GCSE Media

A Level Media

Secret Examiner

Codes & Conventions

Legacy Resources

Useful Materials

Sit Com

Caroline Bagshaw | Thursday June 03, 2010

Categories: GCSE, AQA GCSE, Eduqas (WJEC) GCSE, Television, Situation Comedy, Television Situation Comedy

Sitcom is a genre which has remained successful by reacting to the changing contexts of the times in which it is produced, as well as more recently experimenting with hybridisation in order to attract its audiences.  (Depending on how much time you wish to spend, you could show either clips or episodes, and I have suggested suitable episodes which should be readily available on DVD or possibly Youtube.)

Rooted in the radio variety shows of the 1940s and 1950s, with texts such as “Ray’s A Laugh?, which included an ongoing sketch in which a husband and his wife were in binary opposition in a domestic setting, Hancock’s Half Hour extended this sketch-format, using the predominant media form of the day, radio, in the still-recognisable generic half-hour format on radio (1954 – 58).

In 1953 there were around 2 million TV sets in Britain; by 1958 some 8 million household had television sets.  In 1956, Hancock recognised this context and made the successful transition from radio to TV.  [Could play ‘The Blood Donor’ as an audio. It was actually made for TV, but the point is that you don’t need the vision to appreciate it – it clearly still holds on to its roots of audio-based comedy.]


With the ending of post-war rationing and a society which had become aspirational, Steptoe and Son (1962 – 1974) reflected this desire for a better life, with episodes such as The Bath where Harold is thwarted in his attempts to install an indoor bathroom.

Sitcom’s generic feature of characters trapped by their situation is evident in Harold’s desire to move up in the world which is invariably frustrated by his father Albert’s selfish desire to keep Harold at home caring for him.

In the 1970s the beginnings of the environmentalist movement are reflected and explored when Tom Good gives up his secure job and decided to plough up his own garden and become self-sufficient in Surbiton.

The Good Life (1975 – 1978) maintained the...

Please subscribe or log in to access the rest of this resource (including associated media).

This website offers a wealth of enriched content to help you help your students with GCSE & A Level Media. Please subscribe or log in to access this content.

The content of this site has been produced by teachers and examiners. Edusites have similar support sites for English and Film called Edusites English and Edusites Film.

If you would like more information about Edusites Media, get in touch using the contact details below.

Kind regards, Richard Gent
Edusites Ltd

[email] admin@edusites.co.uk
[telephone] 01604 847689
[fax] 01604 843220