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April 15th, 2003

The Dark Background

Tonight while watching Boy Meets World, I noticed a sitcom trick that I saw only a few days ago on Family Ties: the dark background.

Clearly inspired by theatre, both shows used a darkened background to emphasize the monologue given by the characters on screen. On the Boy Meets World episode titled They’re Killing Us, Cory and Topanga talked one-sidedly to a group of their family and friends about their upcoming wedding and how much of a pain in the ass they were all being (remember that one? It’s the one that ended with a wedding invitation for all viewers, telling them to RSVP at, a dead domain that’s still owned by ABC). There were a lot of flashbacks in this episode, though, so the actual dark background footage was limited.

On the two-part Emmy-winning episode of Family Ties titled A, My Name is Alex, the darkened background was used much more extensively. In this episode, one of Alex’s close friends dies and Alex begins to wonder what it’s all about. He goes to visit a psychologist (a graduate of Grant College, no less) and though we never see the psychologist, Alex wanders around his office with a darkened background, discussing memories of his childhood. As he remembers each bit, a different mini-set is lit and he “joins in the action.” It’s a pretty heavy-handed episode, but still has its light moments. It may have been a little artsy for some, but I always dug it.

Were there any other sitcoms that used this theatrical technique to emphasize a monologue? I can’t think of any, but there must have been others.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: towinlovinit
DATE: Wednesday April 16, 2003 -- 3:28:33 am
You must not have anything better to do that look at tv with a microscope. Wow, do you sit up close to the tv or what?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday April 16, 2003 -- 9:30:08 am
Seems that way, doesn't it?

In all actuality, I just get entirely too analytical of TV shows I watched as a child, 15 years later.

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Wednesday April 16, 2003 -- 7:23:13 pm
Seems to me that the Wonder Years used this technique to come out of monologues. Usually, the end of every episode ended in a reeeeeeally slow fade to a black background.

DATE: Tuesday April 20, 2004 -- 6:42:53 pm
Cory and Topanga,
Thank-You for the invite and I will be there.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday April 20, 2004 -- 7:28:20 pm
Sorry, the band has already packed up and left the reception. If you're lucky, you may still be able to find some shrimp on the floor.

FROM: jarod rozendal, canada [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday April 20, 2004 -- 9:40:08 pm
hey thanx for invitinh me and i will be there! and good luck i hope the best for you to from jarod rozendal,canada

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday April 20, 2004 -- 10:04:46 pm
Uh oh.

FROM: Gerogina
DATE: Wednesday July 7, 2004 -- 11:05:31 pm
Thanks soo much for the invite, I went out last night and got a blender and two toasters, you never know, a bunch of people might get hungry all at once. My mom told me that you guys really got married along time ago adn that i dont give gift for mariages that are on tv shows, so i really didnt get you that, but i drew it on a peice of paper! and i want to send it to you, all i need is your adress! Love always and Forever Georgina PS, I'll glady lil be mini cory and mini topangas godmother!

FROM: Nicole Veilleux
DATE: Thursday July 8, 2004 -- 9:39:23 pm
YOU GUYS RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday July 8, 2004 -- 11:09:50 pm
Sorry kids, we start carding after 9:00pm. You are hereby banned to the Disney website. Come back when you are older (and have a second brain cell).

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday March 8, 2005 -- 9:49:41 am
Didn't Mork start the dark screen with his weekly check-in with Orson to discuss human (actually American) habits and customs?

FROM: julie
DATE: Monday July 25, 2005 -- 2:34:02 am
i did not witness it that stinks

FROM: Heidi
DATE: Monday July 25, 2005 -- 3:08:46 am
i think it is great your show is still a hit

FROM: amanda
DATE: Monday July 25, 2005 -- 3:41:12 pm
this is a great sow i watch it all the time

FROM: Brittany Bay
DATE: Monday July 25, 2005 -- 6:44:08 pm
Cory and Tapanga, you guyz are so cool!! Well I just wanted to tell you how cool you are. Well i should go now... bye from Brittany Bay
12, ohio.

FROM: Casandra G [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday July 25, 2005 -- 9:18:22 pm
your show is the best I love it when Cory & Topanga talk about their wedding and how Topanga starts twiching that had me cracking up

FROM: cory m
DATE: Monday July 25, 2005 -- 10:11:20 pm
did they really get married or is tht just the show?

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday July 26, 2005 -- 9:20:07 am

I can't believe you asked that.

FROM: Tereasa
DATE: Tuesday July 26, 2005 -- 1:38:34 pm
Hey did they really get married or is it just on the show????

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday July 26, 2005 -- 3:41:01 pm
Apparently stupidity comes in twos.

FROM: Melissa
DATE: Tuesday July 26, 2005 -- 5:58:36 pm
That comment wasnt very nice.

FROM: Melissa
DATE: Tuesday July 26, 2005 -- 6:01:05 pm
I think they should really get married.

FROM: Melissa
DATE: Tuesday July 26, 2005 -- 6:23:11 pm
About 6 months ago I saw Topanga on a MTV show. She was just hosting it.

DATE: Tuesday July 26, 2005 -- 10:57:25 pm

FROM: deannidy d
DATE: Wednesday July 27, 2005 -- 12:13:23 am
Dear Cory and tapanga you guys inspired me to reach for the stars and to keep my head up never let me and my boyfriend down thank you very much

always me

FROM: Jake
DATE: Thursday July 28, 2005 -- 10:02:44 pm
Hey...I am 18....I am single too...

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday July 29, 2005 -- 7:45:19 am
Ryan: Apparently stupidity comes in twos.

More like sixes.

FROM: Kimberly
DATE: Friday August 12, 2005 -- 1:40:46 pm
I want to have sex with Shon.

FROM: tom
DATE: Thursday October 13, 2005 -- 6:06:22 pm
This is a great show watch it

FROM: Brenna
DATE: Sunday December 18, 2005 -- 8:04:44 am
this was a great show! i saw they're wedding and was great!

FROM: luis a hernandez herrera
DATE: Tuesday December 20, 2005 -- 9:20:35 am
cory forget topanga why topanga is only for my

FROM: nikki
DATE: Tuesday December 20, 2005 -- 6:06:45 pm
i love boy meets world please never stop makein it

FROM: nicole
DATE: Tuesday December 20, 2005 -- 6:07:49 pm
boy meets world is my life never end it

Britney October 6, 2006, 3:28 pm

Thanks for the late notice i really wanted to see your wedding when is the redew or something cause i am your biggest fan!!! 🙂
I love you Topanga and Cory I wish you the best (*word*)

The Fiz March 20, 2007, 12:31 am

Do you guys actually think anyone is reading this shit??? Probably not….
I wasnt going to comment on this site until i saw people actually “talking” to cory and topanga… Boy meets world is said and done…. Everyone has to hop on the band wagon with me and get over it…


cristina August 21, 2007, 3:37 pm

cory and tapanga thank you for the invitation i will be there i love your show please dont stop makin it thank you

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