Worst Sitcom

At the start of the noughties sitcoms were criticised for being unrealistic, studio bound and having laugh tracks. Looking at the winners and nominees in this category, you wonder if adding some of those elements might have actually been an improvement.

Beached Az - 44.44%
"Not funny"
- Ontos
"Fucking agonising."
- samadriel
"Compared to the sort of comedies it should have been aspiring to, it was bereft of ideas, had no clever, quotable lines, wasn't about anything interesting, and didn't look at the world in a new way or use interesting or innovative production techniques."
- Bean Is A Carrot
Chandon Pictures - 33.33%
:30 Seconds - 22.22%

Last year's winner:
Bogan Pride

Beached Az is the winner of Worst Sitcom this year and here's why: it was not a comedy and barely featured a situation. It's the sort of high concept animated shit which gains inexplicable popularity on YouTube - well, inexplicable if you assume any of those watching it weren't under 10 or stoned out of their brains - and panics TV executives into bringing it to TV. Such executives would probably argue it's an endearing, low-key character study reminiscent of Samuel Beckett's Happy Days, which generates laughs through keenly-observed naturalistic dialogue. They are wrong: it's a whale on a beach with a New Zealand accent uttering the same catchphrase over and over again.

Chandon Pictures Series 1 got an airing on ABC-2 in 2009, while Series 2 premiered on Movie Extra. Series 1 seemed heavily influenced by the realistic style of The Office, and was a not-that-funny but amiable enough show. Series 2 toned down the reality and aimed for more comedy, with Tommy Chandon and that cameraman character becoming a sort of Darren and Barry from Extras-style double act. It's nice to see programme makers experiment with style and tone from series to series, but neither incarnation of Chandon Pictures seemed to work that well and with the Ricky Gervais-inspired reality sitcom boom pretty much over, it's hard to see this coming back.

As for :30 Seconds, its partial competence and relative obscurity over on the Comedy Channel probably helped it to a loss in this category, and that's kind of a shame, because not only was it the most sitcom-y of this categories' nominees, but it had plenty of problems. Take the laugh-free dramedy feel which stifled the most promising of the show's comic conceits, the satirical observations you yourself observed back in High School or the fact that this was basically Stupid Stupid Man meets The Gruen Transfer. And yet, of the original Australian sitcoms which graced Pay TV this year, it is :30 Seconds which got the DVD release - go figure!

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