Had a email from Branko Ruzic, which read:
Just one question: What is a broken comedy? BBC in their submission guidelines say:
Sitcom, broken comedy, sketch shows, family entertainment.
While I'm familiar with other terms (who's not familiar with sitcoms) I've got no idea what brken comedy is
I'm ashamed to say that I too, have no real idea what 'broken comedy' is. I've heard the phrase, alongside stuff like 'visual grammar', and the trick is to nod politely, whilst internally reciting the names of Dungeons and Dragons monsters, and eventually the nasty people will go away.
I suspect though, that it's a description of a slightly stylized type of television comedy, where everything's slightly broken up, by editing, or visual effects, or using that weird acting technique where you stutter a lot, and have long awkward pauses while Social Embarrassment Accrues.
Chris Morris's Blue Jam is supposed to be 'broken comedy' I think, although I doubt he ever referred to it as that himself, and I never saw it, so I don't know. That BBC thing 'Man Stroke Woman' looks like the sort of thing where someone read about 'broken comedy' and said 'hey kids! Let's do it like that! Right here in the barn!', which is why although I like the perfomances, and some of the writing, I would have liked it more if they were just allowed to go for the funny. Like the pool-playing droopy girlfriend, which was very good.
Basically, 'broken comedy' feels like some term someone came up with for a Sunday Supplement, sandwiched between a Nigel Slater article on mud ('Mud! I'm crazy for the stuff! Whether reheated from the previous night, or smeared all over a linen gimp mask, there's nothing nothing so gloopy, or, well, muddy as mud!') and some overpaid hackette whinging about her au paire, and now people think it's some big new thing. But then people are wankers.
Hope that helps.
NOTE: If anyone actually knows what it means (google and wikipedia unusually unhelpful), do please comment below.
*That was my favourite bit, obviously.