Help for Frustrated Sitcom Writers: 3) What, Exactly, Do You Want?

Following on from the last blog about inciting incidents and creating a problem for your central characters to solve, the fundamental thing that goes hand-in-hand with that is… what does anyone want? It’s the first thing that I ask when a scene starts to flounder. We want to see characters with a goal or desire […]

Help for Frustrated Sitcom Writers 2) What’s the Problem?

Something advertisers do brilliantly is get to the problem and show how to fix it. It’s a thing that sitcom writers often struggle with, spending far too long on back story and set-up. It’s some skill to tell a story in 30 seconds, and new sitcom writers could learn a lot from advertisers in creating […]

Friends Thanksgiving Episodes

It’s nearly the fourth Thursday in November, which means nothing to us in the UK, apart from it’s the day before Black Friday. Even though Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, it doesn’t get much of an advert break because of the special Christmas campaigns. In the US, for some Thanksgiving […]

Help For Frustrated Sitcom Writers: How Sitcoms Are Different to Adverts

1) It’s Not My Fault In the advert world, characters have problems. Those problems are solved by products or services. The end. In sitcom land, characters have problems. Those problems are NOT solved by products or services. The person still has a problem – themselves. In adverts, flawed people are in trouble. Sensible, happy people […]

Characters – Off The Shelf or Do It Yourself? 3) Jeremy from Peep Show and Tim from The Office

It’s easier to have a character that represents what you DON’T want than what you DO want. Sitcom characters, because they’re flawed and represent an imperfect life, are useful because they’re relatable. We’re all flawed. We’re all a mess. The solution to that flaw in a sitcom (or in real life) is self-awareness. Knowing that […]

Characters – Off The Shelf or Do It Yourself? 2) Chabuddy G

The case for using a ready-made character from the world of sitcom is given a big boost by a number of adverts using People Just Do Nothing’s street trader entrepreneur ‘Dhal Boy’ Chabuddy G. So we have five episodes: The One With The Nike Trainers The One With The GQ Cover The One With The […]

Creating Characters – Off The Shelf or Do It Yourself?

1) Winston Wolf There’s currently an interesting episode of Marketing Week’s podcast, Marketing That Matters, in which they talk to the creators of Direct Line’s ‘Fixer’ adverts. You know the ones, with Harvey Keitel reprising his Winston Wolf (or Wolfe, the Internet doesn’t really know) character from Pulp Fiction – the ultimate guy to fix […]

Diet Coke – Definitely Not The Real Thing

It all feels a bit Blah De Blah as Diet Coke go for Grannies Behaving Badly while the meerkats return with a slightly less controversial car insurance advert than one of their rivals. Diet Coke have gone for an inter-generational mix of two grannies, Vera and Gladys, as they swipe through a dating app and […]

You Klarna not Be Serious!

I Wish I’d Bought It With Klarna Ok, so this isn’t strictly sitcom territory, but it looks as though it could be, so here goes. Celeste Barber, the Queen of Instagram, famous for recreating Insta poses, has done three one-minute episodes of a spoof consumer-rights show for Swedish bank Klarna. If you didn’t know, and […]

Two Sitcom Staples: The Odd Couple… And the Sofa (Again)

Elvie follows the lead of Rick and Morty and Apple and Onion while Sofology’s Owen Wilson is back to doing what he does best… nothing (in the nicest possible way). Tech company Elvie have taken the problem of a leaky bladder head on with their three-episode animated campaign, creating a girl-next-door in Bobo and her […]

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