Fawlty Towers Essay

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Fawlty Towers, a short-lived British sitcom of the 1970’s, left a lasting impression on the world of sitcom comedies as the show disregarded the framework of previous programs. Through its use of outlandish characters and a sense of international flair, Fawlty Towers was able to make the impression that it did in such a short time. Fawlty Towers is most widely remembered today for its robust, dynamic ensemble of characters. The show, centered on the occurrences of a completely dysfunctional hotel staff, follows the owner of the hotel (Basil Fawlty) as his attempts to smoothly run his hotel are almost always thwarted on a day-to-day basis. Basil’s staff, also a focal point of the show, are just about as outlandish as the messes that Basil finds himself in. The staff, which includes Basil’s wife Sybil, Polly the waitress, and Manuel the waiter, contribute immensely to the farcical element within each story line. Each character as well as the interactions among each character distinguish Fawlty Towers as a pure farce. Basil Fawlty is a rather arrogant, yet seemingly desperate person whose unwavering pride always seems to lead to his eventual downfall. Although Basil ascribes to a sense of authority, he is often undermined by his wife Sybil who really runs the hotel. The relationship between Basil and Sybil accentuates the comedic element of the show as much of the dialogue between them is full of quick witted comments. An example of one of their many quick witted comments occurs in the episode “The Germans” when Sybil (at the hospital for surgery on an ingrown toe nail) calls Basil to remind him to hang up a moose head which he so happened to be in the middle of doing. Basil, upon hanging up the phone, states “I wish it was an ingrown tongue.” Basil refers to Sybil in a number of ways such as “my little piranha fish” and he often speaks out loud to himself
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