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Situation Comedy Controlled Test Mock Foundation Tier Mark Scheme

Keith Langton | Tuesday June 23, 2009

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

TASK 1: History / Research Question (25 marks)

The key to this question is how the sitcom has changed since the 1960s when it first became a television staple. The thrust of the answer should identify the key conventions of the sitcom, for example: the consistency of setting and characters; the “no learning? rule which allows characters to make similar mistakes week after week; the canned laughter / laughter track - (see other notes).

A sensible approach might be to use an “old fashioned? sitcom and contrast it with a modern day sitcom. Higher level answers may pre-empt the second bullet point and take a theme based approach, for example comparing the representation of the family in say Bless This House and My Family or perhaps the role of the manager in the workplace in On the Buses and The Office.

Answers need not be themed and any answer that shows awareness of the changing nature of the television sitcom should be rewarded. The Foundation paper asks for “at least two? sitcoms to be discussed; more than this will probably dilute the quality of the answers.

Answers may address the nature of programme making and identify, for example: higher definition / quality pictures and sound or “steadi-cam? techniques of filming. Should answers take this approach, an understanding of how these techniques have changed the nature of the programmes should be demonstrated.

The second bullet point asks candidates to consider changes in viewing habits and here answers should demonstrate knowledge of the changing nature of television: multiple channels; the lack of “family viewing? in modern society; the changes in society regarding the role of men and women at home and in the workplace, etc.

Again one approach to this question might be to show the changing nature of the characters appearing in television sitcoms and the use of stereotypes. The discussion of sitcoms that are today considered “non-PC? might show understanding in this...

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