Television has spawned a new genre of comedy that is bringing in the ratings. This new genre is called mockumentary and numerous shows have been developed recently based off this unique concept. The genre is beginning to replace previous television hits such as sitcoms, comedy-drama and reality TV.
The term mockumentary was created to describe the shows filming style of being a “fake documentary.” The show is filmed often by a moving camera which follows the lives of a group of people. The unique part of it is that the characters are aware that they are being filmed. The characters often talk directly to the camera. This gives the viewer the idea that they are watching a documentary, although the events are completely fictional.
One of the first mockumentary series is called The Office and it was released in Britain. NBC studios later created an adaptation to the British comedy with a new American version. The show became a quick success and is currently airing their sixth season. NBC also created a new show called Parks and Recreation which has the same mockumentary premise. Parks and Recreation is currently airing its first season with reasonable success. Recently, the mockumentary genre has continued to spread with the release of a show on ABC called Modern Family. This show has a different feel than the NBC productions, although the style of filming is basically the same.
I personally enjoy the style of filming and think it gives a unique perspective to fictional television shows. I would not be surprised if more networks started to release mockumentary series. This can be a good thing as long it does not escalate into an overused genre.