There’s something that I do quite often. A lot. I feel that if I say it on a public forum it will likely go viral help me cut back. Don’t suggest Cold Turkey. If you figure 22 minutes per show sans commercials @7 shows that’s 154 minutes per week of situational comedy. While it isn’t like Jodie Foster’s big Golden Globe moment, I know many of my readers will have difficulty with my confession. Some of them are so appalled by the content of these programs; they must have actually watched entire seasons to build up that much hate.
My 6-pack of dirty-pleasure sit-coms in 22 DVR minutes currently looks like this:
- New Girl
- Two Broke Girls
- Ben & Kate
- Two And A Half Men
- § Modern Family
- Mindy Project
- Big Bang Theory
One aside:While none of these shows feature the fourth wall, it has always been a favorite device of mine. I mention it because it defines the kind of under-your-breath-I-know-wahat-you’re thinking kind of comedy that is hard to come by these days, or come by done well. This is an older link to a perfect illustration (Thanks to Film Babble Blog).
While looking at sit-coms that enjoyed/are enjoying long runs, much of what I enjoy about TV has taken place on shows like The Gary Shandling Show. (If this clip fails to delight, our work here may be finished). While I’m not much for reality TV, fake reality TV, I mean seriously fake reality, amuses me.
OK Two asides: Most competition offends me. This eliminates a large hunk of TV from the board. For example, I would feel too bad for the “loser” in The Biggest Loser to ever watch that show. And to illustrate how wishy-washy I can be, I loved “Beauty and the Geek.” Go figure.
Aside 3:I really don’t like shows with autopsies. As I just mentioned, not too big on the competition shows. Now if they made a show called “Speed Autopsies” I might have to check that out. So I completely understand what it is YOU like to watch.
Shows I DVR include:
2 Broke Girls
Sometimes I think I’ll skip watching it but the theme song sucks me in. Kat Dennings (Max) and Beth Behrs (Caroline) are a funny duo, but for me the comedic star of the show is Jenifer Cooledge. It never gets old for me to watch her burst into the room in her outrages outfits, throwing diner patrons out of “her” booth. The writing of her character is funny, but the comedic cynicism is what I look forward to…every time Sofie walks into the room. It reminds me of “Klinger” on M*A*S*H (go back and take a look at some of the double entendres of the day!). Is the show too rude for the American Public? 11.3 Million viewers (average week, first season, IMDB) tells me that a few of the people that say “I never watch that fifthly show” are fibbing.
New Girl has some parts that continue to annoy me, allayed by the presence of Zoey Deschanel; this is one show on the list where the ensemble doesn’t matter to me. I was not that impressed by interview her on ELLEN so I’m thinking it isn’t HER I love, but her quirky portrayals in everything she does. Playing opposite Jim Carrey in The Yes Man, while not the first time I saw her, might have been when I fell in love with her.
Two And A Half Men
I continue to watch Two And A Half Men, even though without Charlie Sheen, Allen has become a much sadder character as there is never any reason to root for him. Like Two Broke Girls, it is fun to see what boundaries they will break next.
Will Jake make it in the army? Will Walden settle down? Will they ever write more Charlie flashback scenes? (Have your people call my people-I have a few ideas).
Ben and Kate
This show took a couple of weeks for my addiction to kick in, but addicted I am. Hard not to love Lucy Punch (BJ) and Dakota Johnson (Kate) and the adorable, not-precocious Maggie Elizabeth Jones. Hard not to love how much they love Maddie, hard not to wonder how of the characters pay any of their bills. Part of the charm!. I feel for the entrepreneurial Ben, who has had more jobs and job ideas than me. Have you been reading this blog?
The Mindy Project
Mindy talks so fast I miss half of what she is saying. So this show will hold up for repeated viewings, and besides, gynecology is one of those things where if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. I like what they’re doing with the ex-con humor. Will my infatuation with this show last? Give me 3 more episodes and I’ll tell ya.
The Big Bang Theory
I had to include a show where viewers have their favorite (“My mother had me tested.” ) quotes, idiosyncrasies and lunch boxes. Influenced not by popular culture, but creating popular culture to spread geeky influence is what they do.
(Modern Family just missed the cut, not enough Cam in the tree in full Broadway “Cats” makeup and too much of the whiny Phil Dunphy and offspring).
The fact that I grew up on Norman Lear probably informs my DVR choices as much as anything else. It was “naughty” when Archie told Meathead that he and Gloria couldn’t get married because they didn’t have a pot to peel a potato in! It WAS, because he was going to say “piss” but the sensors wouldn’t allow it. Carroll O’Connor’s delivery was so perfect, the audience knew what Archie meant. Most of those 70’s shows weren’t quite that subtle!
In conclusion, let’s have a little cleansing confession. What’s your guilty TV pleasure? Post them in the comments, under a fake name if necessary.