This short-lived sitcom found a way to break up the genre’s typical format

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A sitcom episode definitely follows a strict formula. The characters go through a crisis that is sometimes so stupid that it is completely derailed. There’s an A-story, a B-story, and a C-story, and the A is the most prominent, gets the most screen time, and focuses on the main character that viewers are most interested in. Once a lesson is learned, the characters swear to do better in the next episode and viewers feel like everything will be fine now.

Sure, that’s how sitcoms usually tell stories, but it sure can get old after a while. life in pieces aired for four seasons from 2015 to 2019 and although it was very brief, and fans really wish there were more episodes because they could watch the Short family forever, this is the unique format of the show that helps it stand out from its competitors.

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There are plenty of great Netflix sitcoms and also 90s classics that are always great fun to watch again. But what makes life in pieces standing out is its incredibly unique and fresh format. In each episode, four stories about the Short family are told, and each depicts a different character from the Short family. This works well for a number of different reasons, but most importantly, it helps keep fans interested as they learn more about the characters and see the hilarious antics they pull off. In a typical sitcom, there’s an A story with a B and C plot, but the A plot is often the only really interesting and juicy one. At life in pieces, every story matters and has something intelligent to say about family, parenthood, love and life. Like the creative format of television comedy the after party, life in pieces is one of the most interesting television comedies ever made and fans of the genre should definitely check it out.



Greg (Colin Hanks) and Jennifer (Zoe Lister-Jones) with their daughter Lark (Ana Sophia Heger) in Life In Pieces

One of the best episodes is Season 3‘s “The Twelve Shorts of Christmas,” which features 12 super-short stories. It’s a really fun and exciting way to tell the story of a family celebrating the winter holidays. Like the best movies set at Christmas, this episode shows just how funny and sweet this Christmas can be. Two of the biggest storylines are when Sophia (Giselle Eisenberg) drinks eggnog that’s been spiked for the family party, and Joan has a robot vacuum that’s ruined. It sounds like things could really happen and there’s just enough time spent on each story to really convey its impact. It’s not every day that a sitcom is this clever.


Lark (Ana Sophia Heger) is a particularly strong character and because she’s only in some of the short stories each episode, she avoids the trap of some sitcom kids. While sometimes a child character sounds too demure and incredibly unrealistic, Lark has just enough screen time and his quotes are always spot on. One of Lark’s best scenes is in the Season 3 episode “Settlement Pacifier Attic Unsyncing” when Greg (Colin Hanks) and Jen (Zoe Lister-Jones) try to get Lark to stop using his pacifier and tell him that a paci monster will be in his crib watching. This totally freaks Lark out and she’s too scared to fall asleep.



The cast of Life In Pieces looks surprised

The unique format of life in pieces also celebrates each actor. The cast is full of stars: Dianne Weist and James Brolin play parents Joan and John, and the rest of the cast includes Zoe Lister-Jones, Thomas Sadoski, Besty Brandt, Colin Hanks and Dan Bakkedahl. Because each episode focuses on smaller stories about the different couples/families/characters, everyone gets a chance to show off how talented they are, which is really cool. The traditional sitcom about families can feel boring and sound like a really old-fashioned idea, and life in pieces brings a ton of fresh, new energy to this idea.


life in pieces can be compared to modern family, another family sitcom with a patriarch (Jay Pritchett, played by Ed O’Neill) and his two children (Claire Dunphy, played by Julie Bowen and Mitch Pritchett, played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and their own partners and children. But at the same time modern family is popular and has funny scenes, there is something special about life in pieces which seems more realistic and has something cool to say about parenthood. In real life, people are busy with school, work, meal planning, and socializing, not to mention finding time to read, work out, explore hobbies, or just sleep. enough. The characters on life in pieces go about their business while trying to be good partners, friends, partners, etc. and seeing these snapshots of their lives is perfect. When people look back, they think of random moments and little scenes, and that’s exactly the format of life in pieces.

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