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Thursday, Dec 1, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
by Josef Adalian
New York (27 November 2011)

“After a few years of silence, sitcoms are giggling again. ABC has had modest success defrosting Tim Allen for Last Man Standing, a multicamera show—the traditional kind, with a flat living-room set and an audience in the studio. CBS, which never abandoned the form, launched a top-ten hit with 2 Broke Girls. NBC, whose critical darlings like 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation have been shot “single-camera,” sans audience, has gone back to the old multicamera setup for Whitney. And on every one, the audio track is filled with raucous laughter. At the upfronts last spring, when Whitney made its debut, critics and reporters noticed that the guffaws came in hard and abruptly, then evaporated. Is it possible that actual human beings respond to a barrage of vagina jokes with such gusto? And if so, why is it that a 59-year-old Hollywood sound engineer named John Bickelhaupt is so busy this fall?”

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