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Situation Comedy Controlled Test Mock Higher 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 focus for this Task on the Higher tier paper is how UK and US sitcoms have gone in different directions. In your classwork you may have covered the “cosy–domestic? British sitcom of the Terry and June or Ever Decreasing Circles format. Many of the US sitcoms that we have seen imported into the UK have been “star vehicles? for example Cybil (Shepard) or Ellen (DeGeneres) which somehow pretend to be based upon their star’s “real life?. In the UK, we tend not to do “that sort of sitcom?.

The problem that we have in with US “sitcoms?, is they often mutate into a programme that we don’t strictly recognise as a “sitcom? – are M*A*S*H or The Simpsons strictly speaking “sitcoms?? our gut response is “no?. That said, many US sitcoms have pushed the boundaries of the traditional sitcom conventions – The Cosby Show and Friends are superb examples of ensemble playing within traditional sitcom conventions.

Answers for this question should be exploring how UK sitcoms have remained relatively conventional, whiles US sitcoms have pushed the boundaries of the definition.
Responses may wish to discuss the import / export and “translation? of sitcoms between the two countries and the success and failure of this interaction.

One approach (depending upon resources available), may be to discuss UK shows that have been “translated? for US audiences and vice versa – The Office (The Office: An American Workplace) and ‘Till Death Us Do Part (All in the Family) went one way; Lead Balloon (Curb Your Enthusiasm) the other way.

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

Whilst the Foundation paper approaches this subject from the “how the sitcom has...


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