Charlie Hauck is a terrific comedy writer (FRASIER, MAUDE, etc.) and a hilarious author. His comic novel about a writing team launching a sitcom starring the diva from hell is both hilarious and all-too-real. The book is called ARTISTIC DIFFERENCES and well worth reading.
On one page he explains how you can tell a bad sitcom. Simple rules, worth repeating here.
1. Any show in which any character at any time during the life of the series says the words “Ta da!” is a bad sitcom.
2. Any show in which one character says to another, “What are friends for?” is a bad sitcom.
3. Any show in which a character says “Bingo!” in the sense of “Eureka!” is a bad sitcom.
4. Any show in which an actor or actress under the age of seven says cute things in close-up is a bad sitcom.
5. Any show in which an actor or actress over the age of seventy-five says vulgar things in close-up is a bad sitcom.
Any show that resorts to the use of Dr. Zarkov dialogue (named for the
villain in the FLASH GORGON series, where one character tells another
character something they both already know, for the benefit of the
audience) is a bad sitcom.
7. Any show in which a character, in the closing minutes, says, “I guess we’ve all learned a lesson,” and then goes on to explain what that lesson is, is a bad sitcom.
And if I may add a few of my own:
8. Any show where the studio audience says “Awwwwww” and the producers leave it in is a bad sitcom.
9. Any show that makes a Kim Kardashian joke is a bad sitcom.
10. Any show with Fran Drescher is a bad sitcom.