Extra Credit: Sitcoms

During this cinematheque screening we watched Good Times, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and black-ish.  Each of these television shows focus on an African American family and follow the respective family throughout the show’s entire series.  The shows represented different eras in film in which they were produced and aired on television.  All three series fall under the category of situational comedy.  In other words, they are meant for laughter from its audience.  I enjoy sitcoms a lot because there is not much deep content that needs your full attention.  I find myself multitasking while watching sitcoms to get the occasional laugh.

One of the writers for the show black-ish attended this screening and opened a Q&A at the end.  One of the questions that was asked was how “funny” has transformed through the years (you can see the evolution of this from Good Times to black-ish).  He said that earlier, television shows were more like plays.  For instance, the episode of Good Times was shot entirely in one room.  So, the show was heavily reliant on jokes and the characters since the scenery never changed.  However, as time went on and technology evolved, films became more complex and were able to use different sceneries to help with the context and content.

I had never seen Good Times before, but I watched Fresh Prince of Bel Air when I was younger and currently catch black-ish when it airs on television.  I watched Fresh Prince of Bel Air more often when I was younger, and my favorite part about that show is the theme song.  I am from Philadelphia, so I thought it was so cool that Will Smith’s character was “born and raised” there, too.  In addition, I always appreciate the comedy in black-ish and love watching the show.  The actors and their lines are extremely funny, and I find myself genuinely laughing at it.