Nothing’s straight comedy, nothing’s straight drama. In drama there are always elements of comedy. In black culture, you are always trying to laugh through the sadness, and it’s a testament to the experiences that we go through.”1

—ISSA RAE WRITER/CO-CREATOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/ACTRESS INSECURE

Chapter 1

Blurring the Lines

Redefining Genre and Tone in the Dramedy

Is it a comedy or a drama? Or is it a genre-bending dramedy?

I say, as long as it’s good, does it matter?

It depends on whom we ask. For the broadcast and basic cable networks that are still scheduled in rigid timeslots and beholden to advertisers and commercial breaks, categorization still matters a lot.

At NBC, where everything old is new again, scheduling sitcoms in comedy blocks ...

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