Stephanie Bourbon: Rom-Com Characterization

LB’S NOTE: One of our fave TV writers-illustrators-screenwriters-vloggers, Stephanie Bourbon, talks about the kinds of characters who make a romantic comedy a hit and “hits” it right on the nose with these archetypes. (Not stereotypes, gang. That’s soo different.)

by Stephanie Bourbon

This week I’m talking about characters in comedy, specifically romantic comedies. What I am seeing in a lot of work that is coming in is the stereotypes of the snarky leading lady-who honestly, no one, not even our leading man, would like because she’s too awful, and the womanizer leading man-who again, why would anyone give him a chance? And then the other characters are throwaways.

Please don’t do this with your secondary characters, they can be just as important if not more important than your leads!!

The TV show FRIENDS, which came out in 1994 was originally called, Monica & Friends, meaning Monica was the leading lady soon it really became all about Ross and Rachel but in the beginning, it was Monica’s story.

When the show opens we see Monica and her friends handing out in a coffee shop, establishing who they all are and soon a bride-to-be walks in crying (inciting incident)-Rachel. We see through he actions and dialogue that she is a spoiled rich girl from Long Island who went to high school with Monica. Monica’s world changes when Rachel moves in with her–(new world). The show was Monica’s story and soon became an equal ensemble cast due to the strong character types.

Another great comedy is Modern Family. You could say it’s about Claire’s family? Or Jay’s? Probably Jay’s since he is the patriarch of the family, but all the archetypes are there and it works.

Novels are different-or are they? 

Take Crazy Rich Asians

Read it all at

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