Jump to content
IGNORED

Extras


WesT
 Share

Recommended Posts

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?

I'm not talking exclusively about actors - Ardal O'hanlon is the star of My Hero, yet the show is complete tripe. The writing talent and gags behind Father Ted were what reallly made it - not to diminish Ardal O'hanlon, he was fucking amazing in that show, but a crap gag delivered really well is stilll a crap gag.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

What made it funny was that everything they did to make their lives more intereseting was hopeless. They're stuck on that island, surrounded by idiots. They'll die on that island, surrounded by idiots. It had gags, but the underlying pathos is what set it apart from everything else.

It's heartbreaking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not talking exclusively about actors - Ardal O'hanlon is the star of My Hero, yet the show is complete tripe.  The writing talent and gags behind Father Ted were what reallly made it - not to diminish Ardal O'hanlon, he was fucking amazing in that show, but a crap gag delivered really well is stilll a crap gag.

Don't confuse actors with characters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10pm on a Friday? What comedies have done well there?

Friday evenings have been, for as long as I can remember, the big comedy slot. Channel 4 used to pimp the fuck out of it with shows like Friends and Frasier.

Am I wrong?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Friday evenings have been, for as long as I can remember, the big comedy slot.  Channel 4 used to pimp the fuck out of it with shows like Friends and Frasier.

Am I wrong?

Well until a few years ago I wouldn't have been in to find out :wub: Since then I honestly can't think of any.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't confuse actors with characters.

I don't follow you - I'm specifically saying that the writers of a show are mostly responsible for the success of a show, not the actors.

Actors are important, but they don't write the characters or the gags.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't follow you - I'm specifically saying that the writers of a show are mostly responsible for the success of a show, not the actors.

Actors are important, but they don't write the characters or the gags.

Ask any writer what's more important.

The gags or the characters?

That's what we were talking about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would agree that 6 episodes is pretty stingy, by the way.  Anything less than a full series run is just a bit rude to the creators, if nothing else.

The sad fact is that in Britain, 6 episodes is a series, with shows only exceeding that if they're particularly successful or they've got a format that really requires further episodes, like Teachers. Essentially a comedy, its series are around 8-10 episodes.

Red Dwarf, going for ten years or so (from first to last episode) has fifty episodes. Most US shows do that in two years.

Red Dwarf is another fine example (in my opinion) of character based comedy. In the early episodes there are very few "gags". The humour is derived from the banter between the two main characters and how they play off each other. With two different characters (and I think without Chris Barrie too) it wouldn't have worked anywhere near as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ask any writer what's more important.

The gags or the characters?

That's what we were talking about.

the comment you quoted was about actors, not characters, don't get confused!

Anyway, maybe Linkster is right - maybe characters and jokes are intrinsicallly linked as a part of good writing?

A sitcom that isn't funny has failed in its purpose and all the best sitcoms have great characters. Is that a truism?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What made it funny was that everything they did to make their lives more intereseting was hopeless. They're stuck on that island, surrounded by idiots. They'll die on that island, surrounded by idiots. It had gags, but the underlying pathos is what set it apart from everything else.

It's heartbreaking

I think the completely off-the-walll humour is what set it apart - there's nothing like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The actors certainly do make the characters.

Actors do make the characters - but when the character is shit to begin with, there's nothing they can do.

Going back to Father Ted, Dougal and Ted were excellent characters, and brilliantly played by O'Hanlon and Morgan.

Yea, that's exactly what I meant. Like I said, Ardal O'hanlon was excellent in the role of Dougal, but the character was one drawn up by the writers, he didn't 'create' it. Who's to say there aren't 10 other people who could have played it as well?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea, that's exactly what I meant.  Like I said, Ardal O'hanlon was excellent in the role of Dougal, but the character was one drawn up by the writers, he didn't 'create' it.  Who's to say there aren't 10 other people who could have played it as well?

He created the Dogual you know and love. There's a reason why scripts don't include notes on how a character reacts or anything like that. The writer knows that a good performer will take what's on the page and make it his own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He created the Dogual you know and love. There's a reason why scripts don't include notes on how a character reacts or anything like that. The writer knows that a good performer will take what's on the page and make it his own.

It's common to simply put:

JACK REACTS.

To Popo: any comedy writer worth his salt can write gags. Jokes are the meat and potatoes stuff - the way comedy writers make a living. A gag here, a gag there.

Creating great characters takes a lot of time, and a lot of sweat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Six episodes is more than enough to prove yourself. You won't be able to judge any 'cult appeal' in that time, but it's long enough to prove that you can write good scripts and you have solid characters. Fawlty Towers only had twelve episodes in total, for crying out loud, and it defined itself in the first show. Relying on a longer run in order to 'establish characters' or something similar smacks of laziness and hoping that something will 'click' with the audience, e.g. waiting for the audience to come to you. I think the really great material goes to the audience. Six episodes is three hours, which is longer than most films... but then perhaps it's a sign of the times - how many comedy films nowadays have great characters that aren't merely extensions of the actor playing them? That's tantamount to a sitcom in a lot of ways...

Well, that was half-written before lunch and half after, and I'm too full to bother revising it, so it'll have to stand as it is, which is probably confused.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Six episodes is more than enough to prove yourself. You won't be able to judge any 'cult appeal' in that time, but it's long enough to prove that you can write good scripts and you have solid characters. Fawlty Towers only had twelve episodes in total, for crying out loud, and it defined itself in the first show. Relying on a longer run in order to 'establish characters' or something similar smacks of laziness and hoping that something will 'click' with the audience, e.g. waiting for the audience to come to you. I think the really great material goes to the audience. Six episodes is three hours, which is longer than most films... but then perhaps it's a sign of the times - how many comedy films nowadays have great characters that aren't merely extensions of the actor playing them? That's tantamount to a sitcom in a lot of ways...

Well, that was half-written before lunch and half after, and I'm too full to bother revising it, so it'll have to stand as it is, which is probably confused.

You're right. of course, but how many people at the time of watching the first episode of Fawlty Towers on its initial run, instantly recognised it as a classic? Hardly anyone, apparently. It was only when the first series was repeated that it became a "hit". The same was true with The Office. The same may be true again with Extras. At this point, we just don't know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just remember that it does take time to flesh out characters. Red Dwarf went thorugh its first series before it really put some meat on the bones of the characters. It also can take time for actors to find their feet with new characters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The same may be true again with Extras. At this point, we just don't know.

Yeah, as it appears each episode will be self-contained - beyond the normal level of sitcoms, with a guest star each week etc. - they could well pull one or more 'future classics' out of the bag. But I think with Extras that's going to depend almost entirely on the situations rather than the characters... which is in many ways the opposite of The Office. F. Towers scored a hit on both fronts, which is a rarity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're wrong about the six episodes thing. Yes, you can have fantastic comedy with incredibly tight writing - The Office, but I don't think that needing 6 episodes to establish the characters is lazy either. Some characters are more immediate than others. I'm going to keep using Curb Your Enthusiasm as an example which may get tiresome, but it's my favourite at the moment.

It's funny from the off, and you think you get the characters straight away. But by the middle of the first season, whole new layers have been peeled away and that's when it becomes amazing. For instance, one of the funniest jokes I can think of is this:

CHERYL: Larry, do you want to help us stuff some envelopes?

LARRY: ...No.

That's unfunny written down. But acted out, with those two characters, it's hysterical. BUT I can't imagine it being hysterical before I'd seen 6 other episodes with these characters. It's funny because I know them and it's consistent with them.

Blackadder, which is my favourite comedy of all time works best with such a little amount of episodes. It's mostly gags and situations. None of the characters have any real depth to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whereas, I don't think that everyone will be able to relate to the goings-on on a film set, or get a lot of the jokes to do with box-office grosses and the egotistical nature of the movie business.

That was my favourite bit from last night, I think.

Stiller: Why am I doing this? If I give this poor child Dodgeball to watch on DVD, sure, he's going to laugh for one hour and thirty two minutes. But what about after that? Make him watch it again? He could, he'd probably notice some jokes he missed the first time - it's layered, it was made like that - but then what? After the sixth or seventh time - he'll still be laughing, he'll still be laughing, - but, it's not getting to the cause of the problem.

I found most of the show funny, but there were some damp bits that fell flat. The chinese/japanese thing was rubbish, and the shoe thing was mostly just cringeworthy. ("He's the life and sole of the party" was funny though. :D) I'll certainly be watching this every week.

Holds much more promise than Max and Paddy, which was Godawful in places.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shameful. A new low in television comedy. Gervais has nothing new to offer as he is merely playing himself. Using the suffering in Bosnia and physical disability to try to generate laughs merely emphasises a monumental lack of talent. Shame on the BBC for screening it. I gave it a chance. I did watch all of it but it left me feeling unclean! I certainly won't be watching again. The success of The Office, at best it was OK, was merely a flash in the pan. I hope this will be the last we see of him.

Mike Cook, Eastleigh, Hants

Someone wheel in the big rolleyes, I think it's needed here. The BBC Comments Page usually reminds me of a Chris Morris sketch, and this one is no exception!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.