Thursday, December 16, 2004

The art of the American TV sitcom



So today is MCLA "Reading Day" a.k.a "Day off before finals intending for studying" or for me "Day to be lazy and procrastinate." So far most of my morning has been spent watching reruns of sitcoms on various channels. You can almost count that at every single point of the day, there is a sitcom on any given channel. So far my morning has consisted of "Full House", "Ellen", "Family Matters" and "The Golden Girls" with a little "The Nanny" thrown in. I also tried teaching myself how to do the Charleston, but that's not here, nor there, so we're pretending I didn't do that.



First off, these two characters are probably the most annoying and irritating characters on television, yet why do I love them both so much? I used to watch the shows they were on every single night. I wouldn't miss one. I remember the Gibbler was on Tuesday nights with Roseanne and Co. and Urkel was part of the TGIF lineup with Sabrina and Boy Meets World. Oh the fun of youth. Sitting on the couch, watching sitcoms. Now they mostly just annoy me.

I see how cheesy they actually are. For instance, the plot of Full House today involved Michelle wanting to be her own person. So she decided she's a big girl and she is going to climb to the top of the batting cage. Well, once she gets up there, she realizes she is actually a small girl and is terrified. Cue the dramatic music as Bob Saget comes on to the playground (why is he there anyways, it's recess and shouldn't he be working?) He tells her she is a big girl and can do this. The whole playground gathers around to watch Michelle climb back down the chain link. It all ends with a big hug and a "You did it yourself, honey! You are a big girl!" Gag me with a spoon, PUHLEASE!

Not all old sitcoms annoy me like Full House does. I love "The Golden Girls" and I watch it daily. It is actually one of the funniest shows on televison. I think I laugh at least one big hearty laugh everytime I watch an episode. It never fails to put me in a cheery mood. Also, I'm starting to get into "Ellen", Ms. Degeneres' first sitcom a couple years back. But no sitcom grates on my nerves as much as "The Nanny." I used to adore this show and watch it every Monday night on CBS. Now, I hate it. It's not so much Miss Fine's voice, but it's the show. "I simply abhor it!" (That was typed with a British accent.)

And what has happened to sitcoms? They had a peak from like the mid-80s to the mid-90s, now they're slowly fading away. Only Will and Grace and Everybody Loves Raymond remain from that peak period. All the good ones have been cancelled or have ended and Raymond is ending this year. Now crap like "According to Jim" and "Two and a Half Men" are on. Have sitcoms gone down the tube? Or have I just grown out of them? Is America less accepting of the TV sitcom now? If so, why? Answer these questions, and you will win a prize.


Just kidding. You won't win anything.

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