This chapter outlines the difficulties in defining the sitcom, in relation to a wide range of genre theory. Using a number of contemporary examples, it highlights the variety of conventions the sitcom employs. This is thought of in terms of narrative, aesthetics, performance style, and humour. A historical approach is employed to show the range of techniques the sitcom has utilised over time. The chapter argues for a newer definition of the sitcom, as a form of broadcasting that foregrounds its humorous intent, and therefore has a ‘comic impetus’.
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