Media Sitcom Analysis
The majority of TV sitcoms, given their studio-bound nature, relatively small budgets and short shooting times will not demonstrate a particularly distinctive visual style.
The clip I have chosen (Scrubs Trailer) uses conventional framing, with many mid-shot and medium close-ups, combined with the common techniques of continuous editing. This allows the audience to understand the action, without drawing attention to the process of the construction.
The show is shot with a single-camera setup instead of a multiple-camera setup more typical for situation comedies. This sitcom favours simple cuts and maintains the rules of continuous editing. This is used to control time, tell the story and to focus on the less important various characters. It helps to create comedy from the actions and dialogue on screen especially when the main characters are shown throughout the hospital linking the various scenes.
In this clip the cameras cut from one scene to another which helps to suggest a relationship between shots alongside each other. The clip dissolves between the opening shot of the outside of the hospital to the inner hospital which allows the viewer to appreciate that the clips are linked even though they are separated by space. The music plays a large role in Scrubs. A wide variety of rock, pop, and indie artists are featured, and almost every episode ends with a musical montage summing up the themes and plot lines of the episode.
In addition to music being featured as a soundtrack to the show, the cast themselves also sing on a frequent basis, which happens in the middle scene of this trailer including additional musical instruments as props. The opening sequence shows rolling clouds above the hospital with mood music to get you interested in what is to come.
The narrators’ voice in this clip echos the comedy and are is a non diegetic sound. Silly voices and the singing scene are used to add comedy effect.
The mix of the techniques is used to great effect to create surprise to the audience. Overall, mise-en-scene is used when the director wishes to give an impression of the characters or situation without actually saying anything. In this clip all of the scenes are very sparse on props and all have overhead lighting.
The scenes depict a cluttered, disorganized hospital being used to reflect the disorganization in the main character’s life in general. The main focus is on the characters themselves and not on the surroundings.
The story is the diary of the main character acted out through the people and every episode begins with the first person, i. e. “My.
.. “. . The scenes are all shot within the confines of the Sacred Heart Hospital and many of them are contained within the A;E department.
The costumes are always that of medical staff and their co workers. The props are kept to a minimum as it is a relatively small budget production. As well as being a hospital genre, Scrubs is also a comedy. It manages to cover serious issues but at the same time is very funny. Scrubs has a variety of target audiences.
Many may watch this for the comedy aspect, whereas others could watch it for “personal relationship/identity” as many characters lives are looked into quite deeply. The fact that the show is based around a hospital gives a target audience of the 18 to 34 year olds with the secondary target audience being a little older. This is where the wit of the main characters offers a more sophisticated audience great entertainment as well. Scrubs usually ends the episode with JD sharing his thoughts on the day and giving a moral. This moral could be the authors meaning that he is trying to portray.