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By Gabriel, 01 Nov 22, 1

Part of what makes sitcoms a form of comfort food is that they fly in the face of standard narrative wisdom. There’s no journey that leaves its characters changed here, instead it’s a pleasant jaunt somewhere mildly uncomfortable before a calming return to the familiar place everyone was at the start. In a 21-minute runtime, this leaves 7 minutes per act, which is further reduced when the plot has to make way for jokes. The result is a sharp final act decline back to normal, where the complication must be undone and resolved in a matter of minutes. This structure…


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By Gabriel, 30th May 2022, 0

Nobody is proud of being an underachiever. People require a positive sense of self to live, and this sense is maintained via socially acknowledged markers. Most of these markers relate…



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By Gabriel, 3rd January 2022, 0

Milhouse getting bonked by an opening door is almost predictable given the lead in time and lack of meaningful eventfulness in this moment, but it’s made sublime by the staggering…


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By Gabriel, 21 Dec 21, 5

There is a fundamental connection between horror and comedy, and for proof we need look no further than the clown. It doesn’t even need to be a horror clown, with…



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By Gabriel, 27 Sep 21, 4

There’s some old advice on narrative writing from Arthur Quiller-Couch about murdering your darlings, by which he meant ornamental prose. The phrase has since evolved to “kill your darlings” and…


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By Gabriel, 07 Sep 21, 6

Remember to ask your questions here to have them answered in the next episode.


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By Gabriel, 22 Aug 21, 5

My Recollection I remember this one having some solid lines. Reverend Lovejoy’s incredibly patronising, “Aw, that’s just super” regarding the Hindu faith became one of those borrowed lines you’d use…