04 May 2008

Shakespeare and comedy - Midsummer post #2

This is the second Midsummer post and is due before class starts on Tuesday, May 6.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy, which is something that today's television viewers should know a little something about.According to Scholastic Scope magazine, Shakespeare wrote about three kinds of classic mix-ups: 1) mistaken identity, 2) love triangles, and 3) strange coincidences. Each of these classic mix-ups are staples on 21st Century sitcoms. The next time you watch your favorite sitcom or re-run, look for one of those classic mix-ups involving the characters.For your assignment, select one (1) of the classic mix-ups from above and find an example of it from a popular sitcom you watch. First, describe the mix-up from the sitcom, and then explain how the humor of the mixed-up situation helps increase your enjoyment and appreciation of the show. What makes it funny?

As with all of these assignments, it is a good practice to write your response in a word processing program like Microsoft Word so you can better edit and proofread your entry before submitting it. It also makes sense to save a copy of your response in case you have problems posting.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is something that i am not to good at writing, i dont know how to explain humor like no one is good at defineing fun so it will be in the dictionary, because hummor apeals to many people so it will fit into each and every individual as funny some things will be funny to a group and some things will be funny to one person. but i do have an hunch for the sitcom which i like or "The Bill Engvall Show" which to me the comedy of blue collor and stupidity, and the sense of a maried father is what makes it all funny to me. Logan Vanacore

Colin, P.4 said...

Ok, so the “sitcom” I’m writing about isn’t really a sitcom at all, more of an overall funny show. I am sure many, if not everyone, in the class has seen it; the show I’m talking about is “Futurama.” The comedy mix up that the screen writers use a lot is the “love triangle.” The main character, Fry, has had a crush on his one-eyed co-worker, Leela since the initial episode. Of course, Leela does not reciprocate, and always ends up going out with some other guy, much to Fry’s annoyance. Fry usually hates these boyfriends, and often tries to make them look bad to Leela. What is usually the funniest is the way that Fry acts; his normally bumbling idiotic behavior is exaggerated ten fold when it comes to Leela. His elaborate schemes to “get back” at Leelas’ boyfriends always end in the misfortune of someone; something that is funny no matter where it comes from. Leela’s inability to see that her love life is sometimes being manipulated is also a cause for enjoyment, though one can’t help but feel bad for her. What I am trying to say is that the character interaction in the show is funny, no matter how witty the dialogue is, or how hilarious the slap-stick gags are. In the end, a person needs to be able to connect, on some level, with the characters they are watching. If they are not able to…well, my friend, that’s just not good television.

Anonymous said...

There are many sitcoms that include comedic love plots, but one show that sticks out in my mind in Scrubs. The characters, who all work in the same hospital, begin to create romances. The surgeon intern, Turk begins to fall for the nurse, Carla. Two doctor interns, JD and Elliot also begin to spark a romance between each other. As the seasons progress, JD and Elliot are on and off with their relationship. Their jealousy for the other is usually funny and cause both character to behave in a way that makes their heartache funny to watch as they cope with their feelings in a silly and humorous way. the love triangle is what keeps their characters strong throughout the show.
Sean S. Period 4

Anonymous said...

On one episode of Full House, Rusty (Danny Tanner’s girlfriend’s son) writes a note to DJ from the paper boy. The note is a love note, so it was meant to make DJ think the paperboy liked her, but the note gets into the wrong hands. Rusty gives the note to Michelle to give to DJ and say it’s from the paperboy, but instead, Michelle gives it to Stephanie and says it’s from Rusty. Stephanie hides it in Joey’s laundry basket, so when Joey gives it to Danny’s girlfriend Cindy, she thinks it’s from him. Then Cindy hides it in Danny’s notebook, so when Danny gives the notebook to Rebecca (his co-host and brother-in-law’s wife), she thinks it’s from him. Then Rebecca hides it in a book that belongs to Kimmy (DJ’s best friend and next door neighbor). Jesse (Rebecca’s husband) gives the book to Kimmy, and Kimmy thinks he’s in love with her. Then Jesse finds the note and thinks it was written to Rebecca from Danny or Joey (Danny’s best friend). Then Stephanie tells DJ that Rusty wrote a love note to her so DJ goes to talk to Rusty, but he misunderstands and thinks DJ loves him! This would be an example of a mistaken identity. When Rusty wrote the fake love note, he signed it as secret admirer, so no one would know who it is from. What makes this funny is, you know what’s going on and they don’t and they all think that someone loves them who are the opposites of them. Rusty is a trouble maker and Stephanie is a good girl. Joey is a slob and Cindy is a dry cleaner. Rebecca and Danny are co-hosts.
Megan Period 6

Anonymous said...

One example of a TV sitcom that there is a romantic twist up is in the show "A Sweet Life of Zack and Cody." I think of this very readily when i hear this assisnment becuase in this episode they are actually preforming "a Mid Summer Night's Dream" in the school play.The school is putting on the Shakespeare classic, but when Cody and his new girlfriend Gwen try out for the leads, Cody is cast as a tree while Zack gets the starring role, a part that requires him to kiss Gwen. Also the girl that Zack likes ends up having a crush on Cody throughout the episode. This love twist up, cuases the entire play to turn turmoil and the plot of A mid-summer nights dream to be changed drastically in the episode


Mike P
P-4

Anonymous said...

The tv show, Grey's Anatomy, is a good example of a romantic twisted comedy. It's about a group of young adults who work and intern at a hospital. Everyones always hooking up with someone knew, backstabbing friends, falling in and out of relationships. The main characters that really face issues are Meredith, Derek, and Addison. Addison is Derek's ex wife, after she cheated on him with his best friend. So after they were separated, and Meredith and Derek started to work together, they had a huge crush on each other, and started dating. Then after one of the surgeon's quit, Addison started a job at the same hospital, and realizes Derek moved on, so now its her against Meredith trying to win Derek back, and he can't decide who he wants.

jessica- period 4

Anonymous said...

In the show "The Real World" on the MTV has many love triangles. Throughout the show there is a lot of drama going on with who likes who, who hooked up with who. Usually in this show someone likes one person but that person likes someone else. Also in this show there are many people who are mistaken identites and fake to one another. Acting like this causes more problems throughout the show

kendall
period 6

Anonymous said...

In the show "Gilmore Girls" there is a love triangle in which Rory, Dean, and Jess are in. Rory is first in love with Dean, then she meets Jess. Then she and Dean break up because Dean is getting annoyed and jelous of Jess. Then Rory and Jess start to date. After a while in that relationship he starts to get jelous of Dean. It just goes back and fourth for many seasons and they all finally stop talking. Rory starts to date someone new, Logan, and then Jess comes back into her life. He is also the nefew of her mother, Loreli's boyfriend/ fiance. So he will always be a big part of her life, but when he comes back when she is with Logan, Logan then starts to become jelous. So it is just one big love tirangle with Rory, Jess and Dean.
Morgan period 6

Anonymous said...

The the TV show, That 70s Show, there is an amusing love triangle. The girly and materialistic character, Jackie, has had relationships with two of the guys out of her group of close friends, Michael and Steven. They both have completely different personalities and different ways of showing their affection as well, but Jackie has trouble choosing which one she would like to have a serious relationship with. Michael tries to win her affection by buying her things and being charming. Steven tries to win her affection in a more passive way by acting like he doesnt care about whether or not they get together.
Emily Period 6

Anonymous said...

The comical show that has love triangles is "The Office." In this sitcom, Jim, who is one of the workers at the office, falls in love with the secretary, Pam. Pam, however, secretly loves Jim as well, but is engaged to marry another man. The humor in this show helps increase my enjoyment for the show because it does not take things too seriously. The show does display events that happen in almost everyone's lives, but it takes them with a funny approach. The show does not make it seem that it is the end of the world, simply because Pam is getting married. The show pokes fun at situations in real life that would otherwise be thought of as tragic. It sort of reinforces that people should not take things too seriously, and that maybe humor can make your day better. Laughing at some situations and finding humor in them may be the best cure.

Lindsay, Per. 4

Anonymous said...

A sitcom has many twists and tails during a show and an entire series. The plots are are amusing and its fun to see how things will turn out. One show, "Desparate Housewives," does exactly this. Carlos, a man once married to Gabriella had been romancing a neighbor of his, Edie. Although Carlos was in a stable relationship with Edie, Carlos had begun to see and sleep with his ex-wife Gabriella. They were fooling around and Carlos realized he wanted to be back with her. When Carlos tried to end it, Edie used blackmail and other tricks to keep him around. She even forced him to be her new fiance. They are engaged to a very upset Carlos and Gabriella. Carlos must now make a choice: marry Edie and just cheat on her or do something unthinkable to her so he can be with Gabriella and have his freedom back.

This show and situation is not extremely hilarious but is funny in the of the way the characters present it. The way they talk and sneak around brings a smile to the viewers face. These so called "friends" have secrets and are constantly stabbing each other in the back. They are anticipating their enemies next move whic is always a pleasure to watch drama unfold.

There cannot be a correct defination of funny. What I find slaphappy funny may be absolutely ridiculous to another person. For example, the shows "The Office", "Whose Line is it Anyway?" "Scrubs" and "Lil' Bush" are my favorite shows and I find their humor so funny! However, my brothers cannot stand any of those shows except "Scrub." They find the political humor stupid. However, I cannot stand my younger brother's appriciation of wrestling. He finds the fake action and fake feuds really amusing. Something to be considered funny requires a certain taste and their is no correct defination.

Jenna G. Period 6

Dave Per. 4 said...

I think that one of the funniest shows on television is "Everybody Loves Raymond." The reason the show is funny is because it uses family experiences and twists them into comedic situations. I remember one particular episode that was especially funny that pertains to a mistaken identity. Ray's brother, Robert, met a woman at a bar, and he found out that she liked sports, so he told her that he was Ray Barone, a sportswriter, so basically he was telling her that he was his brother. It ended up where Ray had to pretend to be Robert when he met Robert's new girlfriend, and in the last scene of the show Robert's girlfriend goes to Ray's house, who she actually thinks is Robert, and tells Ray's wife that they are dating. Ray's wife, of course, not knowing about Robert's identity switch, thinks Ray is cheating on her. The episode ends with Ray and Robert getting into big trouble with Ray's wife and their mother. This kind of hilarity is shown in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and it must have been as funny back then as it is now.

Sujata per. 4 said...

The show, FRIENDS is a good sitcom. The characters of the show are hilarious. Ross and Chandler are best friends. Ross's sister is also Chandler's fiancee. Ross and Rachel were going out for a while. When they break up, Ross's other friend Joey and Rachel fall in love. Phoebe dates the guys outside the group.
Throughout the series, there is a lot of drama between them. They keep dating on and off. So there is a lot of jealousy in it. Besides, the plotline, the characters have selective personality. The show isn't a hit just because of the actors. It's just that it portrays the human nature so well and contains a great mix of humour and real life situations. They act the way anyone would act. Yet it captures the viewers attention so well.

Macy P.4 said...

In the kids T.V. show, Zoey 101, Quinn, the main character, Zoey’s best friend, asks her to tell a boy named Mark that she likes him. So Zoey goes and asks Mark if he likes her. Mark says no he doesn’t. Zoey goes back to Quinn to tell her the news, but seeing how happy she is, lies and tells her that he likes her too. Uh oh! So Zoey sets up a fake “hang out” for Quinn and Mark, Quinn thinks it’s a date, while Mark believes that they are just hanging out as friends. Mark’s girlfriend finds out about Mark hanging out with Quinn and dumps him. Quinn gets upset because she doesn’t understand, and Zoey comes forth with the truth about everything.
This show has quite a love triangle going on which makes it interesting to follow, and makes you eager to find out what happens to the characters next as the twisted plot thickens.

Charlotte A 4 said...

The well-known comedy with Robin Williams; Mrs. Doubtfire is one of my favorite movies. It involves mistaken identities, love triangles and strange coincidences. However, it sticks out to me mostly as a mistaken identity. Robin Williams plays a man who just got divorced and isn’t allowed to see his kids. He cannot bare to live with out his kids so he comes up with the perfect idea! With the help of simple prostatic make-up he is able to disguise himself as a nanny and gets hired for a job for his own family. His kids really believe that he is ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ and not their dad. He gets to spend time with his kids plus he is getting paid. This comedy is hilarious because of the whole plot and how it is written, plus the father dresses up as a woman.

Jostlyn per.4 said...

On the show House there is a lot of strange coincidences and love triangles.The thing that makes most of the show funny is the wry slap stick humor that is used by the main character House. In this show House feels that he is losing his best friend Wilson to a girl that he fired for a new job positon. House tries to get in between the two by stealing Wilson and briging him out and just hanging around with him. The strage coincidences comes with all the diagnosises that House and his team figure out. I always find it amazing that such a simple thing like getting a tick bite could cause so many different things and you wouldn't know what happened to you.

Anonymous said...

Many new shows and sitcoms include all of these things in order to make their show funny and appeal to their audience. One show that I can think of that has used all of these is "Friends." One particular episode that I remember included a little bit of mistaken identity with a love triangle. One of the characters, Joey, had a crush on Rachel. At the time, Rachel was having a baby with Ross, which accounts for the love triangle. Also, another friend of all three of these characters, Monica, found out about Joey's crush. However, she made the mistake of thinking Joey liked another friend, Pheobe. This caused confusion for all of the characters which created a humorous situation. The mix up and involvment of many characters makes the show more entertaining to watch. It makes it funny, while concluding with a happy ending. This is similar to the humor and story line of "Midsummer Night's Dream" and is still very common in most television shows today.
Maria period 6

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite sitcoms is House, it reminds me of a confusing love triangle in general because the main character, Dr. House always seems to be in love with a girl or two. But his sarcasm and personality make women either charmed by him or be annoyed with him so it is hard for him to find that one women that really likes him biut i think he does it to keep the wrong ones away.
per.4 Andrew

Anonymous said...

The show that i thought related to A Midsummer Nights Dream is "Gilmore Girls". The reason why is because there is a love triangle in which Rory, Dean, and Jess are in. Rory first falls in love with Dean, and then after meeting Jess she decides that she loves him. At this time is the show both boys are in love with Rory, but Rory now only likes Jess. When all of this stops because Jess and Dean realize that its not worth the fighting they both just leave her alone. Then Rory starts to date someone new and then Jess comes back into her life. And he will always be in her life because her mother is getting married to his uncle. So the whole thing is a big love triangle with Rory, Jess and Dean.
AnneMarie period 4

Anonymous said...

In the romantic comedy "Dave," one man pretends to be the president of the United States because the president had suffered a stroke and his advisors didn't want the public to find out. While he was pretending to be the president, the wife of the real president started to fall in love with him. This was strangely coincidental because the man looked so much like the president and was able to fool everyone, even the real president's wife. It's funny because it was obvious to the audience that one actor played the roles of both the president and the look-alike. It was also funny that the fake president was much more appealing and likable to everyone than the real president.

Colleen period 4

Kristina Period 4 said...

A classic mix-up from a popular sitcom that I watch is the show, Friends. An episode when Monica freaks out about the trip to London. Ross is annoyed that Rachel won't come. In London, Emily worries about the wedding and Ross reassures her. Rachel tries taking care of Phoebe but Phoebe clues her in to her feelings for Ross. Monica gives Emily advice, so Emily decides to postpone the wedding and she and Ross argue. Phoebe tries to help Rachel get over Ross. Then Ross confronts Monica, who agrees to help him. Ross and Emily make up and decide to go ahead as planned. Rachel decides to go to London and Phoebe tries to talk her out of it. This shows the love triangle between Ross, Rachel and Emily. They all love each other but cannot be with each other in the end. What makes the show funny is how confused they are. They make everything so much more difficult than it has to be, and they put humor in it. I enjoyed watching what they outcome was and it made me laugh.

justme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin Per. 6 said...

My favorite sitcom is That 70s show. It shows a good example of a love triangle. The character Jackie a very girly girl has had relations with to of the main characters in the show Heins and Kelso. The thing about this is that they both have totally different personalities. Kelso tries very hard to make Jackie happy and does a lot of things for and Heins just acts like he doesn't care to make Jackie come to him.

Chelsea, Period 4 said...

One situation that I can think of from a popular sitcom that I watch is a show called Friends. The situation that relates a lot to what Shakespeare writes about is a love triangle. The show is about a bunch of best friends that all live together in the city; both men and women. They all know everything about each other and go through pretty much everything together. In a series of episodes, two people out of the group, Monica and Chandler, fall in love. They don’t want anyone to really know about it because they have been friends for so long and it would be awkward if they fell in love and started dating in front of all of their other close nit friends. They spend all of their time sneaking around and hiding the fact that they are seeing each other to their friends because they just feel uncomfortable about it. Little did they know that two of the other friends Rachael, and Phoebe knew about this and decided to play a little game with Chandler and Monica. Phoebe pretended like she had a big crush on Chandler to see if Monica would crack under the pressure and spill the beans about the two of them being in love. She hits on Chandler in front of Monica and flirts with him like crazy until finally, Chandler nor Monica cant hide it anymore and they let everyone know that they are together, in love, and that Chandler doesn’t want to be with Phoebe. Then Phoebe lets them know that she was just playing around trying to get their secret out! This was the first thing that came to my mind with a love triangle in a sitcom that I frequently watch. It’s a conflict, but it is made to be funny and enjoyable to watch, just how Shakespeare makes his plays.

Anonymous said...

In an episode of "Full House" Michelle "married" Steve who was DJ's boyfriend. Everyone but Michelle just thought it was like a game because she was only a little kid. She took it more seriously though and got mad when Steve wanted to go home fore dinner. The mix up made the episode funnier but also kept it serious by creating conflict through a misunderstanding. Without the mix up the episode would have been boring with Michelle and Steve having their pretend wedding and Steve just leaving a little while later.

Josh Period 4

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite TV shows Greys Anatomy is comparable to the comedy and plot that a shakespearen play such as a mid Nights Summer Dream would have. The show is about adults working in a hospital. And it deals with all lifes drama of realtionships and life. I beleive it is likke the play becuase in A Mid Nights Summer Dream its like a love mess that cannot be settled. Well in Greys anotomy it is similar with characters and episodes it has.

pat p.6

chloe per. 4 said...

Well, I don't really watch much t.v. so this is kind of hard for me to answer. But I do know a movie where there is a sort of love triangle, it's not really a funny movie though. But in the movie Dreamland, the main character has this "thing" with her co-worker at the gas station. But when her new neighbor, Mookie, moves in, she falls in love with him. But her best friend who has a deadly disease that will cause her to die in a matter of years also has a crush on him. So instead of going after Mookie herself, she tries to get him and her best friend together so that her friend would be happy even though she would be miserable. So Mookie goes out with her even though he really loves the main character instead (I can't think of her name right now) because he too feels bad about her disease. Meanwhile, the other guy from the gas station also loves the main character but she doesn't love him back. Eventually, the main character and Mookie end up together and the guy from the gas station is left heart-broken and her best friend eventually gets over it. So, it's not exactly a funny love triangle, but I think it relates well to A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Anonymous said...

In the comedy Scrubs, the main character, JD, is a very mixed up individual. Scrubs is about a doctor, JD, and his friends and fellow doctors just trying to get through life. In the beginning of the series JD falls in love with his fellow resident, Elliot. They date for a while and then they break up. After they break up, JD still has a thing for her but she already has another boyfriend. JD then gets involved with other women but never really feels happy because he can't have Elliot. At some point later in the show's series they end up together again but JD realizes that he doesn't want her anymore. JD then breaks up with her and gets back together with one of his ex's and realizes he just wants what he can't have and Elliot has another boyfriend so JD wants her again. By the end of the show's series JD falls in love with someone other than Elliot and Elliot falls for someone else and they are both relatively happy. The thing that makes it funny is that everytime Elliot loves someone he gets extremely jealous and tries to sabotage them. The thing is JD always fails due to someone else's involvement whether it be Dr. Cox, his mentor, or Turk, his best friend thats a surgeon, or even the Janitor. Also, JD has an inner monologue going at all times and he has very strange thoughts. This paired with the odd things that happen to him and his friends makes for a very funny show. Lastly, Dr Cox also experiences the love triangle situation with Turk's girl friend Carla. Carla loves Turk and Turk loves Carla and Turk found out that Dr. Cox loves Carla but doesn't care unless he makes a move. The funniest part about that is that is that Dr. Cox is a very cynical, sarcastic character who everyone likes but is afraid of except Turk. They end up getting a little confrontational and make bets and stuff every once in a while. All in all the love triangles make the show very funny and moves the series along.

Dominic Period 4