Are there no original sitcom plots?

May 10, 2010

I watch a lot of sitcoms and in nearly every episode, I’m reminded of a similar plot in another episode of another series!  This struck home last night while I was re-watching the episode of Frasier, “An Affair to Forget.”  In it, there is a language barrier between Niles and his wife’s Bavarian fencing instructor.  To solve the problem, Niles speaks to Frasier in English, Frasier speaks to Marta in Spanish, who translates to the fencing instructor in German.  Of course, there is a lot lost in translation and it leads to humorous results.  I actually really like that episode and don’t mind that the bit is a complete rip-off of the I Love Lucy episode “Paris at Last.”  But it got me wondering, are there no original sitcom plots?  Are many episodes from our favorite shows just variations of shows of days gone by?  And doesn’t this bother people other than just me?

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