American sitcoms have been ruling the entertainment industry since the beginning of the television era. From ‘Seinfeld‘ and ‘Friends’ to ‘Modern Family’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’, they have ruled over people’s hearts and the entertainment industry as well.
Eventually, the Canadian sitcoms penetrated the market sweeping off the awards. In the era of sitcoms, the Canadian show ‘Schitt’s Creek’ had a general tone and feel that offered a refreshing takeaway from what was popular in the US at the time. So, how did the sitcom landscape change from one country to another?
How Canadian Sitcoms Are Different From American Sitcoms
Andrew Barnsley, the executive producer of ‘Schitt’s Creek’, speculated on what makes Canadian comedies different from American sitcoms and what elements make the show distinctively Canadian.
The award-winning producer pointed out that Canadian sitcoms never had a multi-cam system, instead, they followed a single-cam making it from a historical and comical point of view. Andrew Barnsley further explained that “Multi-cam sitcoms are really about jokes per page, like, How many jokes can you get in into an episode? There’s a math to it, We need X number of jokes per page.” Canadian comedies like ‘Schitt’s Creek’ focus on character, heart, and story rather than just leaning on jokes, which sets them apart from American multi-cam sitcoms.
Canadian shows tend to create characters that are likable and relatable and more importantly with a moral compass that audiences relate with. Whereas in American sitcoms, the characters’ moral compass might be questionable at the beginning of the series.
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How Has ‘Arrested Development’ Influenced ‘Schitt’s Creek’?
A comparison can be drawn between ‘Schitt’s Creek’ and ‘Arrested Development’. Both shows center around the fall of a wealthy family. ‘Arrested Development‘s Bluth family members are characterized by their greed and selfishness. Meanwhile, ‘Schitt’s Creek’ depicts the Rose family members’ growth and how each experienced overcoming their insecurities, greed, and selfishness.
Due to its concept and the nature of its characters ‘Schitt’s Creek’ does seem to take much from ‘Arrested Development’, but where it goes with the concept points to the trend discussed by Andrew Barnsley. However, thanks to global streaming services Americans have access to Canadian programming just as easily ‘Arrested Development’ is accessible to the viewers.
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