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Question of the week: do you prefer multi-camera or single-camera comedies?

Posted on September 21, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

On Friday, in response to my review of Whitney, Mark asked "What's wrong with single-camera comedies?" (or something like it). Okay, let's set out some definitions. Here's 30 Rock as a single-camera comedy.

And here's 30 Rock as a multi-camera comedy.

You'll notice, for starters, that the multi-camera comedy

  1. Is shot on video, looks cheaper and is over-lit
  2. Has a studio audience guffawing at almost everything
  3. Has performances geared towards a guffawing studio audience and ensuring that the people at the back of the studio can hear what's being said
  4. Largely is stuck indoors
  5. Not as funny

Okay, you might not be able to tell those last two instantly from those clips, but my points stand. Nevertheless, for much of sitcom history, multi-camera has been the way things have been done, single the rarity, so some might prefer it to single-camera.

So today's question is:

Do you generally prefer single- or multi-camera comedies?

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