There are some plots, settings or situations that appear again and again in sitcom. We all know that, nothing new under the sun, etcetera. Vast rolling swathes of the Internet are devoted to classifying ‘tropes’ to the point where ‘troping’ has really ‘jumped the Potsie’. This is just the beginning of a personal list that I’ll be returning to as the mood and the bile takes me. These aren’t writing rules or tips, more a public record of things I find tiresome so that if I’m ever guilty of them someone out there can call me on it. Of course if I am making these mistakes it means one of my sitcoms will have got off the ground so I’ll probably be all like whatevs and shit, kiss my Radio Times cover.
1. NO MORE FANCY DRESS PARTIES
Ha ha, everyone’s dressed differently – often in a way that is somehow at odds with their personality! Free joke per character. Lazy. If you have to do a fancy dress party, do it from the third series onwards when you’ve earned it.
The other irritating thing about sitcom fancy dress parties is the quality of the costumes. Real fancy dress parties are marked by one thing – most of the costumes are crap. Look at those pap photos of footballers going to fancy dress parties. They’re millionaires and most of them couldn’t even throw together a passable Iron Man. Sitcom fancy dress parties, though, are dressed by the costume department. They have style, they have a visual sense, they have a budget – real fancy dress partygoers have none of these things. No one in real life has ever thrown together a photo realistic lobster costume but every sodding sitcom party has one. Stop it.
2. NO MORE STRIP CLUBS
Gender power and politics aside, sitcom strip clubs are just so tedious. It’s always that same mimsy shot of a stripper’s legs, not showing anything naughty, then a comical reaction from Lee Mack to show her bra’s come off. Yawn. Stop it.
3. NO MORE ‘TO BE CONTINUED’S
To Be Continued…