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Situation Comedy Controlled Test

Richard Gent | Monday June 15, 2009

Categories: GCSE, Other Topics, AQA A Level, Situation Comedy

What is a Sitcom?

A Situation Comedy is a comedy series built around a familiar group of characters in the same location.

[Geoff Barton’s ‘Glossary of Media Terms’]

When approaching Sitcom or Situation Comedy as a television genre it is important to establish how it has developed historically and what it might evolve into in terms of its possible futures.

As with any analysis in Media Studies, the Key Concepts need to be addressed. In this case, we will be focusing on Media Language, Institution, Audience and Representation. Equally, the production skills need to explained so that they can be replicated and experimented with in the Controlled Test. For a situation comedy, the key production skill is likely to be ‘storyboarding’. This skill will need to be practised and developed so that if it features in the exam, you can perform under timed conditions. The more you practise, the easier this will be.

In the past, AQA’s GCSE Controlled Tests have tended to focus on ‘dying genres’ and how the mass media approach has declined and been usurped by a more personalised approach to experiencing media texts.

How to prepare for the 3-hour Controlled Test on Sitcom…

The Controlled Test is usually sat in two 90 minute sessions and the exam board recommend that questions are attempted in the order that they are set. This means, in a practical sense, that in the first 90-minute session questions 1 and 2 should be completed. Likewise, it means that questions 3 and 4 should be completed in the second 90-minute session.

It is highly likely that the Controlled Test will require you to respond in role. This means that you will be tested on your ability to tackle a problem, such as how to storyboard the opening sequence of a new situation comedy using the codes and conventions of this form and genre.

In simple terms, can you create a realistic storyboard which follow the genres key conventions and can you annotate it correctly using appropriate...


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