October 30th, 2008

Ha ha very funny

AOL is listing "The 50 Best TV Comedies Ever." Okay, but then in a subtitle it calls this list "Counting Down the Funniest Shows of All Time." To me, these are two completely different things. "Best Comedy" implies that the show itself is of high quality, whereas "Funniest Show" just means it's funny.

I would not argue with the funny aspect of any of these shows. But some of the shows in AOL's top 10 always frustrated me when I watched them because they had a habit of leaving the characters in a terrible situation just to get a laugh out of the last 30 seconds. The writers would not bother to get the characters out of the situation, and this wasn't even a cliffhanger--because you knew from watching the show that the whole world would be "reset" by the beginning of the next episode and everyone would carry on as if the last episode hadn't happened. Some culprits: The Simpsons, The Cosby Show, Seinfeld.

As a viewer, I get more enjoyment out of shows that carry the character and situation through all the way to the next episode. And as an author, I have much more respect for the writers of these shows, because I know this job is a lot harder. Believable happy or satisfying endings are very difficult to engineer! My favorite comedies in this respect: Friends, MASH, Cheers.
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