run.

I will say that even though I still enjoyed Psych until the end, it really seemed to peak about midway through season 7. I still enjoyed it, but it wasn't quite as good toward the end. Still better than at least 90% of what's out there, though.

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby GenAdFemale » Wed 23 Apr, 2014 08:33 am

SDR!!! I TOTALLY DID NOT GET THAT! I even remember the line spoken by the chief, though! I did wonder why she mentioned that the consultant was alphabetizing the spices! Now I know why! HAHAHAHA!

Yeah, I don't pick up on subtle clues.

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby Momma Snider » Wed 23 Apr, 2014 08:50 am

I don't know if I'd have gotten it or not. I completely missed the lilies of the valley plant in Breaking Bad, which proved exactly who had poisoned the little boy, and that was a big thing. I tend to be doing something on my computer while I watch TV, so I miss a few things here and there.

We've just started watching Murdock Mysteries on Netflix. I hadn't ever heard of it, but someone on Facebook was talking about it. (Actually, he's one who posts every single day what he had for dinner, that he went to the gym or didn't, and what he watched on TV. Boring posts, but that's how I learned about this show.) It's a Canadian show about a police detective in the 1890s who solves crimes by using more modern forensic methods.

We're also watching Fargo, but waiting a week between episodes is for suckers, so I think we're going to let a few build up on the DVR before we watch any more. We don't really binge watch, as in hours at a time, but we like to watch the same show nearly every night for a while. (And by "we," I mean "the man with the remote." I watch what he watches.)

After our daughter who is in Criminal Forensics school visited, we watched lots of shows about killers and solving murders, the real stories. Those get a little depressing to me after a while, though.
Last edited by Momma Snider on Wed 23 Apr, 2014 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby GenAdFemale » Wed 23 Apr, 2014 10:52 am

I watched Fargo for the first time last night. I can't get over Martin Freeman not being Watson. Also, I would like to state for the record, that the accents used in Fargo sound more like Chicago accents than my beloved Minnesota accents. And we aren't all that passive. Holy Lutefisk, nobody argued! But yes, Sorrel boots in a jumble, snow melting off them in the entryway is a common sight.

I'll have to give it a few more viewings before I decide yes or no on watching it. I might not be able to get over the accent thing. It's just too wrong.

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby Momma Snider » Wed 23 Apr, 2014 11:21 am

That's good to know. I have noticed the little accents they throw in there, but had no real way of knowing if they were authentic.

One of the reasons we started watching it is because we loved the movie, but the thing we liked most about it was that since we watched it on regular TV, the language was cleaned up, but not just bleeped or exchanged for common replacements. Instead they made really funny replacements that kind of matched the lips, like "melon farmer." Totally wrong of us to even KNOW the real bad words, of course, much less laugh at their replacements, but there it is. :)

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Re: Sitcom Plots - Origins?

Postby GenAdFemale » Wed 23 Apr, 2014 02:52 pm

One interesting thing about Fargo (the tv show) is that Noah Hawley is a writer/producer and maybe other things for the show and I want to know if I'm related to him. Hawley is my maiden name and I'm pretty sure I'm at least a distant relation. So I kinda watch just in case he is.


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