Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Why I Love T.V.

At this trying time, post-writers strike, when we are still, for the most part, patiently waiting for our beloved shows to come back, it is easy to forget why we love t.v. so much.  We watch American Idol and reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in order to get by, but really we don’t feel that magic of T.V. that certain shows give.  Do you remember the first show you really truly fell in love with?  Like you just loved the characters so much, you felt like you really knew them.  Maybe it was All in the Family or Happy Days, maybe it was Dallas or Dynasty, maybe it was Beverly Hills 90210 or Friends, in any case, I’m sure all of you, even those that say they don’t love t.v. (mom) have a show that you really loved at some point, a show you didn’t miss and a show that you were sad about it ending.  

For me that has happened numerous times.  I love television, both good and bad (I’m big enough to see that there’s a place for good t.v. and bad t.v.), but every once in a while a show comes along that jumps out above and beyond just a passing liking of a show.  Every once in a while I get a Friends or a 90210, a Dawson’s Creek or a Veronica Mars, a show that combines true life with fiction seamlessly, that makes me laugh and cry.  I’ll let you in on a secret I’m loath to share, the shows I love almost always have an epic romance.  They almost always have the Ross and Rachel, Pacey and Joey (that was the real romance of that show), Veronica and Logan kind of relationships.  I am a sucker for romance on screen, in my real life I can’t stand it, but on screen I love it.  
Over the course of the strike, I’ve been trying to find some way to cope with a lack of scripted television (seeing as I can’t stand most reality t.v. it has been a tough couple of months for me), so the other day I decided to give a show a try that had been recommended to me over and over again.  Yes, I’ve finally really given The Office a shot.  I think I was originally turned off by it because I tend to not think that Steve Carrell is as funny as everyone else does.  I mean, I think he’s funny, just not as funny as everyone else thinks he is.  It really comes down to romance, why I even gave it a try, or rather it really came down to Pam and Jim, why I gave it a try.  Like I said, I’m a big fan of romance, and it actually pains me to know that I’m missing out on a great romantic story arc that people talk about and I can’t contribute anything.  I’m aware that this is totally crazy, that I feel like I must watch a show to not feel left out, but I can’t help it. 
So yeah, I have fallen completely in love with The Office (and John Krasinski) because really, it’s got that thing that great shows have.  It has flawed (and sometimes completely ridiculous) but lovable characters.  It’s got simple but intriguing story lines that come from an organic place within the characters situations.  And, like the best comedies, it doesn’t really have a plot.  The problem with most comedies today is that they are too high concept; the best comedies, like Seinfeld, Friends, All in the Family, and Cheers are very low concept.  Seinfeld: show about nothing, Friends:  Six friends, All in the Family: a dysfunctional Family (Arrested Development also does this well), Cheers: people in a bar.  There really aren’t any stories that need to be told because of the concept of the show.  Unlike, recently, shows like Carpoolers or Cavemen or How I Met Your Mother or Two and a Half Men.  The fact that these shows have complex plot lines means that there is less time to be funny.  Leave the complex plots to Lost and let the situation and characters be funny.  The Office (and yes, the British version is still amazing) is simple (it’s about people in an office), it’s funny (characters are funny and get themselves into funny situations) and it’s relatable (who hasn’t worked in an office like Dunder-Mifflin or had a boss like Michael Scott?).  The basic tenet of comedy is to hire funny people and give them a forum to be funny but also to tug the heartstrings when need be.  Who didn’t tear up when Ross and Rachel broke up?  Who didn’t crack up when Sammy Davis kissed Archie Bunker?  It’s the line between these two things that make comedy great and memorable, and it is these things that launch the classic shows into posterity.
Peace, Love, and The Office,
Julia  

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April 4, 2008 - Posted by | Comedy, Culture, Friends, Hollywood, Television, Veronica Mars

1 Comment »

  1. Archie Bunker still resonates incredibly well with the comedy of today! David Brent’s a one in a life time! And,according to me, Eric Cartman is one of the most unforgettable characters ever!

    Comment by aniche | April 4, 2008 | Reply


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