Before writing this essay, I watched a old re-run of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", and I read the chapter in the television textbook where a episode of "Leave It to Beaver" was broken down into Act One, Act Two, Act Three and Act Four.It was there that I realized that since 1951, with the premiere of "I Love Lucy", that most sitcoms follow a very basic, but successful pattern.I will demonstrate how this is accomplished in the sitcom week in and week out.Thefirst act must establish the situation in the show.The second act must show the complication involved in the particular episode.The third act must show the confusion the actors or actresses go through, and the fourth must have the solution for the complication and the confusion.
In thefirst few minutes of a sitcom, the viewer will be shown something that catches their eyes.In most cases, that will establish the situation for which the episode will be based on.For example, in "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" we see that the shows main character, Will, gets slapped in the face by a beautiful woman, who atfirst hugged him. The show then cuts to a commercial having established the situation and knowing that the audience is putting down the remote control and waiting to find out why Will got slapped.In the television textbook, Wally and the Beav agree to take care of a neighbor valuable cat against the advice of their father, Ward, who thinks about what will happen while the cat is under their care.That sets up the situation where the audience knows something is going to happen to the cat but doesn't know what.So the audience will remain glued to that episode of "Leave It to Beaver" until they find out what going to happen.
After the commercial break, the audience will see the complication in that episode. In the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", Will finds out that Ja…