The Situational Comedy

Features Issue 18

Jesse Rosales
Staff Writer

Television is the major form of entertainment in the world today. The Museum of Broadcast Communications reported that by 1986 there were about 150,000,000 watchers in the United States, greater than the amount of cars, bathtubs, washing machines, or refrigerators. On average, people watch seven hours a day and over 50 hours a week.
American life has been shaped and transformed by television. While sitcoms originated in radio, they are found predominantly on television today. An estimate of 27,000 sitcom scripts have been written in just the last 50 years! It is clear that audiences love sitcoms for its reality of humor and wit. Television sitcoms have tackled themes of religion, ethnicity and social status. Let’s explore the format of a television series involving independent episodes of the adventures of characters.
Sitcoms: Sitting in Comfort with Family
Michelle Lin
Staff Writer

The fast pace lifestyle today is making it increasingly difficult for families to spend time with each other. They are either busy at work or school and overlooking the importance and value in the term “family.” Nowadays it seems, that the only time they spend time together is when watching TV. Sitcoms allow families to share a moment of laughter and relaxation with each other at the end of a busy work day.

According to Daily Mail, both parents and children spend the majority of their time outside of home, leaving less time for bonding with their family. A survey by Freesat shows that more than half of the people surveyed believe that watching TV is the best way to bond with family. In addition, modern people are becoming more independent than before with loose family ties. However, sitcoms provide an opportunity for them to communicate and discuss their opinions on current issues and their day outside of home. Sitcoms such as the Modern Family, Friends and Seinfeld also teach viewers significant values in relationships. From watching these shows, family members are not only enjoying but also learning ways to talk to each other and thus build a strong relationship.

With fast lifestyles come stress and anxieties, at a time like this, sitcoms help ensure that a family has some time for chatting and fun. At the end of the day, spending time with family can help you relieve the stress from work and school.
Laughs from the Past
Katherine Gong
Staff Writer

Sitcoms began in the 1950s, and the man who was said to have invented the sitcom was director William Asher, who lead I Love Lucy. In the 1980s, sitcoms were generally about family misadventures with lessons that are conveyed through catchphrases and laugh tracks. During this time, television revolved around the concept of a nuclear family, or two parents with two children. The portrayal of nuclear families reflected the reality of middle class families in real life, with economic booms and rising wages. Sitcoms gradually became inclusive, with females in the Golden Girls and The Cosby Show featuring successful black families.

The 1990s introduced the era of Friends, Seinfeld and The Simpsons with unique individuals trying to figure out their lives in the big city or dysfunctional working class families. Sitcoms then expanded to center on singles trying to find relationships and comedic families. The 2000s welcomed the bolder personalities in the workplace of How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men. The legacies of sitcoms combine the past formats with changing times; by doing so, sitcoms ensure that laughs will never end.
Changing Times, Changing Minds
Mia Takasaki
Lynn Zhang
Staff Writers

Through modern sitcoms, people are more exposed to cultures and ideas that they might not have been otherwise. In fact, one of the great accomplishments of modern sitcoms is how they integrate changing times through satirical and comedic strategies.

For example, the television sitcom Modern Family is known for its diversity and reflects changes and ideas pertinent to the 21st century. The sitcom centers around a gay couple raising their child. a plethora of issues people do not often consider are brought to light.Modern Family successfully pulls attention away from the gay couple raising a child and focuses on their relationship as parents raising a child and does it in a way that shows the viewers that gay parents face the same struggles as everyday straight parents.

Another sitcom that reflects changing times is Fresh Off the Boat, a sitcom about a Chinese-American family trying to deal with the cultural differences in a community that does not have a large Asian population while pursuing the “American dream.” The sitcom challenges the notion of whether Americans truly prefer integration and celebration as opposed to cultural assimilation and shows the constant anxieties that Asian-Americans have to deal with today.

Times have changed, as well as the issues are at the center of concern. Sitcoms such as Modern Family and Fresh Off the Boat reveals and centers around those changes and the success of these television shows prove that people’s views and mindset on certain subjects have changed and become more open.

Friends: 94 votes
How I Met Your Mother: 59 votes
The Big Bang Theory: 39 votes
Fresh Prince of Bel Air: 35 votes
Modern Family: 28 votes

Total: 255 votes
Poll conducted by MIA TAKASAKI and LYNN ZHANG

SB 850 Paves Way for Community Colleges

Staff Writers



Last fall, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 850 (SB 850), adding California to the 21 other states that allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees. SB 850 will start off as a pilot program that will end in 2023. The fifteen community colleges will provide students with the choice of a single bachelor’s degree not offered at any Universities of California (UC) or Cal State Universities (CSU), according to the Daily Californian.

Ten out of the fifteen community colleges that were approved to offer bachelor degrees that address the need for more jobs in the health field, like mortuary science, dental hygiene, respiratory care and health information management. These colleges include Modesto Junior College, Cypress College, Foothill College, Crafton Hills College, Feather River College, San Diego Mesa College, Santa Ana College, Shasta College, Skyline College and West Los Angeles College. The other five community colleges include Rio Hondo College, Antelope Valley College, Bakersfield College, Mira-Costa College and Santa Monica College will accommodate students who are looking
to major in automotive technology, airframe manufacturing, industrial automation, biomanufacturing and interaction design, respectively.

“It will benefit all students because it provides access to all students who may not be able to afford [college],” English teacher Shelley Gee-Ryan said.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, each college’s upper division course that focus more on a major’s specific needs can cost $84 a unit by law. On or before March 31, 2015 the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges will create a funding plan that will support the costs needed to accommodate the number of full-time students enrolled in each program, according to SB 850.

“The possibility for students to earn [their] bachelor’s degree at community colleges will benefit California because it offers a cheaper alternative and more options for students looking to obtain a higher level of education,” senior Matthew Chan said.

However, this bill does not follow California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, a plan that gave separate roles for California’s three higher-education systems, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. SB 850 diverges from the Master Plan by allowing community colleges to offer a bachelor degree rather than providing only two-year associate’s degrees, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Although it is going to benefit many students who are striving the medical, science and technology fields, many opportunities will not be given in changing their major,” junior Kimberly Pham said.

According to SB 850, California needs an additional million baccalaureate degrees in California’s workforce to remain competitive in today’s economy. According to the Los Angeles Times, community college bachelor degrees will generate the needed degrees for California’s state workforce by 2025, especially in job fields related to health like medicine and dentistry.

“I think it will benefit students, primarily those who maybe were not on the path to a four year university. This will give more people the opportunity of a higher education,” sophomore Sara Castro said.

Teachers, Parents, Students Collaborate on AP Night

Copy Editor

On the night of Wednesday, Feb. 11, AHS classrooms once again filled with students, this time accompanied by parents. They were attending the annual AP Parent Night, an event that informs students and parents about the rigorous academic courses available at AHS. Its purpose was also to encourage capable students to further their high school experience by taking advanced classes. The AP Ambassadors club worked along closely with Assistant Principal of Instruction Dr. Marisa Meyka to plan and organize AP Parent Night. With unexpectedly limited time available, preparation occurred at a quick pace over four days.

At the event, teachers were present to inform students and parents about the expectations and curriculum of their respective courses. Student volunteers also offered attendees a student’s perspective of the course.

“Since I just started high school, it was really cool to see all of the new classes. It was nice to be able to hear some great things and past experiences!” freshman Sarah Tang said.

Last year, AP Parent Night was combined with the Open House showcase, which involved many other participating clubs and programs. This year, AP Night was a stand-alone event, giving attendees greater attention and more time to be extensively informed.

“In retrospect, it went amazingly well and from what I heard, parents, teachers and students were satisfied. It really goes to show how hardworking and dedicated some of the people on campus are,” AP Ambassadors Vice President Aaqil Khan said.


Junior Justin Imma signs in with the math department
during AHS’ annual AP Parent Night on Wednesday, Feb.11.


Fast Food Hinders Academic Growth

Staff Writer

Research led by Ohio State University Assistant Professor Kelly M. Purtell, accompanied Elizabeth T. Gershoff, a developmental psychologist from the University of Texas, suggests that consistent fast food consumption hinders academic development.The study asked 8,544 fifth-grade students, who took the survey known as the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort with assessments in reading, math and science, how frequently they had consumed fast food within the week. Three years later, researchers compared these eating patterns with their academic progress. The studies showed that those who generally consumed the most fast-food experienced slower academic progression.

“[Schools should] eliminate all those vending machines,” school nurse Anita Man said. “[The] non nutritional foods provided and consumed affects focus, leaving students feeling sluggish.”

According to Education News, a potential contribution to the poor academic performance of students who regularly eat fast food is a lack of nutrients, particularly those that facilitate knowledge acquisition in their diets like Vitamin C, calcium, iron and zinc. The research also suggests that large intakes of fat and sugar obstruct the memory and learning abilities of students.

“I know that my breakfast usually affects how I perform on tests, but I don’t have time in the morning to really care about what I’m eating,” sophomore Jacy Zeng said.

Staff Editorial: Will community college bachelor’s degrees benefit California?

On Sept. 18, Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill 850 (SB 850), which will allow the implementation of baccalaureate degree pilot programs at community colleges. By the 2017-2018 school year, 15 community colleges will offer bachelor’s degrees in majors that are not available at Universities of California (UCs) or California State Universities (CSUs) in a pilot program to determine the viability of SB 850. Some of these majors include biomanufacturing, health information management, respiratory therapy and airframe manufacturing. The primary objective of the legislation is to ensure that there will be enough qualified employees to fill upcoming job openings.

Since community college tuition is significantly cheaper than that of a state university, SB 850 provides a significant benefit in providing more opportunities at an affordable cost to low-income students, as well as increasing upward mobility. Although some may argue that low-income students already have adequate opportunities, they would have a more difficult time paying for a four-year university if they have to take out loans with interest, resulting in substantial debt. According to KQED News, UC students leave school with an average of $20,500 in debt, compared to $18,460 for CSU students.



This would also benefit California’s economy, as California currently faces a major skills gap in the workforce, according to Edsource. Making bachelor’s degrees more accessible to more Californians means that it will become easier to fill job openings. Since many of the majors are Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-oriented, they will suit a rapidly expanding sector. Additionally, because these majors are unique, they help students pursue interests they might not be able to at a four-year university.

Critics of SB 850 question the quality of bachelor’s degrees obtained at community colleges and say that this legislation might even lower the value of holding one; however, each college still ensures that its professors are qualified. Despite the possibility that employers will become more picky, California will still need one million more workers with four-year degrees by 2025, according to the Senate District 39 website.

One significant concern about SB 850 relates to funding, since the program might not be sustainable in the long term and would likely lead to an increase in taxes. However, the state economy would still improve overall because more of the college graduates holding bachelor’s degrees would have less debt and would thereby be more financially stable. Ultimately, providing bachelor’s degrees at community colleges is a step in the right direction toward improving California’s economy and encouraging more opportunities for everyone, especially those who have difficulty affording postsecondary education.

NO ‘HO’LDING BACK: Everyday Acts of Kindness

Copy Editor

I really do appreciate the Alhambra High School community; it’s not perfect, but it tends to be pretty friendly. There’s something about the casual acts of disrespect I witness every day that really just drives me crazy. Whether it’s incessantly chatting over a teacher’s instruction or indifferently cutting in the lunch line, being unkind can’t exactly give you much but a dirty look—so why do it?

While I hate to see such rudeness, I haven’t lost any faith in humanity or anything. Everyone has their grumpy days and as they say, a few drops of oil won’t darken the whole sea. However, it’s still important to remember once in a while the simplicity and value of being kind.

It’s nice that Random Acts of Kindness Week encourages kind deeds, but random acts of kindness don’t need to be a big enough deal that one should be told to share them with #RAKweek2015. Kindness can be as simple as smiling at strangers, apologizing and accepting apologies or saying “thank you” and “you’re welcome.” To be kind is to play one’s part in creating a more understanding and accepting environment for everyone.

Kindness is not something to practice superficially for one week and then forget. That may be the first step, but long-term everyday kindness comes by developing the mindset that people are worth being kind to and that kind gestures are just the right thing to do—and really, both are true.

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