I love sitcoms but I don't have a great sense of their history. These are my thoughts while I work through a few classic sitcoms from the '70s to the present.
Friday, 6 April 2012
Roseanne and Archer
It might have just been on my mind because the season just finished a couple of weeks ago, but the progress of Roseanne over its first three seasons is actually reminding me a bit of how Archer's been developing. The two shows are about as different as sitcoms get, but seem to be guided by similar goals, both in storytelling and characterization. Season 1 of both shows had good ideas that were often not executed as well as they should've been, and season 2 remedied this by looking deep into each character in order to determine their motivations and personalities. Both shows' second seasons were about equally divided into meaningful, character-based episodes and sillier ensemble-based ones (though still better than the examples of which offered in season 1). Season 3, then, sees both shows getting into a great, confident groove. I would give nods to both second seasons first (though I'm only just under halfway through Roseanne season 3), but there's no denying the sheer consistency of each show's third season. Roseanne has so far delivered ten absolutely hilarious episodes in its third season, and though it's spent less time exploring the relationships between its characters, every other aspect has been tightened considerably, turning the show into a well-oiled sitcom machine. I miss the more dramatic moments of season 2 (just like I've been missing the character-based episodes of Archer this year), but the fact that it's getting better and better at doing "normal" episodes makes the whole show much more enjoyable to watch. When a sitcom has earned a sense of confidence, there's nothing quite like it.