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I thought it was really unfunny. The only good jokes were the ones delivered by Gervais and even they were few and far between (and hell, not even that funny either).

The show on after it was terrible! The BBC keep putting rubbish like that and wank sitcoms like Superdad (the one with Dougal from Father Ted on it) on prime time for some reason.

Baffling.

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I couldn't see any difference between the new character and Brent, to be honest - the 'yellow people' part, the 'casual' pointing out of the big shoe, the confrontation with Stiller at the end, the gift voucher, the film buff bluffing - these all seemed like Brent in the movie business. Some of them were funny, certainly - "I love all the number movies" was great - but it was a little too 'weird' for me to fully enjoy - too much of a sense of the character being 'transplanted'. I don't rate Ben Stiller either, so that didn't help. But it deserves to be given a few weeks to establish itself...

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Simply put, the BBC need to be making more sitcoms, and most should get a full two series to build themselves properly.

The British thing of "6 episodes, fly or die" is madness.

Hmm, I don't see why a sitcom would need to "build itself" over a whole 2 series (assuming, what, 12 episodes per series?). A sitcom isn't like a drama, where there's a critical storyline - it's either funny or it isn't, right?

The BBC just seem to be really bad at identifying new comedic talent.

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Gervais cleverly giving Brent-like lines to everyone who isn't him, Stiller seemed to be a Brent-a-like this time round. 

Ah, someone else noticed. Watch the Stiller character's monologue (at the beginning) again and you can see him more or less mimicking the way Gervais/Brent would deliver it.

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Gervais is overrated. Bigstyle. The office was....mildly amusing, and having watched a bit of extras I was bored within 5 minutes.

There would be nothing I would love more than to see gervais get his lardy, smug little face hit with a very hard blunt object and then bummed in the gob....

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Hmm, I don't see why a sitcom would need to "build itself" over a whole 2 series (assuming, what, 12 episodes per series?).  A sitcom isn't like a drama, where there's a critical storyline - it's either funny or it isn't, right?

The BBC just seem to be really bad at identifying new comedic talent.

Sitcoms need time to build more than any other type of series, if you ask me- they need time to settle into the characters and the situation before they start to get really good. And the audience need to get used to it, as well. Look at, say, Father Ted- the first series of that died on its arse. It was only after the repeats and the second series that it really took off. The same goes for the Mighty Boosh- most people HATE the Boosh initially. It's only after it's been given time to grow on you that people start to really love it.

That's why it's such a crying shame that Darkplace didn't get a second series- not many people watched it when it was on, but the word of mouth has absolutely snowballed since it was on. A second series would be an order of magnitude more popular, I'm sure of it.

Meanwhile, Rob Rouse, Justin Lee Collins and Leigh Francis aren't exactly short of work.

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Hmm, I don't see why a sitcom would need to "build itself" over a whole 2 series (assuming, what, 12 episodes per series?).  A sitcom isn't like a drama, where there's a critical storyline - it's either funny or it isn't, right?

The BBC just seem to be really bad at identifying new comedic talent.

Good sitcoms are all about characters.

Characters need time to grow.

Also: The BBC are the best, bar none, at identifying new talent.

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Good sitcoms are all about characters.

Characters need time to grow.

Also: The BBC are the best, bar none, at identifying new talent.

Can't say I agree; good sitcoms are all about jokes - characters are important, but a good sitcom needs to be funny first and foremost.

Obviously you've worked with the BBC, but as a viewer I've not really seen much evidence of successful talent scouting - the sort of stuff they put on at prime time, like Superdad, Extras and even Little Britain, are a poor cross-section of British talent.

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Can't say I agree; good sitcoms are all about jokes - characters are important, but a good sitcom needs to be funny first and foremost.

Obviously you've worked with the BBC, but as a viewer I've not really seen much evidence of successful talent scouting - the sort of stuff they put on at prime time, like Superdad, Extras and even Little Britain, are a poor cross-section of British talent.

But these things are massively popular.

I haven't met anyone in the BBC who likes My Hero, but millions and millions of license payers do.

Gervais is a great talent, to be fair. And as much as Little Britain isn't my cup of tea, the guys worked for about 10 years before they made it, just doing bits and pieces in all sorts of stuff.

EDIT: And maybe we differ on the "good sitcom" thing. Do you like Friends? Plenty of "jokes" in there. Not one character of any note.

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Can't say I agree; good sitcoms are all about jokes - characters are important, but a good sitcom needs to be funny first and foremost.

You can hardly separate the two. Look at scripts for something like I'm Alan Partridge or try saying the lines yourself to someone who hasn't seen it down the pub and see if they're remotely funny.

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D'oh, yea the show I'm talking about is indeed called My Hero.

You sort of lead me to a hypoethesis me and a friend came up with a while back - that popular BBC sitcoms are intrinsically middle-English, which is why we always hate them, yet they seem to be popular enough to continue to thrive.

The Office being a prime example.

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If I remember correctly, Seinfeld, Cheers and Fraiser held disapointing viewing figures for their first few episodes. Now look.

British TV is much more patient with it's sitcoms than US broadcasters though. How else can you explain that Coupling has done something like 4 series, and in the states it's version lasted 3 episodes.

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Look at something like Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm. A lot of the jokes on those only work once we know the characters. Biglime's right - 6 episodes a season is fucking madness.

Edit: And the best comedies are drama. Comedy is tragedy, remember.

It's an impossible thing to escape, though, the 6 episode thing.

Not only that, but often a sitcom doesn't appear at all unless an unbroadcasted pilot has been approved by ONE PERSON.

A sitcom getting on TV at all is a remarkable achievement these days. At the very least, they should get a decent run when they do get on there - they've had to jump through all sorts of hoops beforehand, after all.

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If I remember correctly, Seinfeld, Cheers and Fraiser held disapointing viewing figures for their first few episodes. Now look.

British TV is much more patient with it's sitcoms than US broadcasters. How else can you explain that Coupling has done something like 4 series, and in the states it's version lasted 3 episodes.

English, you mean. Otherwise Still Game would be on BBC1 prime time. It's been treated absolutely shamefully.

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English, you mean. Otherwise Still Game would be on BBC1 prime time. It's been treated absolutely shamefully.

It is going network this series, though. Who knows what kind of slot it will get.

Scottish comedies always get given shit slots by London.

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You can hardly separate the two. Look at scripts for something like I'm Alan Partridge or try saying the lines yourself to someone who hasn't seen it down the pub and see if they're remotely funny.

Well, take the Simpsons as an example - painfully funny in its heyday, when the jokes were all satire and social commentary, terrible now while they rely on character in-jokes. Fair enough, great jokes can be made through developed characters, but a well written sitcom can be funny without having to rely on that - Father Ted got funnier the further into the run it got, but the first series was hilarious without needing the characters to be set in the social consciousness.

Alan Partridge is funny because everyone knows someone like that, I'd say it's more a social commentary.

Look at something like Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm. A lot of the jokes on those only work once we know the characters. Biglime's right - 6 episodes a season is fucking madness.

Edit: And the best comedies are drama. Comedy is tragedy, remember.

CYE's first 6 episodes were brilliant though - the jokes were all there, the jokes *made* the characters.

Father Ted is my all-time favourite sitcom and there was never anything dramatic about it :wub:

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It is going network this series, though. Who knows what kind of slot it will get.

Scottish comedies always get given shit slots by London.

So it only took five years :wub:

I don't think there's anything stopping this getting networked. It's been brilliant since series 2. Maybe it's not 'Scottish' enough. If they'd both worn string vests, been permanently drunk & carried a newspaper I'm sure they'd have been networked from the outset...

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So it only took five years  :wub:

I don't think there's anything stopping this getting networked. It's been brilliant since series 2. Maybe it's not 'Scottish' enough. If they'd both worn string vests, been permanently drunk & carried a newspaper I'm sure they'd have been networked from the outset...

I know exactly what the problem was.

The London commissioning body felt that the characters were "unbelievable" and didn't buy the concept of the show, because it was "clearly young men in wigs."

That's the sorry truth.

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Well, take the Simpsons as an example - painfully funny in its heyday, when the jokes were all satire and social commentary, terrible now while they rely on character in-jokes.  Fair enough, great jokes can be made through developed characters, but a well written sitcom can be funny without having to rely on that - Father Ted got funnier the further into the run it got, but the first series was hilarious without needing the characters to be set in the social consciousness.

Alan Partridge is funny because everyone knows someone like that, I'd say it's more a social commentary.

You're missing the point though. Practically ANYONE can tell a really great joke if they get the words in order. Only a great actor can make the banal funny. Seriously, most of Father Ted's gags would sound hopeless from anyone else. "Ted, Ted. Would you like a peanut?". See?

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Most sitcoms have got either a top notch script nower days (Nathan Barley, Peep Show, The Office) or have a big name attached (Shane, Monster). You either have to be very talented and have luck on your side, or be famous anyway.

I can't believe you included Barley there.

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The new series of Still Game is scheduled for 10pm tonight on BBC2 down here in the London area.

That's a sweet slot.

The best thing about it is that all of this now means that it's BBC London who pay to make the show.

It frees up money for more comedy to be made up here.

Everybody wins.

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