Did you just finish watching a poorly made sitcom that somehow won two Emmys? And now you're probably thinking, “Hey, I could have done it better!” Well, it's difficult to say whether you could have actually done it better or not but here's my guide to making your very own poorly made sitcom.
When you're writing a sitcom, you have to momentarily forget about the existence of plots. Instead, the setting of the sitcom IS the plot. This might sound a bit confusing. But, if you have watched enough sitcoms you'll realise that all these shows are basically the same but in different settings.
Moving on, you have two settings to choose from:
1) The dysfunctional friend/work friend group
2) The dysfunctional family
And, that's about it. It's that easy! You choose one and you're good to go.
Now that you've chosen your setting, it's time to select the appropriate characters.
For the dysfunctional friend/work friend setting, you need around 5 or 6 characters. Firstly, you need a couple who is going to have an on-off relationship throughout the entirety of the show. This couple will have to be interesting enough to generate debates as to whether they will end up together or not (spoiler alert: they will). The next couple in the show will be the one that will make everyone go, “Relationship goals!” So, now you have incorporated elements of both mystery and love into the show. Throw in a funny character whose main purpose is to just crack jokes and you have a sitcom.
For the dysfunctional family setting, you need an impulsive, carefree, and a not too intelligent (but funny) character to play the dad of a family of 5 (or 4). Then, you have the mom who is the complete opposite of the dad but somehow they fit like two pieces of a puzzle. For the kids, the number or gender is not of much significance as long as you make one of them moody and popular; the other one must be shy and nerdy.
Also, don't forget to throw in some recurring background characters who actually don't add any value to the storyline.
This is undoubtedly the most difficult step. A lot of shows do very well in the first two steps but get stuck on this one. The meaning of sitcom is “situation comedy”, hence, you have to keep the comedic elements. If you have, after a lot of struggles, managed to be somehow funny, be sure to stay that way.
And there you have it - your very own sitcom. Now, be sure to name it something quirky like “Puzzles” so that people watch the show just to find out the reason behind its name.
Tasnim Odrika is having an existential crisis at the moment and doesn't really know who she is anymore. Send her compliments at firstname.lastname@example.org