Description: Situation comedies, or sitcoms, are among the most common forms of television programming. While other genres also appear in fiction and film, sitcoms are, for the most part, unique to television. For this paper, you will be examining a sitcom of your choice,examining how it fits into the four stages of sitcom development that we have discussed in class. Is it part of the Foundational, Classic, Mean, or Meta stages? Why? How is it similar to the examples provided in class? Is the series doing anything to stand out from other similar sitcoms? How is it innovative? How was it influenced by other sitcoms in the same stage or even other stages of development? (These are questions to get you thinking; do not feel like or try to answer all of them in your paper.) You might decide that your sitcom is a perfect example of one of the stages, or you might come to the conclusion that it mostly fits the Classic stage but also includes some characteristics of the Meta stage. No matter what you decide, you need to make sure that you have a clear and definitive argument that states this position. Focus on theONEmost important reason why youve come to this conclusion. (Make sure that youre thinking about the central characteristics of each stage, especially the ones youll be writing about in your paper.) Then, of course, youll need to support that argument with your analysis, including some specific references to the show. You will probably want to watch a few episodes of your sitcom very closely so that you can develop some concrete examples to support your ideas. When youre thinking about which sitcom you should use, you should keep in mind that were generally talking about hour programs aired on a network, a cable channel, or streaming service. Also, were basically looking for series that are meant to be funny. Sitcoms should be narrative, so you cant useLate Night with Stephen Colbertor other similar talk shows. Sketch comedy shows likeSaturday Night Livewould also not work for this assignment. Narrative animation that functions as a sitcom, likeThe SimpsonsorBobs Burgers, would qualify for this assignment (although it might be more difficult to write about).Your sitcom should be an American show, or something widely available in the US.You cannot write about any series that we have used for examples in class:I Love Lucy,The Mary Tyler Moore Show,Cheers,Seinfeld,Community,orWandaVision. If you have questions about whether a particular series will work for the assignment, dont hesitate to ask me about it. Sitcoms are available on every streaming service; if you dont have any of those, websites/apps like Peacock, Tubi, and Pluto TV all have a variety of sitcoms to choose from. Feel free to choose an older sitcom, or something that is very contemporary. You shouldnt need to do any research for the paper, but if you need to check on characters names, the website imdb.com is always useful. The paper needs to beyouranalysis, not a report about the show, but you will need to include a brief overview or description of your series in the paper. (This shouldnt be longer than a paragraph.)
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