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March 02, 2024, 08:11:17 PM

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Sitcoms That Have Their Groove From The Get Go

Started by TheMonk, February 01, 2024, 11:39:08 AM

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TheMonk

Fawlty Towers
The Office
Arrested Development
The Young Ones
Curb Your Enthusiasm (more or less)
It seems kind of forgotten, but I thought Episodes with Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig and Matt LeBlanc started strong
Black Books


Jumblegraws

Quote from: TheMonk on February 01, 2024, 11:39:08 AMFawlty Towers
The Office
Arrested Development
The Young Ones
curb Your Enthusiasm (more or less)
It seems kind of forgotten, but I thought Extras with Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig and Matt LeBlanc started strong
Black Books
Think you mean Episodes rather than Extras? Though Extras I would argue is a legit example anyway


TheMonk

Quote from: Jumblegraws on February 01, 2024, 11:51:50 AMThink you mean Episodes rather than Extras? Though Extras I would argue is a legit example anyway

Ooh yes, edited


Wezzo


Old Nehamkin

Always found it impressive how fully-formed and confident Still Game feels from the get-go. I know that Jack and Victor were already regular characters on Chewin The Fat and had been further fleshed out in the original Still Game stage play (which also introduced Winston if I'm remebering correctly), but even so, building a sitcom around those characters is something that could easily have been fumbled and it's striking how sure-footed the show is from episode 1 and how the ensemble of new supporting characters feel so well-established from the start. I think that the second episode - the one where they get the free electricity - might actually be my favourite they ever did. Just very assured, accomplished sitcom writing for a pair of guys who were still new to the form.

chip

Quote from: Wezzo on February 01, 2024, 12:08:51 PMMalcolm in the Middle
Frasier
30 Rock

Frasier is my top pick. The pilot is as eminently quotable as anything from seasons 4-7.

Utter Shit

Quote from: Better Midlands on February 01, 2024, 12:05:57 PMPhoneShop
Christopher is a bit too Brent in the first episode (or might be the pilot?) but other than that it's great right off the bat, such a horrendously underrated show.

Father Ted. I think it's the first episode that has the Craggy Island fair with The Ladder ("hold on to the sides!").

Magnum Valentino

Quote from: mechanical blood goat on February 01, 2024, 12:53:16 PMFather Ted. I think it's the first episode that has the Craggy Island fair with The Ladder ("hold on to the sides!").

It is, but the last episode of the series (where they think Jack has died) is the pilot. The set and makeup is a little different.

another Mr. Lizard

The Phil Silvers Show. Instant classic, arriving fully formed and with most of its schtick and attitude in place. If 'Empty Store' is your second episode you're doing something right.

Brundle-Fly

Would League Of Gentlemen count? If so, that.

Porridge
Steptoe & Son

Petey Pate

The Larry Saunders Show feels very fully formed from the get go, there's none of what TV Tropes call 'early installment weirdness'. That said, the first episode produced was actually aired last in the season.


AliasTheCat

Likewise Bob's Burgers. It's perhaps ever so slightly "edgier" (for want of a better word) at the very beginning than it would settle in to be, but all the characters and dynamics are in place from the get-go.

superthunderstingcar

Yes Minister. The first episode's plot is a little light (by Yes Minister standards) because of the need to introduce the characters and the situation, but all these things are handled so skilfully - Sir Humphrey's first scene is a perfect introduction to the character - that it is just as good in its on way. Then from the second episode on it is quality, tightly-plotted political farce.


Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on February 01, 2024, 11:52:22 AMTrailer Park Boys

Yeah, this. Even the black and white movie that came before it is firing on all cylinders in a way that most pilots aren't.


Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

It seems like it would be quicker to list British sitcoms that weren't in their groove from the start.

idunnosomename

Peep Show, although there were two pilots. except for, as said in the sibling thread, they ended up dumping the knock-knock theme music entirely after S2 for a song by a band (who apparently no longer exist)

lauraxsynthesis

Quote from: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on February 01, 2024, 10:02:44 PMIt seems like it would be quicker to list British sitcoms that weren't in their groove from the start.

This is true. But I still want to bung in The Thick of It.


Pink Gregory

Quote from: trabuch on February 01, 2024, 11:56:54 PMThis Country

christ yes

perhaps the first episode is a little more outlandish with Kurtan burning the scarecrows but a slow start could have hindered it, I think. 

Still shows the rural boredom and low stakes that are crucial to the humour of the show with Kerry's main plotline being that of plums being thrown at her house.


ajsmith2

Quote from: Old Nehamkin on February 01, 2024, 12:11:17 PMAlways found it impressive how fully-formed and confident Still Game feels from the get-go. I know that Jack and Victor were already regular characters on Chewin The Fat and had been further fleshed out in the original Still Game stage play (which also introduced Winston if I'm remebering correctly), but even so, building a sitcom around those characters is something that could easily have been fumbled and it's striking how sure-footed the show is from episode 1 and how the ensemble of new supporting characters feel so well-established from the start. I think that the second episode - the one where they get the free electricity - might actually be my favourite they ever did. Just very assured, accomplished sitcom writing for a pair of guys who were still new to the form.

Something slightly off about the first episode AFAIR is that Winston seems a bit geekier/meeker and more like an acquaintance of Jack and Victor rather than one of the gang (more than) holding his own with the banter etc as he would soon be. Also it's kind of jarring how rude Peggy is to Jack when she first appears in the debut episode, given how warm to Jack and Victor she acts when she's a pub regular latterly. I know these are minor points and don't really invalidate your main argument but those always stick out as first episode odditys that were soon smoothed out. 

Utter Shit

Quote from: Pink Gregory on February 02, 2024, 06:44:05 AMchrist yes

perhaps the first episode is a little more outlandish with Kurtan burning the scarecrows but a slow start could have hindered it, I think. 

Still shows the rural boredom and low stakes that are crucial to the humour of the show with Kerry's main plotline being that of plums being thrown at her house.


I really didn't like This Country when I saw that first episode. Something about it just seemed really bleak and a bit nasty, like the writers hated those characters. It was only after sticking with it, and getting to know the characters properly, that I really fell in love with it.

The Mollusk

My first exposure to Trailer Park Boys was about 1am when a house party was winding down and I was falling asleep on my mate's floor. Someone put the first episode on with Cyrus talking about his gun - "safety always off", "dad told me he was proud of me once... fuckin prick" - and despite initially being annoyed at not being able to sleep I eventually sat up and watched it because I couldn't stop laughing. Instant love for that show.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

I watched the first episode of Trailer Park Boys and didn't think much of it. Is there any point in me carrying on with it?