Situation Comedy Essay

This essay has a total of 784 words and 4 pages.

Situation Comedy




Situation Comedy
Before writing this essay, I watched a old re-run of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, and I
read the chapter in the television textbook where a episode of “Leave It to Beaver” was
broken down into Act One, Act Two, Act Three and Act Four. It was there that I realized
that since 1951, with the premiere of “I Love Lucy”, that most sitcoms follow a very
basic, but successful pattern. I will demonstrate how this is accomplished in the sitcom
week in and week out. The first act must establish the situation in the show. The second
act must show the complication involved in the particular episode. The third act must
show the confusion the actors or actresses go through, and the fourth must have the
solution for the complication and the confusion.

In the first few minutes of a sitcom, the viewer will be shown something that catches
their eyes. In most cases, that will establish the situation for which the episode will
be based on. For example, in “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” we see that the shows main
character, Will, gets slapped in the face by a beautiful woman, who at first hugged him.
The show then cuts to a commercial having established the situation and knowing that the
audience is putting down the remote control and waiting to find out why Will got slapped.
In the television textbook, Wally and the Beav agree to take care of a neighbor valuable
cat against the advice of their father, Ward, who thinks about what will happen while the
cat is under their care. That sets up the situation where the audience knows something is
going to happen to the cat but doesn’t know what. So the audience will remain glued to
that episode of “Leave It to Beaver” until they find out what going to happen.

After the commercial break, the audience will see the complication in that episode. In the
“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, Will finds out that Jackie (the female character) slapped him
because he never called her after he left Philadelphia. Adding to that conflict, Will and
Carlton are evicted from their apartment because of a party that was thrown by Will’s
friend Jazz. In the television textbook, a friend talks Wally into going to the carnival
and leaving the cat with the Beav. On his way out, Wally leaves the yard gate open and
the cat disappears. After the Beav and Wally’s search ends up fruitless, the boys try to
figure out a plan to disguise the real reason the cat is gone for their parents sense
something is not right.

After yet another commercial break, act four will begin. As I stated earlier, act three
is confusion. In “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, Jackie is confused and upset when she finds
out that Will had kept up with all his old friends from Philadelphia except for her.
Carlton also adds to Will’s problems when he decides to move back home and not to another
apartment. Will does not want to move back and is in a bind because he can not afford a
apartment by himself. In the television textbook the example that is given for confusion
is that Ward and June (the parents) realize that the cat is missing and they confront the
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