Some directors and writers take a huge influence from older TV serials and movies. This is apparent in the character and scene lifts in the newer TV sitcoms today. There is no answer to why these lifts weren’t argued against by the original makers. I mean, of course imitation is the highest form of flattery but sometimes it irks.. Doesn't it? Here are a few characters’ traits and scenes that have inspired newer sitcoms.
1. Danny Tanner and Monica
Before Monica became the idol for all cleanliness freaks out there, DannyTanner was known for his OCD of cleaning. He can even be seen cleaning leaves of his garden! The man was so obsessed about cleaning that he even cleaned his cleaning liquid bottles (notice how many times I have used “clean” there?). There is a scene in season 9 of FRIENDS where Mon could be seen cleaning a big vacuum cleaner with a smaller one. This scene is directly lifted from one of the Full House episodes (will list the season and episode when I remember)!
2. The Dunphys and the Hennessys
Modern Family’s Dunphys are strikingly similar to the Hennessys from 8 Simple Rules. John Ritter’s character Paul Hennessy is a worried dad just like Ty Burrell’s Phil Dunphy. They both have bimbos for the eldest, a brainy kid for a middle child and a notorious boy as the favorite youngest child. The only difference here in these families are the wives. While Katey Sagal’s Cate is a very calm and composed character who can shush her kids with just “kids...” and a wave of a hand, Julie Bowen’s Clare Dunphy is a bit of complex mom.
3. Carl and Ross’s proposal scenes
This is one scene lift that deserves no mercy!! I mean it was unarguably one of the best comedy moments in the history of FRIENDS. Ross gets a “Thank you” in reply for his “I Love you” by Emily. This scene was replayed in Mike and Molly with Carl proposing Christina! It takes a lot of conscientious effort to come up with a scene as hilarious as this. So I really despise this one shameless lift!
4. FRIENDS and How I Met Your Mother
HIMYM, initially was received harshly by the critics because it just seemed like a continuum of “FRIENDS”. But at that point, viewers did cut some slack to the makers because the time gap between FRIENDS’s end and HIMYM’s start was very less and it was unfair to compare the latter to the former. However as the seasons progressed, we could see that HIMYM writers did nothing but rewrite some of the best moments from FRIENDS to suit to the new audiences. I mean, cmon, Barney marrying Lily and Marshall? Didn’t Joey marry Monica and Chandler? Barney’s character is nothing but a smart and rich Joey! And Ted’s role reminds you of Ross’s doesn’t it? And then the obvious love triangles – Ross-Rach-Joey and Ted-Robin-Barney! There are some really nice moments in How I Met.. but c’mon FRIENDS is a religion of its own!
5. How I Met Your Mother and Rules of Engagement
3 men,2 women, 1 womanizer – Always hang out in a restaurant/pub booth. This pretty much sums up the theme of HIMYM and ROE. Barney and Russell are very similar. They both are charming and are equally sleazy! And you can see them both wearing SUITS all the time!
After all this analysis, only one question lingers in my mind -Where has all the creativity gone? Why can’t today’s writer create sitcoms with some original characters and original storylines? Whitney Cummings, Elizabeth Meriwether, Lena Dunham and Lesley Arfin are some of the writers that I think we can depend on for some freshness! Keep it coming girls..We love your shows..