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Sunday 22 November 2009

It's Over, Or Is It?

Today, i finished watching the first two series of the British comedy series "The Inbetweeners". A programme that i'd only ever seen clips of before.

I had a few days off work & decided to watch both series in pretty quick succession. Borrowing the DVD's from my daughter! The fact that i really enjoyed it obviously helped me watch them more quickly.

Now, this is a very funny, if a little crude, series. And i honestly believe that it is one show that may well be considered a classic comedy show in years to come.

This then got me thinking about other classic comedy series of the past & in some ways why they are considered classic series in the first place. One of these reasons, i fully believe, is the fact that the best comedies know when to stop & don't tend to outstay their welcome.

I was having a conversation with my wife, after finishing my "Inbetweeners" marathon, & actually said to her, that in some ways i hope they don't make any more episodes & finish the show on a high.

There is nothing more disappointing than a great comedy show that, although great to start with, drags on & on & loses all of its initial impetus. I'm sure we can all think of great comedy shows that have allowed this to happen & on both sides of the Atlantic too. Maybe you can tell me your own nominations?

When i think about some of my favourite comedy shows like Fawlty Towers & The Office (UK) One of the things that made them so great, in my opinion anyway, was the fact that, for both of them, there were only two series. The writers knew when to stop & even resisted efforts to make more. I'm sure that adds to their appeal. Every episode is a well crafted classic & will always remian so.
Less is sometimes more, after all.

There are plenty of other examples that, although having far more episodes, also knew when to pull the plug, having run their natural course. Some have even killed off the main character to make sure that there will be no more. A little drastic perhaps. but, it has the desired effect.

Unfortunately, there have been far more, who have not done the same. I'm sure we can all think of examples of these as well. Actors & characters come & go & the show ends up being more like a soap opera than a comedy show. What a great pity that is.

Even worse are the spin off shows that sometimes appear when the writers, or actors decide to call it a day. They should never be allowed. Has there ever been a spin off series better than the original? I doubt it.

Yes, it can take guts to stop a comedy series when it is in full flow. After all, it could potentially cost the writers a lot of money to stop. But, it can often be the correct choice.

So, if the writers of "The Inbetweeners" decide that the second series will be the last, i for one will respect that decision. Even though i'd love to see some more going's on from those crazy characters.

Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.
Leaving the public wanting more is not always a bad career move.

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