Even with the evolution to a domcom, Friends still once in awhile go back to being an actcom. There will still be moments in latter seasons where Phoebe makes a really stupid comment or when Joey again proves to be self-centered. This occasional drift to actcom makes Friends a culmination of both the actcom and the domcom types of sitcoms. But even without a definite category, Friends is still undeniably a sitcom in that it meets the umbrella definition of what constitutes a sitcom’s plot, complication, and characterization: that they are deeply rooted – either by representation or by deviation – in idealized American middle-class (Taflinger, 1996).
Characters, like plots, are an extremely important element in sitcoms. This is because sitcoms are character driven, as the plots, settings and humour all revolve around the lives of the characters. A general trait among all characters is that they are usually stereotypical. As the stereotypes assist in letting viewers get familiar with the characters in a short amount of time. Also these characters have strengths and weaknesses that make them more realistic and help the show in being more humorous. For example: Chandler from Friends is insecure and uses sarcasm to cover-up awkward moments, or Monica, also from Friends has a tendency to get what she wants no matter what the price. The example of this can be shown when she is not invited to her cousinвЂ™s wedding and manipulates Ross into dumping his date and going with her instead. All the similarities and traits found in sitcom characters are to give the audience a chance to relate or to get familiar, much like the theme
Susan, of My Family, has very little maternal or loving characteristics and therefore doesn’t make a very strong bond with the audience. She is not very domesticated, as she often states she cannot cook, and also she is more the head of the household than Ben, instructing her children and husband on what and what not to do. The fact that she works also takes any maternal nature out of her character, and her sarcastic, tempestuous and sometimes-immature nature is used to get laughter from the audience rather than to make a bond with them.