Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Sit-Com’s Suck

Speaking of comedy. I just want to rant for a second about the current state of network television. If you all don’t already know, I recently got back into TV in no small part due to Mike. For some time however, I have been bored by the average sit-com on network television. Has anyone else noticed that the jokes are recycled or at the very least formulaic? It’s the same damn comedy! Frasier, Friends, Cheers, That 70’s Show, etc, etc, they all are alike. How you ask? In a few major ways. The comedy revolves around two things, pithy retorts and embarrassing situations. You can count on one character in any of these shows to say something to set up another character’s witty comment. The only thing that ever changes is the scenario in which the characters are in, and that’s just a veneer.

Tell me you people can’t predict what one character will say to the other at any given moment. The sit-com hasn’t changed since the earliest days. You could look at an old episode of The Beverly Hill-Billy’s and compare it with Will & Grace. I grew tired of the formula humor. I was tired of getting the same set up and knockdown from every damn show on TV. When I was at my lowest I found something new.

I encourage all of you to view some new comedy. I found it in the ridiculously low budgeted cartoon shows on Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim”. These are irreverent shows that are redefining modern comedy. It started with the launch of a strange but funny show called Space Ghost Coast to Coast about seven years ago, then bloomed into an entire evening line up. Adult Swim has done so well in fact that it has put out DVD collections of its shows, and is nearly ready to launch a toy line.

I warn you though; some of you just aren’t going to get the humor. Some of the shows are very strange and it is hard to understand them. This, however, is a good thing. We need to get away from our comfort zone occasionally. Yeah, it’s easy to like the same thing you’ve seen a billion times before, but how can anyone be satisfied that way. I want to be challenged. Things are funnier to me when I don’t know what will happen next. I urge you all to watch any of the following shows: Home Movies, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken, Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law, Venture Brothers,and Sea Lab 2021 to name some of my favorites. These are terrific programs that break from the norm so completely that you never know where the show may end up. Not to mention that they are written more for adults than the drivel you get from network shows.

Give them a try at least once. If you don’t like any of them then go back to your recycled sit-coms. At least though you can say you tried something new.

3 comments:

ghanima said...

I'm of the opinion that the current state of TV in general just kind of stinks, and that sitcoms in particular are especially shoddy. The thing about sitcoms is that they are exactly what they purport to be, "situation comedies". In other words, a particular situation occurs, comedy follows. It is, by its nature, formulaic.

I've been using TV primarily as an educational tool these days, and only when I want to passively learn about something I probably wouldn't have researched of my own volition...

Da Beef said...

the reason all the shows are the same is because the network heads stick with something that is familiar, and has previously made money. They don't want to take a chance with any show that may or may not make them money. That is what it all boils down to.

I haven't watched all those shows on adult swim. Some are on past my bedtime, but I have seen a few. Robot Chicken is hilarious!!! Aqua Teen...I've only seen 2, but it was ok. I'll have to give the others a shot. Thanks Mark!

mommyjolle said...

I discovered long ago that the sit coms were at the very least predictable. I'd rather watch History channel or for guilty pleasure, Forensics Files.