How Have Sitcoms Changed over Time?

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Although ‘Men Behaving Badly' is not that much older than ‘Friends' the more recent episodes of Friends are quite different to the final episodes of M.B.B.
The most obvious difference between the two programmes is the clothes the actors wear and their accents. Of course this is to be expected due to the difference in time and location of filming but also the characters play very different parts. In M.B.B. all the characters are around aged 30 and live in quite a bad part of London and not particularly worried about their sense of fashion; whereas in Friends they live in the centre of New York and most of the characters are always dressed in the latest clothes and some of the narrative revolves around what they are wearing. Fashion is touched upon a lot more in Friends and there is also a lot of talk about stereotyping what men and women are meant to wear. Also most of the actors in Friends are a lot younger than those in M.B.B. and would therefore appeal to the younger generation.

Another difference is the filmic style between the two programmes. As there are a lot more characters in Friends, the two shot is not used as much as in M.B.B. Friends also uses a lot more close-ups because there is a lot more intimacy between the characters. In M.B.B. The preferred type of shot is usually a medium long shot or two shot because there are rarely more than 2 characters in the scene at one time.

The level of complexity of the script is also quite different. M.B.B. is targeted at a slightly older audience and although young people do watch it as well some of the humour in it is quite complex. The characters usually have a lot more to say and humour comes just from the dialogue instead of actions. However, in Friends, a couple of the characters are actually portrayed as being very childlike and the humour is much more slapstick and easy to understand because of this. Also the lines given to the characters are much shorter which means each character has something to say...
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