Television is now playing an important role in people’s lives. At present, people can hardly imagine their lives without numerous products of the industry. However, the 1950-60s was the period that can be regarded as the dawn of television. Notably, many products created back then are still seen as exemplary.
Thus, such sitcoms as The Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy are still popular among Americans even though they aired more than fifty years ago. It is necessary to note that the two sitcoms have lots of things in common but there are also certain differences. Interestingly, the similarities have become conventions and standards in the industry.
One of characteristic features of the two sitcoms is that they have audience reaction as a background. This is still one of major peculiarities of any sitcom. Both TV series are light family comedies. This genre has been popular among people from all over the world. Viewers love watching funny episodes and laugh at good jokes. The telefilms in question are very light and help the viewer relax and forget about or even laugh at certain problems. Thus, entertaining aspect of the telefilms is one of central peculiarities of a sitcom.
It is necessary to note that another similarity is some of major features of the telefilms’ characters. The characters are funny, light-hearted and witty. They find themselves in funny or awkward situations and they always try to find the best way out. Importantly, the characters are ordinary Americans who live their lives.
For instance, Andy Griffith tries to do his job well and be a good father as well as a good friend (“Andy Griffith Show Pilot”). In an episode of I Love Lucy, Lucy is in a restaurant in Hollywood and she finds herself in numerous awkward situations when she sees celebrities (“I Love Lucy Season 4”). Viewers can recognize themselves in those characters and this made Lucy and Andy so popular.
Another remarkable similarity between the two sitcoms, which became essential for any contemporary TV series, is the opening theme song (Mittell 207). The songs of the two sitcoms in question became well known and were associated with them. Importantly, all TV series now have a recognizable opening theme song. This contributes to the increase of a sitcom’s popularity as it becomes more recognizable. It is possible to note that the opening theme song can be regarded as a card just like central characters.
As has been mentioned above, the two TV series also have certain differences. As for the filming style, the two sitcoms are characterized by different approaches. I Love Lucy is a conventional sitcom, in this respect. The vast majority of sitcoms have been single-camera telefilms.
This enables the filmmakers to create a specific atmosphere with the help of the audience reaction. The Andy Griffith Show is quite unique as it is characterized by a mixed approach (Mittell 171). The filmmakers employed a single-camera approach and multi-camera production.
Clearly, one of the most apparent differences is the topic of the two telefilms. Thus, The Andy Griffith Show focuses on the life in a rural area. People are living in a small town and they have issues that are common for any small town dwellers. Whereas, I Love Lucy reveals life of inhabitants of such huge cities as New York.
Clearly, the situations and problems highlighted in the two sitcoms differ greatly due to the settings. More so, the setting affects the pace of the two sitcoms. Thus, The Andy Griffith Show is characterized by a relaxed pace of rural life. At the same time, I Love Lucy is more dynamic.
It is also noteworthy that The Andy Griffith Show is a male story with a focus on male issues while I Love Lucy focuses on female issues more. This can also be the reason why the major focuses of the shows are different. Hence, the former sitcom concentrate on the professional aspect of a person’s life while the latter focuses on domestic area.
Andy Griffith is often seen in his office or simply doing his job with certain parts of his private life shown as a background. When it comes to Lucy’s life, she is often in domestic settings and preoccupied with quite domestic issues. Basically, the sitcoms reveal cultural conventions and distribution of gender roles.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that The Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy sitcoms are exemplary telefilms. They were created in the 1960s and they contributed to establishment of certain standards for sitcoms. Thus, these telefilms are light comedies that reveal certain aspect of people’s lives. The sitcoms have some recognizable elements. These elements are characters and opening theme song.
The two sitcoms ae conventional examples of a good telefilm but they are quite different as the focus is made on different things. This may be the reason why the two telefilms have been so popular worldwide. Different people found certain things that interest them and enjoy following adventures of their favorite characters.
Andy Griffith Show Pilot. 2014.
I Love Lucy Season 4. 2014.
Mittell, Jason. Television and American Culture. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.
The Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy