Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why I've Quit Sitcoms

Sitcoms are dead to me. They weren’t always, but then two sitcoms destroyed the entire industry. What two sitcoms? Friends and Roseanne. In truth, it’s probably not fair the blame these two specifically, so much as it is to blame the way everyone in Hollywood copies whatever was successful last. But I’m not feeling particularly fair.

What has me specifically upset can best be summed up in this way. Prior to Friends and Roseanne there were hundreds of unique and interesting sitcoms. After Friends and Roseanne, there were only Friends and Roseanne clones. . . over and over and over again.

The formula created by Friends was simple. Take a bunch of attractive, ultra-lazy, neurotic 20-somethings. Give them a multimillion dollar loft in New York City and no visible means of support. Let them sit around moaning about how horrible the world is and having sex with anything that moves. . . or doesn’t. This pathetic formula has now been adopted by about half of all sitcoms and the only thing that differs between these shows, shows like How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory, are the names of the actors and the pretentious titles. These shows are entirely about sex and all of their jokes are “written” at a high school locker room level.

The other annoying formula used by sitcoms today was derived from Roseanne. Take an obnoxious, unpleasant mother and her smart-ass, undisciplined kids. Give her a fat, useless, stupid eunuch for a husband. Place the family somewhere in middle America and let the kids skool the old people about things like gay marriage and the pros of premarital sex and drug use. Unlike the Friends clones, the jokes in the Roseanne clones aren’t all about sex. . . some also poke fun at fatherhood.

That’s all you get these days and I am done with the whole industry because of it. Even when they pretend to diverge from one of these two formulas, it doesn’t take long before they drift right back into it because that’s all they know.

Now compare this with the incredibly diverse world of television sitcoms in the past. Here are some of the great sitcoms off the top of my head:
Addams Family/Munsters
Barney Miller
Gilligan’s Island
Get Smart
Beverly Hillbillies
Brady Bunch
Hogan’s Heroes
Taxi
Soap
WKRP
M*A*S*H
Night Court
Cheers
Mork and Mindy
Benson
Three’s Company
My Favorite Martian
Notice that none of these involve the Friends or Roseanne set up and none of them (except Three’s Company) traffic in sex jokes or denigrate fatherhood, motherhood or even anyone else really. These sitcom simply involved funny people in funny situations, and the humor was written by actual comedians who were skilled at finding humor within characters and their situations. That made these shows fresh and hilarious, and often so memorable that we still remember their greatest moments today: “what does a yellow light mean?”. . . “I didn’t know turkey’s can’t fly.”

Where are these memorable moments today? They don’t exist because sitcoms now are written by hacks who can’t think above the high school level. . . I guess Beavis and Butthead found jobs after all.

This is a failure of both management and talent. Management has made the mistake of fearing risk taking. Everyone in TV land wants to copy the most successful show because they think that gives them the best chance of being a success. Thus, they all make the show. Yet, sitcoms are no more successful today than in the past (in fact, I’d say they are less successful looking at how audiences are fleeing the networks). This is a failure of “talent” because they are putting their names on products that are shamefully bad, and yet they are proud of their “achievements.”

This consumer is done with the lot of you.

So what are your favorite/most detested sitcoms?

54 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. If you haven't hit "follow" yet, please do.

Thanks! :-)

T-Rav said...

Sooo...you don't much care for Friends or Roseanne, do you? :-)

I've never watched Roseanne, so I can't comment on that; I have however heard the title actress is a truly horrible person, like Kathy Griffin-type horrible. Personally, I always kinda liked Friends, although the later seasons were inevitably weak from a plot point of view. But I haven't seen it in quite a while, so maybe if I watched it again I'd come to a different conclusion.

Favorite sitcom? Definitely The Office. Not sure about least favorite; there are so many terrible ones. However, I will say that of the list you gave, M*A*S*H is the one that grates on me the most as I get older, just because so much of it became anti-war, anti-American sentimentalism. No thanks.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yeah, you cuold say that I'm not a fan of Friends or Roseanne -- or anything they've spawned.

My all time favorite sitcom is probably Get Smart or a couple British shows -- Are You Being Served and Red Dwarf. Most detested would be hard to tell as there are soooo may. But I can say that I'm done with the formula of a bunch of idiots sitting around talking about their sex lives.

What ticks me off though is the total lack of creativity these days. I kid you not when I say these things could be written by computers inserting random lines.

Tennessee Jed said...

Modern Family revived the genre for me. It is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. Great writing and great acting. One could quibble about the gay couple, but if ever there was a comedy involving gays that isn't politivally correct, this is it. Other than that, I agree - - - they suck

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I haven't seen it. I've gotten to the point that I don't even bother when the formula is in any way close to either Roseanne or Friends.

Anonymous said...

Gilligan's Island was my favorite as a kid and I watched a lot of the ones on your list. My husband and I introduced our kids to the Beverly Hillbillies a couple of years ago (our son is 15 and our daughter is 12) and they both love that show. It just goes to show that good comedy is timeless.

Another show that is not on your list that I really enjoyed was Green Acres. We plan to start recording those on the DVR to show to the kids as well.

As far as most detested sitcoms, I can't think of any at the moment. Of course I don't watch any of the current offerings, so maybe that's why.

TJ

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, as an aside, I don't know if anyone saw the new "science fiction" show on TNT... between the 52 minutes of commercials they cram into every hour.

They're calling it "Falling Skies."

We actually gave up on it after the first hour, it was that pointless. They said they wanted to do something thoughtful, but the only thought that came to mind about it was "why did anyone make this?"

It's basically a copy of five minutes of Speilberg's War of the World stretched out for two plus hours.... along with thousands of minutes of commercials. It got so bad I think the individual commercials were interrupted by commercials.

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, I agree, I think good comedy is timeless and can be enjoyed generation after generation. I definitely don't see much in the current crop that anyone will be talking about in 20 years or 50 years.

In terms of Green Acres this list was just off the top of my head -- there are literally hundreds of good sitcoms from the past that I haven't mentioned.

T-Rav said...

Yeah Andrew, I saw the first 30 or 40 minutes of Falling Skies before realizing I was not interested by it at all and turned it off. It's just not captivating.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I honestly don't know what they were thinking, except that we're suckers. They claimed they wanted to make "smart science fiction." Ok, I'm into that. But there was nothing smart about it. It was like The Walking Dead without the zombies or the interesting characters. I really felt like, "ok, what's the catch... I must be missing something."

(Not to mention the commercials were so annoying that it became impossible build any sort of the flow with the constant interruptions.)

JS said...

I was thinking that Community does not fit in the Friends/Rosanne mold. I find it very well written and can throw you for a loop in its best written episodes.

Yes, there's a group of neurotics there but their ages and background are all over the place and that makes for really interesting situations (pun intended).

The fact that the characters comment on annoying TV shows, "Who watches Glee? What's the attraction?" adds to the delight.

AndrewPrice said...

JS, I have to admit I like the idea of sitcoms attacking other sitcoms! LOL!

I haven't watched Community, but it actually sounds like it has a great set of characters. I particular like the idea of a lawyer fabricating his degree -- I can name some real life.... well. ;-)

I'll give that one a shot. Thanks!

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

I think I outgrew sitcoms. Except for checking out "The Office", I can't remember watching anything that was produced in the last ten years. I remember accidentally watching part of a "Two and a Half Men" episode once. Complete raunchy gutter comedy, and unfunny at that.

Favorites: MASH, All in the Family, Taxi. Does "The Simpsons" qualify as a sitcom?

Detest: Cheers, Seinfeld, Home Improvement, and of course the two that launched your rant. :-D

P.S. I found this unofficial link of the top 100 sitcoms of all time.

ScottDS said...

I'm not italicizing the show titles... too much work! And I assume we're talking about both 1- and 3-camera shows.

Let's see...

My current favorites include Parks and Recreation, The Office, 30 Rock, and Community which, dare I say it, is approaching Arrested Development levels of genius.

Other favorites from the distant and recent past include Get Smart, Police Squad!, The Larry Sanders Show, NewsRadio, Seinfeld, Arrested Development, Party Down, Curb Your Enthusiasm (which is back soon), and The Simpsons (in its prime).

From our friends across the pond: The Office, The Thick of It, Spaced, and Black Books, along with The Newsroom from our neighbors to the north.

I have no interest in How I Met Your Mother (despite appearing in two episodes as an extra) or The Big Bang Theory which people tell me I should watch, as if I'll watch anything with "lovable geeks" in it. And I've never seen more than 10 seconds of Friends.

If you have days of spare time, check out TV Tropes.

Having said all that, I have no idea how I survived my pre-teen years watching TGIF sitcoms. Family Matters? Step by Step? What the hell was I thinking?!?! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Pitts, Good question about The Simpsons. It doesn't seem like a sitcom? Hmmm.

I've caught several of the new one at various times and it's always the same thing -- hence my rant. I'm particularly offended by the anti-father sentiment of sitcoms these days. It's really pathetic and I have to wonder how feminists or black groups or any of the identity-politics groups would act if their "character" was constantly shown in the same way fathers are.

I go back and forth on MASH. I didn't care for Cheers. I do love Taxi though -- and talk about an impressive cast! I'm a big fan of Barney Miller too, though it has that 1970s sensibility where it seems like the world is running down. But still, it was very funny.


P.S. Thanks for the link! I'd forgotten about a lot of those.

JS said...

If I got you to watch Community, I've done my good deed for the day. That show is too good for NBC and they will likely cancel it and replace it with a Friends clone.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, You're definitely more pro-sitcom than I am! LOL!

Still, outside The Office and Community, I'm not seeing a big list of sitcoms people are loving. I think that speaks volumes. And I honestly don't see anything (except maybe the Office) that people will still be talking about in 20 years -- certainly not the way we talk about Gilligan, Beaver, WKRP, Taxi, etc. And even then, The Office is an import.

On your past ones, I love News Radio and Police Squad (all six episodes, LOL). I never took to Arrested Development for some reason, though it should have been right up my alley. I loved the Simpsons, but haven't watched a new episode in a decade now -- not since they turned the show into guest-star-riddled gay propaganda.

Thanks for the link.... a collection of sitcom tropes. Or said differently, an instruction manuel on how to put together a sitcom! ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

JS, I'll definitely give it a try. It sounds interesting. Let's hope they don't cancel it.

I find it amazing that the worst garbage gets to run forever to prove itself on the networks, but the better stuff usually gets cut off by the networks after only a few episodes if it doesn't win the rating race. Hopefully, that won't be the case here.

ScottDS said...

If you'll notice, only a couple favorites are 3-camera sitcoms; the rest are 1-camera shows (including Get Smart which had canned laughter). I also forgot to mention Sledge Hammer (I'm waiting for the "Sledge in '12!" bumper sticker).

I suppose both formats have their pros and cons but 1-camera seems to be where it's at right now. I didn't think of it at the time (nor did anyone else, apparently) but the idea of being told when to laugh... ridiculous.

And think of all the shows that aired for one or two weeks and then vanished into the ether! When I moved to LA in 2005, there were billboards for Heather Graham's new sitcom, Emily's Reasons Why Not. It was canned after a week. Who thought a show about Heather Graham having trouble with men would be a realistic idea? :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Yeah, there are hundreds that never make it out of the gates. But I'm not sure there is any more creativity there than in what makes it onto the networks.

And to repeat, my complaint is that what they end up putting on television is almost always identical to everything else already on. Yes, there are a couple exceptions, but I've never seen a point in my television-watching life where everything was so clone-ish. It really has become like they won't give anything a try that doesn't fit one of these two formulas unless (like The Office) it has shown a track record of success somehow -- like overseas.

I would like to see them try new things with new premises. Don't make the setting of the next sitcom an office or apartment, but make it a space station or a mine or submarine -- something that will force the writers to get creative.

On laugh tracks, yeah, that's always annoyed me too. I've always felt that if you have to tell me when to laugh, then you haven't done your job right as a writer. BUT, they all did it for the longest time because they thought it worked.

Cheryl said...

It's not just sitcoms that denigrate fathers and men in general. Even commercials do it. I've been ranting about that for more than a decade. I'm so sick of it! If a show starts leaning in that direction, I'm done. With that and other issues that I refuse to stomach, I don't watch a whole lot of tv these days.

Of course it doesn't help that I can't figure out my remote. :(

AndrewPrice said...

Cheryl, That is absolutely true. Somewhere in the late 1980s or early 1990s commercials aimed at kids because incredibly disrespectful of all authority -- fathers, mother, and teachers. They are shown as stupid, whereas the kids were shown getting away with things and being obnoxious about it. Then in the 1990s, they decided that husbands needed to be made into useless eunuchs. Now they blunder their way through whatever the topic is as the wives need to tell the store clerks what they really need. It's gotten to the point that I can't think of the last commercial that was respectful of fatherhood?

Is it any wonder that the parent/child relationship is in danger when kids are being blasted 4-8 hours a day with the message: "your parents (and especially your fathers) are stupid and need to be shown up.... buy our product." I think this is a social disaster in the making.

And I say again, how do you think Hollywood/Washington would respond if every commercial or sitcom showed blacks as stupid, fat and bumbling and needing to be put in their place by their own kids -- and only in that manner? There would be outrage for a variety of reasons. Yet somehow, those reasons aren't supposed to apply in this situation?

T-Rav said...

Yes, The Office is an import--but BETTER! (Hides from all those who like the original British version)

I do watch Community from time to time, and it is an enjoyable sitcom for the most part. The paintball-war episodes are especially funny. I also sometimes watch E's "The Soup," which is hosted by the lead character (Joel McHale) and rips on the entertainment news of the past week, but it can be pretty raunchy.

Andrew, I noticed that--there were a lot of commercials in the Falling Skies premiere, weren't there? It didn't bother me much because I DVR'd it, but still there was a break for commercials roughly every 14 seconds. (That's an official tabulation, of course.)

T-Rav said...

Oh, and also, the eunuch father theme borrows me too. I always think of "Everybody Loves Raymond" in this connection, I guess because it was so obvious on that show. I liked watching, but honestly, the wife tearing Raymond down over and over again got to be too much to deal with.

And just to ensure this post gets a five-paragraph reply from Andrew, "Everybody Loves Raymond" was listed by Ben Shapiro as #8 or something on his list of Top 10 Conservative TV Shows. Apparently a displays a "stable, two-parent family" so it's conservative. Sure.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You ain't kidding about the 14 seconds. It honestly felt like every 3-5 minutes they went to a commercial break. It was like the characters couldn't even finish complete sentences before we were off to some commercial.

Still, that isn't what killed it for me. I just felt it was going nowhere. It wasn't offering anything I hadn't seen a thousand times and which was usually done better already. Plus the drama felt faked and I just couldn't care about anyone or anything they showed me.

I will stay out of your Office war, except to say that from my perspective, the problem is that again -- the only reason they diverged from the formula was that the show had proven success in another market. Hollywood just won't take risks.

Andrew's Doctor said...

Dear Mr. Rav,

I'm afraid you've done it now. Mr. Price's head exploded. Hopefully we'll get a replacement soon and he can return to commenting.

Dr. F. Enstein.


P.S. Shapiro wouldn't know "conservative" if it bit him in his copy of God And Man At Yale.

rlaWTX said...

I know that this is modern heresy, but I don't get the Office fascination... they were annoying, not funny... same with Parks & Community... Big Bang actually made me laugh the first season, then they recycled...
I'm not much of a sit-com gal, I guess... tried watching the Modern Middle Family group, but no thanks...
MASH was great. I have rediscovered The Nanny and it seems to be funny... ran across Green Acres a while back again, it was funny... Remember watching Petticoat Junction when TVLand was new.

I kept watching Falling Skies because I wanted to like it... I think I finally missed the last 20 minutes... and I think that says everything.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I too wanted to like "Falling Skies," but we turned it off too. That seems to be a common theme going right now -- that people tried to like it, but not only didn't, but actively turned it off before it ended. That's a horrible sign for a television show.

On sitcoms, I hear a lot of people say they aren't into sitcoms and I don't doubt that -- but it makes me wonder how sitcoms continue to dominate the Nielsen ratings? Nielsen really must be using non-representative people. In fact, I get that feeling all the time when I see what America is supposedly watching and I compare that with what people are actually talking about.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: And then there are those "lawyer" comedies. Drop Dead Diva (bad), The Defenders (worse) and Franklin and Bash (abominable). I like a good laugh at the profession I chose years ago, but these shows are so bad that any idiot crazy enough to watch them deserves exactly the kind of attorney depicted in them. I have a particular hatred for The Defenders because there was a fine series with the same name in the early 60s.

As for Falling Skies, Chicken Little must be the writer. It's far worse than any review I've seen of it, and they're not good.

Cheryl said...

Regarding the irrelevance of fathers in television, I think it started with One Day At A Time. Hated that bra-burning mother.

I gotta admit... I love Big Bang Theory. I don't watch it on tv, but buy the seasons on DVD when they come out.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I've given up on lawyer anything on television -- and apparently USA has a whole new crop of lawyer shows coming out. That said, I'm looking forward to my first lawyer superhero... Objection Man. His nemesis can be called "Overruled." And it will only get worse from there! LOL!

What's funny about Falling Skies is that some critics actually wrote that this might "save" science fiction. Not only is this show unlikely to save anything, but I didn't even know that science fiction was in trouble. That sounds like PR to me.

AndrewPrice said...

Cheryl, That could well be. That was not a good time for responsibility. But it's definitely accelerated of late.

In terms of Big Bang, tastes very. My biggest beef is that this is all there is now. I want more creativity out of Hollywood. I want more choices.

ScottDS said...

I see T-Rav and the doctor beat me to it with Shapiro's nod to Everybody Loves Raymond. Good thing the show didn't have a gay character in it... ;-)

I can't stand the "dumb father" trope either. As a kid, I suppose I secretly liked the "Parents are stupid!" thing but looking at it now at the age of 28, I can't stand it.

By the way, even though it was more of a Saturday morning thing, I HATE HATE HATE HATE (times infinity) Saved by the Bell. Aside from the standard conventions of the genre, here's the main reason I continue to detest it after all these years:

Like most kids shows of the time, every episode features a moral of some kind that the kids learn by the end of the episode: stealing is wrong, drugs are bad, etc. I imagine one of those lessons was "Be yourself." Guess what... every smart kid was portrayed as a sterotypical nerd with glasses, pocket protector, etc. What kind of lesson is that for kids?!? "If you're smart, you'll be a social outcast who can't dress himself?!"

I've spoken. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, If Raymond had a gay character then Ben wouldn't have listed it except on his "Satanic Verses" list.

Saved By the Bell, yeah, that thing was all about stereotypes and conformity. And yep, nerds were definitely a subspecies to be treated harshly.

I actually think nerds got the short end of the pocket protector until Justin Long came along. He seems to be the first "nerd" to appear relatively normal. That's something I thought I'd write about one day -- the evolution of the nerd. I actually despise the stereotype too because it's unnecessary slapstick in my opinion and it's blatantly misleading.

Not that I care about nerd-rights, but I don't like comic relief characters (especially unfunny ones) and in children's shows, like your favorite Saved by the Bell, it sends the wrong message -- it tells kids, don't be smart, you won't be popular.

T-Rav said...

Oh God, what have I done? Oh well, seems like a pretty close replacement. Meanwhile, I'll just keep my Office thoughts to myself.

(Shapiro's piece is over at NRO, by the way, for anyone's who interested/wants to trash it. I don't remember most of the others; I know he had Lost at #10, but that's probably just because he's a diehard fan of the show.)

AndrewPrice said...

That's ok, T-Rav, fortunately I keep a spare under the bed. :-)

I'll pass on Shapiro's list. I've seen enough random lists of television shows in my time.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Nice takedown Andrew!

Last sitcom I really liked a lot: Frasier (and it was much smarter and funnier than the vast majority of sitcoms, including Cheers IMO).

Haven't watched Community so I'll give it a try. Any comedy that's non-pc has at least one thing goin' for it.

Hey, I actually liked watching Step By Step with our kids. Who knew Patrick Duffy could be funny?

I kind of liked Family Matters until Erkel took over the show (even our kids thought they went overboard with erklemania).

Lessee, besides many of the 70's shows mentioned (and Sledge Hammer/Police Squad) I liked CPO Sharkey (Don Rickles!), Cosby Show was pretty good, Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp, The Mod Squad (wait, you mean that wasn't a sitcom?).

The Bernie Mac Show was another recent one that was funny most the time and non-pc. RIP Bernie.

Oh, I forgot to mention The Gopod Guys. Not a sitcom per se since it includes muscle cars and lots of action, but it is very funny and not for the non-pc squeamish.

I concur, Andrew, let's see some good scifi, fantasy, medieval (time travelling maybe?) comedies.
Or anything different than the same old, same old.

BTW, speaking of different I'm gonna give Wilfred (on FX premiering the 23rd) a chance, tomorrow.
I'll let you know how it is.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Er...good, not gopod. I hate when p's sneak in there under over of the o's. :P

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Thanks!

That's a lot of good sitcoms you mention! Fraiser in particular struck me as very intelligent. The humor was never low brow and the setups were quite brilliant.

I never watched Step by Step, but we did watch a lot of the other 80's family shows. Alf in particular was fun. We also saw a lot of the 70s family stuff -- like Different Strokes.

I would love to see them pick brand new settings and see what happens. Tell me you couldn't make a sitcom out of a Lord of the Rings type set up. Or look at Blackadder from Britain, which was in various different time periods and was hilarious! And they never seem to want to touch sci-fi in Hollywood, even though people have proven again and again that they crave it.

Hollywood just isn't trying hard enough in my opinion, and I think it's because they're afraid to take risks at this point.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of shows that didn't get much of a chance (and I'm not sure if it could be classified a sitcom), I thought Freaks and Geeks was pretty good. I didn't get a chance to see every episode, but the few I did see were entertaining. I graduated from high school in 1981 and could relate a bit to some of the situations they presented.

TJ

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, I remember a lot of people liking that one. I wasn't watching a lot of television when it was on, but other people I knew really liked it.

Retro Hound said...

We watched part of the first season of Friends. Came back for the second and it was immediately apparent that it was just going to be sex jokes. The difference startled us it was so drastic. Such a shame, they has so much promise.

I like Home Improvement, I think that was the last sitcom we watched. We get some old stuff from Netflix now.

USArtguy said...

Interesting take on today's sitcoms, Andrew. I do enjoy "The Middle" and I have come around to liking "Modern Family". "Sheldon" is the only reason to watch "Big Bang Theory". though I may not have quite the same reasons, I pretty much agree with your overall assessment, though. I've never been a cable or satellite subscriber (yes, I know. I'm the one person in America), and I don't care much for what I see on TV these days. However, I have a young daughter and a DVD player. Fortunately, it's currently fashionable to have a lot of old shows available on disc, so my kid has a supply of many of the great old shows on your list. She LOVES Gilligan's Island, Night Court and Mork and Mindy. As I can afford it, I buy either a season or complete run of the old shows. She also loves Green Acres.

It may sound corny, but these shows had a "wholesomeness" that is sadly lacking in today's morally ambivalent culture. That's what I want for my kid.

I would add several others like "The Dick Van Dyke Show", "Happy Days" and "Laverne and Shirley" to the quality list.

I guess we're around the same age judging from the shows you like. There are some which are almost "before our time" like "Hazel" (which I have on DVD), Family Affair, My Three Sons, Andy Griffith, Gomer Pyle, USMC and Bewitched that hold up fairly well.

They don't make 'em like that used to!

AndrewPrice said...

Retro, Somewhere along the way they decided to focus almost entirely on sex jokes. And while I'm not averse to those now and then, I really don't want to watch a show based on them.

Netflix seems to be a huge resource these days for people looking to find better (older) stuff. I'm really glad they came along!

AndrewPrice said...

USArtguy, Nice additions! I used to watch all of those. In fact, I was wondering the other day why I haven't seen any trace of Gomer Pile in years? Hmm.

I think that buying your kid older shows is a great way to control what they watch. I totally agree about the wholesomeness. Not to sound corny, but there is just something nice about watching good shows about good people with good lessons/themes. In fact, one of the things that bothers me about modern television is just how relentlessly cynical it is. It just pounds at you how unhappy everyone is, even when they are supposedly happy. That's one thing I love about old shows is that they are totally without cynicism and nastiness. It's just a completely different and more pleasant vibe.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Well, I may give Wilfred another shot but not if it becomes dog sex jokes centric.

It does have some potential.
My favorite line of the show:

Wilfred: "Trust your instincts."

Frodo: "I'm not an animal!"

Wilfred; "Then be a man!"

A lot funnier in context but still good.
The strength of the show is and must be interactions like this between the two (Wilfred and the only guy that doesn't see him as a normal dog).

I would write more but I wanna avoid any spoilers.
I sincerely hope the writer (who alsio plays Wilfred) doesn't take the cheap, easy way style that has become sitcom norm and chooses to be creative as well as funny.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, We'll see. The ads look like it could go either way. The idea seems clever, but the adds have largely been sex jokes.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Aye. Sadly, I suspect it will primarily go in that direction. Hopefully I'm wrong but all the signs point that way. :^(

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Yeah, we'll see, but I think that's the way it's going.

JohnJ said...

Community is actually one of my favorites, even though it's ostensibly leftist. My favorite of all time has to be the British sitcom "Yes, (Prime) Minster".

AndrewPrice said...

JohnJ, "Yes, Minister" was definitely an enjoyable show -- always worth a laugh.

I'm going to give "Community" a shot based on everyone's recommendations.

CrispyRice said...

I'm late to the party on this one, but two thoughts. :)

#1 - It says a lot that I know exactly where your two uncredited quotes are from! (“what does a yellow light mean?”. . . “I didn’t know turkey’s can’t fly.”)

#2 - Re Soap, we recently rewatched it and, excepting the last season, boy has it held up. I was rolling.

Nice trip down memory lane.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, It does. Now ask yourself if what lines everyone will remember from any new sitcom? I doubt you'll find anything.

I liked Soap a lot! "I'm invisible!"

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Kind of late, but Wilfred definitely went south and I quit watching it.

Malcom In The Middle is another sitcom I liked.
Funny thiung, I actually like all the other characters more than Malcom as they are funnier and more likable and interesting.

Currently I'm watching Rescue Me again. Not a sitcom but it does have sitcom moments in it that are quite memorable.

Very non-pc show, and they weren't afraid to tackle some tough issues which also resulted in some well written, and realistic humor as well as realitic drama.

Lou is one of my favorite characters because he delivers some great one liners in spectacular fashion.

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