About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1174 |
6 min read
Published: Aug 31, 2023
Words: 1174|Pages: 3|6 min read
What comes to your mind when we talk about the most influential contemporary sitcom? Most people may answer, “Mr. Bean!” Why is the show so worldwide popular? Mr. Bean, a British sitcom starring Rowan Atkinson as the main character, consisted of 15 episodes and broadcasted on television since 25th August 2006. It has received widespread acclaim and countless awards such as “Rose d’Or.” However, Mr. Bean is obviously not the first sitcom in history, yet besides a punchline, what exactly makes the show achieve such rapturous kudos? Compared to other sitcoms, recognizable name, little dialogue with vivid body language and slapstick humor as well as other media are the noteworthy reasons lying behind Mr. Bean’s striking success.
If you meet the actor of Mr. Bean on the street, will you shout, “Mr. Bean” or “Rowan Atkinson”? Obviously, most people seem to recognize him but not as a whole. Rowan Atkinson, in full Rowan Sebastian Atkinson, is a British actor and comedian who delights the television and film audiences with his comic character, Mr. Bean. A master degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering though he received, he devoted himself to acting and came to his first prominence in Not the Nine O'Clock News, a BBC’s sketchy show. With a series of outstanding works, including Mr. Bean, Atkinson was listed as one of the funniest actors in British comedy.
Atkinson has “registered” his face as a means of comedy expression since he was a graduate student in electrical engineering. Within the first successful performance at Oxford, he decided to believe in his face. “I’m not sure whether there was a particular narrative, a logic to it, but I did my best and it certainly solicited laughter. But since then, I’ve hardly ever looked at my face … I hope it’s doing what I think it’s doing.” Atkinson said in a BBC World Service radio interview in January. However, he insisted that he was not a funny man. “I am,” he said, “essentially a rather quiet, dull person who just happens to be a performer.” Yet, there is no denying that Atkinson indeed brings us borderless laughter.
A key to appeal, titles are your audience’s first impression of what your screenplay. Rather than a tongue-twister or an elusive word, the show’s creator names the main character “Bean” and makes it also become the title of the sitcom. Cleverly, “Mr. Bean” not only highlights the core character with its comic name but enable audiences to remember it without effort. Why “Bean”? The initial reason is perhaps related to the fact that Atkinson suffers from a stammer, and the over-articulation of the “B” sound is able to overcome problematic consonants. Yet, the name “Bean” may imprint on British audience’s mind because baked beans is commonly consumed as a part of English full breakfast. Moreover, bean is such a simple word that can be highly recognizable in terms of international audiences, which expedites Mr. Bean’s global success.
Besides the name, another reason for the show’s charm in hundreds of cities worldwide is to use little “intelligible” dialogue, making it much more accessible to people unfamiliar with English. Mr. Bean, in other words, features visual humor. Compared to other sitcom or mime, vivid and hilarious body language result in a big hit of the show. Atkinson even acquired a reputation of the best throwback to Chaplin, for he masters facial expression and body language, bringing a non-verbal character to life. For instance, to show his displeasure, he often frowns, pouts and uses “eye behavior”; on the other hand, he may raise his eyebrows, keep his eyes wide open and smirk to reveal complacency. According to 7-38-55 Rule of Personal Communication – a theorem that states body language accounts for 38% of personal communication – the audiences are more likely to empathize his emotion via nonverbal expression. Hence, that explains why Atkinson can always deliver a laughter overdose without a word.
Innocent, self-centered and even antisocial, the title character－Bean－is mostly considered a naïve buffoon, overlooking the basic ways the world works. He always finds himself stuck with all kinds of problems and comes up with the very bizarre ways to deal with them. Bean’s offbeat and hilarious action, as a result, always unexpectedly makes the audiences in stitches. Furthermore, the location in which the show was shoot are simply connected with the daily life, and also Mr. Bean generally features his struggle at simple but common activities such as going to church and interior decorating. As an illusion, in the 11th episode, Bean covers every single item in his house with newspapers, and then detonates a mini bomb he puts inside a paint bucket, “repainting” the whole wall. Unlike some states of humor which are based on vulgarity, political situation, ethic and so on, Mr. Bean, instead, adheres to the purest way of entertainment, transforming a cliché into a whimsical, harmless and relaxing “panacea”.
There are two renowned types of works as extensions from Mr. Bean: the animation and feature films. Above all, one is Mr. Bean: The Animated Series. Likewise, with little soundbite, action and personality trait of the title character in the animation simply refers to Rowan Atkinson. Besides, the series introduces new characters such as an annoying landlady along with original ones, Teddy and Irma Gobb. Funny and bright-colored, this reprising Bean tend to intrigue a number of children, which helps the popularity of Mr. Bean to advance among audiences of young age.
Mr. Bean’s Holiday is one of the prominent feature films released in 2007. It is about Bean on an eventful journey within France, in which he meets a lost kid and a Russian lady. Aside from comic movements, Bean’s tangle of helping the child or ignoring him and sticking to the original plan gives people a glimpse of his morality. The dramatic plot seems to accommodate foreign audiences as they may not understand some punchlines contained in the previous works in terms of cultural diversity. In short, Mr. Bean’s Holiday are globally reputed as a splendid family movie, leading Bean’s publicity to the certain extent.
To stand out from vast quantities of sitcoms, it is essential to take audiences into account. The noticeable title may capture their eyes, and little talk helps to eliminate the communication gap. On top of that, Rowan Atkinson makes use of his lucid but comic body language to allow audiences to be better involved in the show and to easily get the punchline. Certainly, a distinguished script is of significance to the success of a show, which is utterly presented in Mr. Bean. To sum up, popular throughout the world, Mr. Bean and even its other media indeed help amounts of people release from gloom. No matter you like it or not, the show is the lightening masterpiece without a doubt!
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