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Single Camera Sitcoms You Love

Shows categorized as sitcoms are often looked at exclusively as forms of entertainment wherein content is key, and rightfully so. As comedies, sitcoms need only to be one thing and one thing only, and that is funny. If a sitcom is legitimately funny, the treatment usually becomes secondary. However, there are plenty of sitcoms that use a different treatment that increases its overall entertainment value.

This treatment is called the single camera. See, traditionally, sitcoms use a three camera setup, and they are mostly shot in a studio often with a live audience. The performances is similar to that of a theater setup, with elaborate set pieces that can be moved around and changed. Single camera sitcoms on the other hand, take a more cinematic approach. These are shot on location, without a live audience, and this treatment allows for more subtlety, partnering the mundane with larger than life siituations

Currently, the show Superstore is among the most popular sitcoms in television, and it employs the same style. To further stress the effectivity of single camera sitcoms, here are some examples of shows that use the same style that may have all contributed to the formation of Superstore, perhaps your next favorite sitcom:

The Office

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The Office is a US sitcom that is derived from the UK sitcom of the classic same name. Both shows employed the same single camera treatment, and both shows had a similar premise and characters. However, as the UK version of the show only ran for a couple of seasons while the US ran more than twice as long, the latter distinguished itself from the former by creating some of the most memorable TV moments in history. The Office’s unique documentary style camera work gave audiences a unique perspective in the paper company that is Dunder Mifflin and the interesting people that work in it.

Parks and Rec

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Parks and Rec is a show about the parks and recreation department of Pawnee, a small town in the US. Featuring established comedians like Amy Poehler (who had just left SNL to do the show) and standup comic Aziz Anzari in his breakout role, the show can be credited to a lot of things. Not the least of which was launching the careers of Poehler, Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, and Hollywood’s latest darling, Chris Pratt. Also, Ron Swanson. Just Ron Swanson.

Arrested Development

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The story of the Bluths, while considered to be targeting a niche crowd, but that crowd is a very loyal crowd. Perhaps one of the most intelligent comedies in its generation, Arrested Development made full use of the single camera treatment by featuring a wide cast of offbeat characters each seemingly designed to make Michael Bluth’s life more miserable in the best way possible.

30 Rock

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Truth is, when it comes to comedies, it’s hard to go wrong with Tina Fey. But, Tina Fey grouped in with an awesome cast that included Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin and others, great writing and a cinematic treatment, and 30 Rock was just comedy gold on a weekly basis.    

Superstore looks like it has the ability to follow the path of these legendary shows. Will it? Tune in to find out and have a great time doing so.