Don’t Listen To Those Can’ts

As always there are some interesting debates on the BSG Forums but one that I feel is worth discussing here is what you can and can’t write about for a sitcom. One thread asked whether one can be office-based, wary of the shadow left by The Office.

That was all that was asked without any further explanation on what theme/premise/characters would be involved, yet amazingly some people rejected the idea instantly suggesting that The Office has closed the door on any sitcom mentioning the word ‘office’ in it.

I guess completely forgetting that IT Crowd and The Thick of It are based in offices and have been huge successes well after The Office ended.

The point is that you can bring anything to life as long as you have an original take on it. The Office was about mundane life in an office with a manager that thinks he’s an entertainment. The Thick of It is about the fireworks in politics and the offices are just locations (although prominent). The IT Crowd has moved well away from IT support and is more character-driven than anything, but like the other two is still ‘office-based’.

Family and flat-share sitcoms are around in abundance but how similar is Not Going Out and Spaced?

Just don’t listen to the doubters. I once went on a sitcom writing course where the teacher said you would never see a sitcom based in a brothel. Within a few months Respectable was on tv.

Trust your own instincts!


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