A Consistent Setting in Sitcoms

After talking about the show “Cheers” which is mainly filmed in a bar, and listening to Robert Brown speak about the show I started to think about the importance of setting in Sitcoms. Many sitcoms today tend to have different settings, but there are also several sitcoms that have a consistent setting and that is typically where the plot of the episode is introduced. In Friends, many episodes start with all of them at “The Central Perk” coffee shop. This is normally where they gossip, and the audience is first introduced to the plot of the episode. This is similar to Big Bang Theory as many episodes begin in Sheldon and Leonard’s living room, and the audience will be introduced to the plot that way.

rs_560x415-140827103626-1024-friends-central-perk-jl-082714Robert Brown spoke about how when there is a consistent setting, the audience is forced to focus more on the dialogue and conversation among the characters. I believe this is why many directors and producers decide to have the plot being introduced in the same setting for most episodes. I also think producers like using a the same setting because it is cost effective, as they do not have to move equipment or change lightening and props.

— Sam Beckerman

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2 Responses to A Consistent Setting in Sitcoms

  1. marymdalton says:

    Excellent point about how viewers become used to a recurring set, which frees the audience up to consider dialogue and situation more carefully.

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I also think having a consistent setting helps viewers express loyalty to the show. If viewers can count on the show be be consistent every week this provides a stable environment that viewers want to watch and engage with rather a show that is constantly changing settings.

    -Emily Elliott

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