Copy cat sitcoms

Hidden Hills and What I like about you ( I think that’s what it’s called, it’s the one with Jamie Gertz) are two shows about aging suburban couples trying to recapure their youth as it was before they had kids.

This week, on both shows, the couples went to concerts and the wives got on the husband’s shoulders and flashed the band. Wtf? I can’t believe this happened on 2 different shows. It’s bad enough that we have the formulaic sitcom family where the dad is a fatass and the mom is kind of cute, she berates him constantly for being a idiot and he shamefully hangs his head and makes a joke about twinkies or something. Is anyone else irritated by this pattern?

How can I become a Neilson family? Thats the only way we’ll ever make a difference.

Irritated is an understatement.

I thought that was Grounded For Life?

So what your saying is that television is repetitive, uncreative and boring?


Ha, Grounded for Life is one of them, but not the one I’m talking about. But now that I think of it, I think the wife on that show flashed her boobs at a concert as well.

I thought that this was a thread about how “All in the Family” was copied from a British sitcom “Till Death do us Part”

“Sanford and Son” was from “Steptoe and Son” and so forth.

I’d have to nominate Family Guy as a fairly blatant rip-off with only a few elements of originality, like the supervillian baby.

Well, two shows debuted this fall that had the same idiotic premise: going back in time to live your youth over. One was called “Do over”, forget what the other was.

Network TV is becoming less and less original. There are thousands of flaks telling the writers what their surveys show viewers used to like. Being original gets you fired. Imitation keeps you working.

To change things you would have fire all those people, throw out all survey data, have “originality tests” for hiring writers, etc.

(I thought this was going to be a thread about shows like “It’s like you know.” An alleged Seinfeld clone.)

It’s not just television. There’s a problem with movies on the same subject being produced at the same time too. Sometimes there’s been a falling out, or someone stole an idea, but frequently it just happens. A Bug’s Life and Antz is one example, as are the two films about Prefontaine.

With sitcom plots, it’s even more common. I remember reading an article years ago that mentioned “The Surprise Party” as one of the most common sitcom plots, but there’re plenty of others: “Stuck in the basement (attic) together,” “Let’s spend our winter holiday in a rustic cabin,” “The really bad blind date,” “Oh no, I’ve got two dates on the same night,” “Game show appearance” (these days, it’s usually on Jeopardy), “Mom and Dad (played by familiar celebrities) come to visit,” “The family is asked to appear in a T.V. commercial” (that one was very common during the '70’s – I haven’t seen it lately, but maybe it will be replaced by “the family is asked to appear on a reality show”), “The pregnancy scare” (second season – the real pregnancy comes in the fifth season)…Gah! Now I remember why it’s been so long since I watched a sitcom.

I’d dispute the idea that T.V. is becoming less original. It was never very original to begin with – check out “Leave It To Beaver”, “Make Room For Daddy”, and “Father Knows Best” for an example of how similar sitcoms were 40 years ago.

The show with Jami Gertz is Still Standing.

What I Like About You stars Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth and is about two roommates who cause problems for each other.

What’s so idiotic about going back in time to redo your youth? Anyway, “Do Over” isn’t so bad. I’ve seen episodes and it’s pretty funny. Not great, but pretty good.

As for copycat, remember “Webster” right after “Diff Strokes?” Well, not being alive/old enough to watch, I don’t. But it was there.

Also, all thsoe shows on the WB targeted for teens. All being super melodramatic, full of tears and manic depressive adolescents.

Years ago there was a Married With Children rip-off called Unhappily Ever After. The only good thing about it was the stunning Nikki Cox

You people act like this is something new. Anyone remember a show from the “Golden Age” of TV called I Love Lucy, with a wacky housewife and a long-suffering husband? How about I Married Joan, with a wacky housewife and her long-suffering husband? Or My Little Margie, with a wacky young woman and her long-suffering father? Or Private Secretary, with a wacky secretary and her long-suffering boss. . .

First there was “Bewitched”, then there was “I Dream of Jeanie”

First there was “the Adams Family”, then there was “the Munsters”

First there was “The Monkees”, then there was the “Partridge Family”

First there was “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, then there was “Alias”

First there was “Dallas”, then there was “Dynasty”

First there was “Law & Order”, then there was “CSI”

etc., etc., etc., etc…

That’s funny, since Married With Children was cribbed from Life of Riley.

Bmalion beat me to Steptoe & Son/Sanford & Son – and I assume that Man About The House/Three’s Company has only been omitted because it’s so obvious.

“The Partridge Family” was inspired by “The Cowsills,” not “The Monkees.”

“Grounded for Life” is pretty original; it’s about telling the story via unreliable flashbacks, and they do it pretty well!

For deliberate copycatting, try the Hanna-Barbera studios! Consider the following:

The Flintstones…The Honeymooners in loincloths
Scooby Doo…Dobie Gillis with a dog
Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home…All in the Family
The Jetsons…Flintstones in the future

All but Scooby Doo were originally prime time, to, so no free skate just because they’re Saturday Morning fare!

What th- !?! I’ve been a cartoon nut since I was a little nipper and I’ve never made this connection. Have you some evidence, and interview or something to back this up?

If Scooby Do is “Dobie Gillis” with a dog, then it is also Dobie Gillis without Dobie Gillis. I can almost see Maynard G. Krebs as Shaggy, and Milton Armitage (Warren Beatty) as Fred, Thalia as Daphne and of course Zelda Gilroy as the smart chick who’s name escapes me, but there is no Dobie equivalent in Scooby.

Scooby Doo = Dobie Gillis. This is not my own observation or speculaton, it’s old news. According to an old interview with comics/TV/animation writer Mark Evanier, Hanna-Barbera wanted to do a Dobie Gillis cartoon, but the licensing fee was prohibitive. So they added a dog and a “mystery” slant. For a cite on this (minus the Evanier interview, unfortunately), do a Google search for “scooby doo” AND “dobie gillis” for a number of more detailed accounts.

Hanna Barberas TOP CAT is a clone of SGT BILKO.

Were Abbott and costello a rip off of Laurel and Hardy?