Love letter to sitcoms

The sitcom has long made the beautiful days of television in Quebec. In the 1990s, she had the wind in the sails, so that The small life, Km/h, Stories of girls, Catherine, Radio Hell and Me and the other, to name only these titles, were among the most popular programs on different channels.

And then, the genre has almost completely disappeared by the mid-2000s. A bit snubbed by the industry, which turned to other modes – as the drama over lapped, to the Rumours – to generate the ratings, the laughter “cane”, which agrémentait often the scenes recorded before the public, has lost its letters of nobility.

But all is not lost for the sitcom, which is re-aim timidly in our screens. The Madame Lebrun of Benoît Brière tops from his first replicas on the waves of Super Screen, in 2015, proving that the demand is still there for this style of television.

Sylvie Moreau and Benoit Brière in the show Madame Lebrun.

And King Street, with its skits, impromptu, was one of the big pieces of the new offering from Club illico in the spring, and will be added this fall to the TVA programming, where it may surely attract a wide audience.


Several players are being built up a reputation thanks to sitcoms regret that the star of the genre, at the junction between television and theatre, has faded with the years.

“I’m still looking for a sitcom today, a situation comedy tour in three or four sceneries”, argues Michel Barrette, who makes the rain and the beautiful time in his role as the macho Denis in Km/h, from 1998 to 2006.

The characters of the comedy “Km/h”.

“Currently, there is not, and I find that there is a lack. It is shot in front of public, it is very distinctive, and it is very effective. You could say that it is a caricature, but it is also the humour.”

If it recognizes that the formula of a sitcom is often limited to the level of history and decor, Sylvie Moreau, aka the unforgettable “Catherine”, considers for its part that it deprives the viewers of great happiness by not allowing them to attend the shooting of comedy on television.

“It is extraordinary to see how people of all ages capotent in the studio,” recounts the actress. It is fascinating for the audience to be able to attend the filming and to be participatory, with their laughter and their reactions, see the mechanics, with the cameras…”

“With time, there are new formats that are growing, and we abandon everything to go and jump in, everyone at the same time, analysis Sylvie Moreau. But each format has its limits. And, when the form is good, it will eventually come back. I’m not surprised that you played Catherine or Km/h, because it’s still comforting.”

Laughter energizing

“To have the laugh’s immediate audience, it was indescribable. It infuses an incredible energy. Of all the projects in which I played, the formula that bothered me the most is “triper” that was it,” says for its part, Sonia Vachon, who plays Sylvie in Km/h.

“In a sitcom, some of the characters, such as Jean-Louis (Gilbert Turp) in Km/h, have the right to say everything, just because it is them. I don’t understand that we don’t have further used the sitcom in Quebec. It seems that, when the internet arrived, we threw the baby out with the bath water…”

“I don’t know if one day the chance I will be re-scheduled to play in a sitcom, venture to turn Marie-Chantal Perron, who shares the same nostalgia that his colleagues, after having gone through 10 years ofStories of girls. Often, we, it was only a single outlet, and the laughter that we could hear on tv were really those of the people in the room and that we were faithful. They had the right to the small “bloopers”, small fits of laughter. It was really nice!”

“Stories of girls”, with Nathalie Mallette, Guylaine Tremblay, Marie-Chantal Perron and Catherine Lachance.

Sensitive topics

Well before the time of each cuff became a subject of discussion on social networks, sitcoms tackled themes delicate (male-female relationships, homosexuality, racism, sexual harassment) without putting white gloves. May not be enough, may find some in 2020.

The owner of convenience store in vietnamese and his accent cut with a knife in Catherine, Denis and his comments reducers on women in Km/h: our sitcoms are given to heart joy in the pictures, in the past. Is this type of gags would still be eligible today?

“I think there are jokes about Km/h which no longer, writes Michel Barrette. I recently saw an episode on sexual harassment in the workplace, where Roxanne (Chantal Baril), the patron saint, complimentait the buttocks of Jean-Louis (Gilbert Turp). The hair I have drawn on the head! But, today, I find that it is made a little too cold…”

Sonia Vachon, she, in contrast, considers that no one was spared and everyone had his or her right of reply in Km/h.

“If there was a joke sexist, there was always a woman who was there to respond. I think there was a nice balance.”

Catherine, on Monday, at 19.30, to be Taken 2. Km/h, Tuesday, 19: 30, Jack-2. Stories of girls, Monday to Thursday, 19h, Taken 2.

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