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March 18, 2009 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Sitcom Maps from DanMeth.com
posted by blue_beetle (45 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
via
posted by blue_beetle at 2:26 PM on March 18, 2009


Seems to have a pretty loose definition of sit-com, but otherwise neat.
posted by owtytrof at 2:27 PM on March 18, 2009


How they can forget the Bob Newhart show in Chicago is beyond me.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:35 PM on March 18, 2009


Is this something someone would need to own a T.V. to care about?
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:35 PM on March 18, 2009


I did something similar when I was nine or ten years old except

This shows a number of things:
  1. I was a child ahead of my time.
  2. I was a very lonely child.
  3. I would have been a much less lonely child if I'd had the Internet.
Countdown til people start posting about how cool they are for not having TVs in 3, 2, 1...
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:37 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh hey! I was just admiring this guy's blog. Some fun stuff there!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:39 PM on March 18, 2009


Gunsmoke was so much better once it ditched the laugh track.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:44 PM on March 18, 2009


Twin Peaks was a sitcom? That could explain a lot.
posted by longsleeves at 2:50 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I won't watch a sitcom that doesn't have a laugh track. Scrubs, Arrested Development, My Name is Earl: bite me. This is not the America I grew up in. The only exception I make is for "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which is ab libbed by people who have the pace of a laugh-tracked sitcom in their blood and semen.
posted by Faze at 2:51 PM on March 18, 2009


There is no 704 Howser Street in Astoria. If you were wondering. Now stifle yourselves.
posted by jonmc at 2:57 PM on March 18, 2009


Greys Anatomy is a sitcom? The only thing comedic about that situation is that people enjoy that shit.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:59 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Okay, this sitcom house thing is beautiful synthesis of geeky and stupid.
posted by crossoverman at 3:02 PM on March 18, 2009


There is no 704 Howser Street in Astoria. If you were wondering. Now stifle yourselves.

Did you try spelling it Hauser?

I believe they said it's off Northern Blvd.

Once I think they mentioned a Rexall store on the corner.

...

Anything?

No?
posted by evilcolonel at 3:04 PM on March 18, 2009


Ha. Sanford and Sun.

I'll be traveling to Los Angeles this weekend, and I said to my wife, "I think they have a subway now." Then I realized that maybe they've had one for a long time, since my knowledge of the lack of a subway comes from Sanford and Son. The next day at work, I mentioned the LA subway, and a coworker said, "They have a subway now?" I said, "Yeah, I didn't think they did either, but I was basing that on Sanford and Son." Turns out, his subway disbelief was also based on Sanford and Son, but a different episode.

Mine: Clueless white couple stops by, asking how to get to the subway. Fred says, "Head east."

His: Clueless white couple are thinking about buying Fred's house, and there's an earthquake. They say, "What was that?" and Fred says, "The Watts subway."
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 3:15 PM on March 18, 2009


Hmm. Charles in Charge is actually set in New Jersey. New Brunswick, specifically--which I would only consider "the suburbs of new york" by a long stretch of the imagination.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:15 PM on March 18, 2009


What these all have in common is not a genre, but how they are shot.
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:15 PM on March 18, 2009


Wait, not even that is right! The only thing in common is that they are all staged similarly.
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:17 PM on March 18, 2009


I won't watch a sitcom that doesn't have a laugh track...

Eesh, really? Precise opposite here. Seinfeld is my sole exception; it's the only show with a laugh track that I can tolerate (which, I suppose makes sense. It being the pinnacle of its form and all). In fact, I cannot watch shows I otherwise enjoy if they have a laugh track; 'Sports Night' in syndication added a laugh track, which made it unbearable.
posted by youarenothere at 3:18 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


How they can forget the Bob Newhart show in Chicago is beyond me.

Well, true. The Bob Newhart Show (1982 - 1978) took place in Chicago, while Newhart (1982 - 1990) took place in Vermont (as noted on the map).
posted by ericb at 3:26 PM on March 18, 2009


And "The Last Newhart" is one of the best series finales ever, tying the two series together.
Final scene [10:32].

Bob Newhart on "The Last Newhart" [03:06].
posted by ericb at 3:30 PM on March 18, 2009


Anything?

No?


No. And the House at the beginning is actually in Glendale, which is a while away.
posted by jonmc at 3:31 PM on March 18, 2009


The final word on laugh tracks: "The IT Crowd" (best sitcom of the 21st century so far) has a laugh track. A laugh track enforces a certain salutory comedic discipline. Without gags, a sitcom just quirky characters.
posted by Faze at 3:34 PM on March 18, 2009


Hasn't somebody figured out where Springfield really is yet? They should tell this guy...
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:43 PM on March 18, 2009


The IT Crowd is pretty lame and cheesy, to be honest. Though I laughed like hell at the first few episodes of the first series.
posted by empath at 3:45 PM on March 18, 2009


Hasn't somebody figured out where Springfield really is yet? They should tell this guy...

Yeah ... it's in Vermont!
posted by ericb at 3:49 PM on March 18, 2009


Hasn't somebody figured out where Springfield really is yet?
Homer's driver's license says "Springfield, NT".

In one of the official guide books to the various episodes ("Simpsons Forever" or something like that), Groening et al say that "NT" stands for "North Tacoma".
posted by Flunkie at 3:54 PM on March 18, 2009


As I work my way through M*A*S*H on DVD at the moment (see this project), I find the laugh track in the early seasons to be unbearably awful. I'm glad they got rid of it for the later seasons.

Laugh tracks in general are fairly annoying though. It's like the show is trying to tell us that something you just saw/heard is funny, so laugh along if you're not already. As far as comedy goes, that's just lazy. If something is genuinely funny, it should be funny om its own merits, not because an audio indicator told you it was funny.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:54 PM on March 18, 2009


I thought The IT Crowd was filmed before a live audience. In fact, I thought that was the whole point of The IT Crowd, to prove that a sitcom still could be filmed before a live audience in the post-Cosby world.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:55 PM on March 18, 2009


OK I might be a UKian of a certain age but isn't the US:

Starsky and Hutch.... Dukes of Hazard/Deliverance.... Kojak.

What? It's more complicated than that?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:04 PM on March 18, 2009


Lafftrax are great for immigrant children who have no idea what the host culture finds funny. At least, this is what I gathered from my little sister watching TV. Her sense of humor is still a bit off.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:12 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm from Springfield, Vermont! The Simpsons festival is the ONLY awesome thing to ever happen there. Seriously.

And now you can't even WATCH a movie in Springfield, VT because the movie theatre was BURNED DOWN by an 18 year old kid who got bored. Yeah, he got bored and lit his apartment on fire... above the movie theatre. Which is now destroyed. So, if there was a showing of the Simpsons movie, the nearest theatre is now across the river in New Hampshire.

The donut statue was spared as it had been moved to the Chamber of Commerce for reasons that I still can't fathom.

When I lived in Germany, people would ask me the name the town where I lived in Vermont, and I would tell them I was from Springfield. Which would then lead to "Ah! Wie Homer Simpson!"

I then had to explain that the reason it was funny is that there are 38 Springfields in the US. Saying he's from "Springfield" is like saying he's from anywhere, and no, there is no nuclear power plant in my town, and no, I've never been chased by Monty Burns' hounds.

We do have a prison though. When it was built is when I started saying "I'm from Southern Vermont" or "I was born in Brattleboro" when people asked me where in Vermont I'm from. The Simpsons made it ok again to say "I'M FROM SPRINGFIELD, BITCHEZ."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:22 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Louisiana is sadly blank. Maybe it isn't really a sitcom, but Frank's Place was set in New Orleans. I only remember one episode, but it was pretty funny - a huge feud about the secret ingredient in the bread pudding. (Spoiler: it was bananas. I remember thinking that was a great idea, and made a mental note to try that next time I made bread pudding. The show went off the air in 1988 and I still haven't made any bread pudding. But some day ...)
posted by Quietgal at 4:58 PM on March 18, 2009


Louisiana is sadly blank. Maybe it isn't really a sitcom, but Frank's Place was set in New Orleans.
I don't know what it's called, but there was also that one that came on after Obama's address to Congress. That was pretty funny. I'm pretty sure it's set in Baton Rouge.
posted by Flunkie at 5:07 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I did something similar when I was nine or ten years old except
posted by orthogonality at 5:36 PM on March 18, 2009


The IT Crowd is great and all but it's no 30 Rock. I generally detest laugh tracks but I suffer them for The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and The IT Crowd.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:00 PM on March 18, 2009


The IT Crowd is great and all but it's no 30 Rock

I was about to say the same thing. 30 Rock is the best thing ever.

EVER
posted by flaterik at 6:37 PM on March 18, 2009


I hate laugh tracks. Friends kept goading me to watch Big Bang Theory, but the canned laughter was a deal breaker for me, despite it being tolerably amusing. I dunno what it is. Besides the fact that I feel my intelligence is being insulted, it makes the pacing feel uneven and contrived, since all the dialogue has to fit in between the laughter after every gag. Also, sitcoms rely on having one joke after another in rapid succession -- having the entire audience break into laughter after every single joke implies every gag is completely and equally hilarious, which is clearly not the case for even the best shows. Most of it is chuckle or smile worthy at best.

Really, I don't see what value is added by a live studio audience (or a faked one) for this particular format besides having to write less actual content.
posted by cj_ at 6:47 PM on March 18, 2009


30 Rock is a very bad, 200-car trainwreck compared to those top-rated 70's sitcoms.
posted by Zambrano at 7:12 PM on March 18, 2009


30 Rock is a very bad, 200-car trainwreck compared to those top-rated 70's sitcoms.

You're right, Zambrano, becuase 30 Rock doesn't have a laugh track, it doesn't even have to pretend to be funny. It can just kind of, uh, not serious.
posted by Faze at 7:36 PM on March 18, 2009


If there are any Corner Gas fans out there, the Saskatchewan town of Dog River does not exist. But the actual town where exteriors were filmed is Rouleau.
posted by evilcolonel at 9:03 PM on March 18, 2009


having the entire audience break into laughter after every single joke implies every gag is completely and equally hilarious, which is clearly not the case for even the best shows.

Hmm, that gets me thinking. It would actually be interesting to have a sitcom with an intentionally small studio audience. You'd hear individual people laughing and, through the course of the show, get to know the different voices and know which ones are going to respond to which gags.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:35 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid the BBC used to show a version of MASH without a laugh-track. Except one week, when by mistake they showed one with the yucks and it was just horrible and unwatchable, and they got loads of complaints.

When they they record a show in front of a live audience, or show a pre-recorded show to an audience and tape their reactions, it's not so bad because at least those laughs are natural and not 'dead people'.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:17 AM on March 19, 2009


I remember on pre-Adult Swim Cartoon Network, to fill time after an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, they'd show old episodes of the Space Ghost cartoon with WAY over the top and inappropriate laugh track / crowd reactions. It went well with the supremely corny nature of the show.

"Oh no Jan, if we don't get out of this quicksand, we're done for!"
*HAHAHAHAHHHHAHA*

Oh, good times.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:16 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


It appears some of you folks can't tell the difference between a laugh track and a studio audience. "The Monkees" and "M*A*S*H" had laugh tracks (by the way, "M*A*S*H" had a laugh track in every season1). "Seinfeld" and "The IT Crowd" have studio audiences.

A laugh track is an artificial assembly of previously-recorded laughter, meant to signal where the viewing audience is supposed to laugh or to punctuate something funny that might be missed. It's not always effective, to be sure, but rewatch M*A*S*H with the laugh track off -- they left a lot of space for laughter after certain jokes, and it's kinda awkward to watch. Nowadays, a lot of one-camera sitcoms dispense with the concept of a laugh track, though, and I think it's improved TV considerably. However, the "signal to let you know what's funny" part didn't die. Check out those same one-camera sitcoms now: music is used as punctuation instead of recorded laughter.

The studio audience is different -- it's a genuine reaction (for the most part) from people watching the production as it's being taped/filmed. It's a bit more honest and less manipulative. But it can be just as distracting, I suppose.

Sorry to rant, but I hate when people don't get that distinction.

1. Also, notice that even when they;re being silly, "M*A*S*H" never used canned laughter for the OR scenes.
posted by grubi at 7:29 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


OK then, Gunsmoke was way funnier once it ditched the studio audience.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:46 AM on March 19, 2009


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