It would really be a terrible sign for great, single-camera sitcoms on TV on any network, NBC or otherwise. As the highest-profile smart sitcoms on TV (well, Modern Family counts too, but they certainly have no issues with ratings), they're kind of the canaries in the comedy coal mines. If they fail, NBC's new bosses are likely to take a cue from the much-more-successful CBS and put broader multicam stuff on the air instead. And frankly, that would be heartbreaking.
But to be honest, I have no idea why the number of cameras matters so much to sitcoms. In case you're also in the dark, here's the 411 on single-camera mode:
Well, the reason it's film-like is because it's closer to how they make films. I can tell the difference--can't you? SCM looks more like a movie, and to me, MCM is more like watching a play. Yes, they can switch perspective back and forth, but it's watching one scene on one set unfold in front of your eyes.
If you take the West Wing, for example, one of their signature styles is to film characters having conversations while they're briskly walking through the halls of the White House. That just couldn't happen in MCM, which needs a much more open space to accommodate the different camera angles. Have you ever seen a scene in a traditional sitcom where characters walk through several halls and rooms during a single scene? If you have, you probably noted the difference in the feel, like how weird it is when a sitcom goes on location to Disney World or something. You also can't really get tight close-ups in MCM, etc. What you give up is the energy of a live studio audience, which sometimes fits nicely into a traditional sitcom. It all depends on what you're going for.
I feel wiser now. Well, less clueless at least.
Labels: about standup
Permalink | 2/18/2011