Situation Comedy, Character, and Psychoanalysis puts the sitcom character on the analyst's couch and closely examines the characters of Basil Fawlty, Lucy Ricardo and Kim from Australia's Kath & Kim, in order to reveal the essential elements that must exist in a sitcom before even the first joke is written. Original in its approach, D.T. Klika uncovers major findings about the sitcom as well as human behavior and relationships that we find `arresting' and even "familial".
By offering a new way of reading the sitcom using psychoanalytic theory, this book can be used as a basis for engaging in critical discourses as well as textual analysis of programs. Psychoanalytic theory enables a reading of character motivations and relationships, in turn elucidating the power struggle that exists between characters in this form of comedy. Situation Comedy, Character, and Psychoanalysis shines a light on what is at play in the sitcom that makes us laugh, and why we love the characters we do, only to discover that this form of comedy is more complex than we first thought.
D.T. Klika is Senior Lecturer in TV and Film Production at Middlesex University, UK. Klika has worked as a writer, producer, script advisor and written three sitcom pilots, one of which came fourth in the 2015 London Film Awards; another was awarded third place at the 2016 Cannes Screenplay Contest for best TV Comedy Pilot and has been produced as a research project for a book on writing and producing the fifteen minute TV Sitcom teaser pilot.
LIST OF FIGURES PREFACE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ABBREVIATIONS INTRODUCTION: (re)Reading the sitcom. 0.1 - What is the sitcom? 0.2 - The psychology of the character. 0.3 - Using Psychoanalysis 0.4 - An overview: finding sitcom's subversive side. CHAPTER ONE: It begins with the (key) character. 1.1 - Narcissism and the comic character. 1.2 - The comic character's struggle. 1.3 - Post-Freud and the comic. 1.4 - The character trapped in the gaze. 1.5 - Narcissus and Echo as comic characters. 1.6 - The key character as master of their world? CHAPTER TWO: The perpetual (power) struggle of sitcom relationships. 2.1 - Fear and behaviour. 2.2 - Fear and desire. 2.3 - Fear and power. 2.4 - The key character's struggle for a cohesive `self.' CHAPTER THREE: Echoing the key character. 3.1 - The key character and their echo. 3.2 - Echo comic characters. 3.3- Group Shows: the echo that lies within. 3.4 - A return to the myth of Narcissus and Echo and its psychoanalytic roots. 3.5 - Echo and Narcissus: two sides of the psyche? CHAPTER FOUR: The tension of the (closed) narrative. 4.1 - The key character and the narrative. 4.2 - Tension through the `diegetic reality' of the narrative. CHAPTER FIVE: Premise, performance and the discursive frame. 5.1 - Tension in the premise. 5.2 - The key character's `frame.' CONCLUSION: Sitcom: a (comic) site of struggle. APPENDIX: Theory in Practice Putting it on the page. A.1 - To (re)Cap: questions from the chapters. A.2 - (re)Reading the sitcom. A.3 - (re)Developing the sitcom BIBLIOGRAPHY PROGRAMOGRAPHY INDEX