Seriality, the ontological concept behind TV series, originated due to consumerist reasons. When literature printing boomed out at the end of the XIX century, writers –most prominently Charles Dickens– had to look for a way to keep readers invested in their works in order to consolidate this new mass producing machine. Accordingly, splitting long novels into different chapters released over time –and with a proper cliffhanger– hooked the readers and allowed the industry to bloom. A century later, TV has adopted the formula literature popularized and even more recently some shows have appeared that have challenged our understanding about what seriality is supposed to be.
Some weeks ago we got the news that Rick Mayall had passed away at his house in London. Comedy was in mourning, we had just lost a main cast member of one the most influential sitcoms of all time whose echoes we can still hear in today’s TV shows. We had lost one of The Young Ones.
Comedy is still considered a minor genre in the academic field. It’s a pity that the honor of revolutionizing the way we watch and understand television belongs to the underrated sitcom.
Anthology series are back and, apparently, are here to stay for at least some years. But why is this format, practically unused for the last two decades, back again in television’s front line?