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Jungian Theory of Sitcoms

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Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 3
Location: Southern Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:37 am    Post subject: Jungian Theory of Sitcoms Reply with quote

A long time ago a friend and I were discussing Star Trek and he broke it down using Freud, that Kirk, Spock, and McCoy were really the ego, superego, and ID. The conversations they were having were the internal conversations that a person would have when they have to balance logic, and compassion in order to make a decision.

That conversation along with, "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell inspired me to come up with my own theory of TV sitcoms using Carl Jung's theory of the archetype. I believe that any successful comedy is based on an archetype sitcom from the 50's or 60's which in tern is based on older vaudeville troupes, which is base on even older material.

The idea is that you could take a sitcom from the 50's or 60's and rework it a bit, even changing gender roles around, but maintain enough of the structure and you would have a successful modern sitcom. Here are some examples that I think prove my point.

Mad About You -> The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Honeymooners -> Rosanne, plus at least twenty others
Frasier -> The Jack Benny Show
Seinfeld -> Abbot and Costello

The biggest stretch for me was Friends, but the more I thought about it, the bones of the show was Gilligan's Island. Similar number of main characters, with similar traits and even professions to a degree. Replace a tropical island with the island of Manhattan and you have it.

Just to throw in a Tim Allen show, Last Man Standing is a softer variant of All in the Family and Home Improvement is Father Knows Best.

All of this being said, I think a modern sitcom could be created from the bones of Green Acres. I could see it being a fish out of water story about a Manhattan couple forced to move to the rural mid-west. It would be a commentary on the differences between red states and blue states. The show would also try and find the common ground between them.

I even have a set up or two that I think would work. One idea is to have at least one of the couple be Jewish think that there at no Jews in the mid-west. I would have a character based on Kinky Friedman play the local rabbi and be the connection that explains the difference and similarities of culture. Think Wilson on Home Improvement.

What do you guys think? I am not a screen-writer, I am a cyber security engineer. This idea has been buzzing around in my head for over a decade and I just wanted to get it out.
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