16 February, 2008

"The Revival of the Audience Sitcom"

Writers' Guild of Great Britain:

"...all the panellists agreed that character was the most important single factor.

“When you first read a script, the jokes are the least important thing,” Ian Brown insisted. “You can add those in later. But there have to be characters you want to spend time with, even if they’re not likeable.”

Charlie Hanson added that you also need believability and a good premise, and Lucy Lumsden summed up what she looked for as “familiarity but also saying something new.”

For Beryl Vertue the key is, again, characters and relationships and “an idea you think will last and sustain several series.” She also mentioned that visual comedy was often under-used – surprising when you think how many of the great sitcom moments (from the chandelier crash in Only Fools And Horses to Victor Meldrew picking up a dog instead of a phone) are purely visual comedy."

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