If a sit-com character is from Sweden, his or her name must be Sven, Inga, Ingrid or Ingmar. It’s the law.
If a Latina appears in a sit-com as a subordinate character, she is likely to be a model or a cleaning lady. Regardless of her profession, her name will be something like Juanita, Lupe, Pilar, Hilda or Maria. If it is a man, his name will be Jesus, Juan, Eduardo or Jose. It’s the law.
Black people must be doctors, executives or lawyers. Their names will no longer be Leroy, Rastus or Buckwheat. It’s the law.
If there is a fat, dopey protagonist, his wife needs to be really hot and smart. Sarcastic and cynical is a plus. It’s the law.
An elderly woman should be either rickety and senile or oversexed and flamboyant. It’s the law.
If Character A stands in the doorway looking at an unsavory scene, and Character B asks, “How long have you been standing there?!” Character A has to reply, “Long enough!” It’s the law.
If there is any story beat that could possibly be resolved by invoking Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” you have no choice but to play it. It’s the law.
Stay with me, friends — I’ll be back with more sit-com laws later!
[c] 2009 Russ of America
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