Discuss the Defining Generic Characteristics of a Situation Comedy (the Office)

With in-depth reference to a sitcom of your choice, outline and discuss the defining generic characteristics of a situation comedy.

In this essay I will outline and discus the defining characteristics of situation comedy with in-depth reference to The Office.. Both two series will be an analysed but with particular emphasis to series one. Firstly I will look at the history of the British sitcom and identify specific examples and key shows from particular decades.   I will study the generic forms of most sitcoms with detail to character and setting. Most British sitcoms have a theme of entrapment and I will examine three characters from The Office who ultimately comply with this particular idea. I will also look at the representation of class differences and the power structure of the workplace and refer to Gareth Keenan’s longing for power and examine episode two of series one. I will also briefly look at the use of stereotypes within this particular episode. The narrative structure is common within the conventional sitcom and I will look at episode three of series one. Another important convention of the sitcom is the realism involved and I will examine how The Office achieves this to great effect. I will end this essay with my concluding thoughts.   By combining all of this information I hope to formulate a general overview of how The Office adheres to the customary characteristics of a conventional sitcom.

Neale and Krutnik (p10: 1990) states that “…the most striking thing about comedy is the immense variety and range of forms”. From satire to slapstick there are so many variations and different forms of comedy that it’s almost impossible to define the genre.. Casey et al (p29: 2002) state that “perhaps the most popular form of comedy is the sitcom” and the recognition and status of these type of shows have proved extremely successful for nearly half a century. Hancock Half’s Hour appeared on television during the 1950s and proved to be the blueprint for...