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134 Posts in 27 Topics by 26 members

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Author Topic: About Comedy 7490 Views
  • immortalfrieza
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    Re: About Comedy Link to this post

    I don't really know what more to say at this point. I've said all that could possibly be said about my position and it hasn't resulted in anything, so I don't think I can go any further.

  • RomitComet
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    Re: About Comedy Link to this post

    Robin:

    Actually I find this a tough question. I used to watch Friends a lot when it was on TV simply because it was on ALL THE TIME. Every once in a while I'll see an old episode and it still makes me smile.

    I really liked Spaced when I saw it, and for more current comedies Girls is likely my favourite. But it's always in danger of becoming a little too melodramatic.

    South Park always has the capacity to be hilarious, and The Simpsons was great back in the day.

    I'm looking forward to Arrested Development coming back. I think they're releasing a brand new season this month on Netflix.

    What are your favourites?

  • immortalfrieza
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    Re: About Comedy Link to this post

    I know you just asked Robin Romit, but I'd like to contribute as to my favorite comedies if nobody minds.

    I've watched a LOT of comedies, both live action and cartoons, but I've always had a hard time deciding my favorite among the things I like so I'm not sure what my favorites are. One of the reasons I got into this discussion with Robin is obviously because I really like How I Met Your Mother, unless it's a serious episode I usually laugh at something at least every couple of minutes, though I've only managed to watch all the episodes up to season 6 so far. Big Bang Theory is another one that I've found the laughing I do is more sparse but not by much. I also loved Two and a Half Men before Charlie left, quite a few laughs there, but after Charlie was gone it pretty much lost all it's appeal.

    As for cartoons the original Looney Toons always worked for me, and while I don't watch the Simpson's very much these days (I've only seen it here or there since around the time The Simpson's Movie came out) I'm probably among the few people that think it's actually gotten better since then, mostly because the writers put in more actual attempts at humor and less being up their own a**es with messages, like they used to .

    I'd say Family Guy, South Park, American Dad, and so forth, they do a good job at being entertaining but I wouldn't say they're exceptional, they all have their merits and I'll probably catch an episode if I'm eating or relaxing or whatever, but their jokes are more of a hit and miss.

    Oh, BTW Robin, as I recall during my first comment before we started talking about comedy specifically I mentioned a couple other issues that you tended to have with HIMYM aside from the comedy, the mother and the kids, and my reasons for it's not really a problem, and as far as I'm aware you never really responded to that.

  • TheTVCritic
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    Re: About Comedy Link to this post

    Yeah we got sidetracked trying to define comedy

    Although this is a simplification of what you said, glancing at it you said the kids were a plot device and it shouldn't be taken seriously that future Ted is actually telling them all these stories. And that the mother is also just a plot device and isn't the 'point' of HIMYM.

    Rather than arguing as such. Let me just outline my general complaints about the 2 issues.

    HIMYM's first season was really strong. The story was clear and focused. Very much as you described it showing Ted as the hopeless romantic who just had to see where things would go with Robin even though signs pointed to disaster.

    I could see a show existing like that. If each season had had a similar focus and felt like it really was a journey Ted was on then I would be happy to only meet the mother at the very end.

    But that focus was gone once the 2nd season began. The creators have been making it up as they went along for a long time. Which would be fine if they'd made up good stories but I don't think they have. I've not been satisfied by any of Ted's other relationships or his backsliding with Robin or the flip flopping between loving and hating the single life. So to keep teasing us about the Mother has become an irritating part of the show. It's a reminder that the show once had a clear focus where meeting Robin would lead to meeting the mother.

    But eight seasons later I'm not saying anything shocking by pointing out that they've stretched that premise to the point where it no longer feels believable. The more they tease that it will be coming soon the more preposterous it is that he's actually been telling his children this story. Of course I don't really believe that he sat down and told his kids hundreds of hours of story. But the show insists that he is telling them a lot and the more they mention it the sillier it seems.

    For me that silliness affects my enjoyment of the show because it keeps breaking my suspension of disbelief. If it doesn't bother you that's great. But it's hard to argue that they are meaningless plot devices when the writers use them repeatedly and build their emotional resonance around them. e.g. the great ending of episode 20 this season which I praised a lot.

    p.s. Here's a bunch of comedies I've really liked at one time or another: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends, Frasier, Seinfeld, Simpsons, Family Guy, Scrubs, Spin City, Cybil, The Office, Louie. And UK shows Black Adder, Red Dwarf, Men Behaving Badly, Bottom, Coupling and a whole bunch from pre 1980

  • immortalfrieza
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    Re: About Comedy Link to this post

    ARRRRGG!!! I typed up a long comment to post, and then I got "Bad Request" page and lost the whole thing! Maybe later I'll try to retype it.

  • TheTVCritic
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    Re: About Comedy Link to this post

    I'm really sorry about that

  • immortalfrieza
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    Re: About Comedy Link to this post

    That's alright, that kinda thing happens with posting comments anywhere sometimes. I really should get into the habit of copying my posts before I post them, just in case. Anyway, I'll post that some other time, whenever I feel up to it.

  • RomitComet
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    Re: About Comedy Link to this post

    I forgot about Fresh Prince! That, for me, is the most endlessly watchable and feel good series on TV. I haven't seen all of the episodes but boy do I love it. It was always on at 4pm and I lived across the street from both my elementary and junior high schools. Would often watch it first thing when I got home.

    I enjoy a bunch of the other shows you listed as well, Robin, but I have a hard time classifying Louie as a comedy (even though I'll admit that it is one). I tend to feel pretty anxious or scared in a lot of the episodes.

    Example: Those aggressive costumed guys following him and his daughter on halloween; the baby chick he ends up bringing with him to Afghanistan unbeknownst to him.

    But Louis CK is a very gifted man.

    Not much of a fan of the shows you listed, immortalfrieza, but that's fine. Popular opinion and ratings side with you.

    Oh and Robin... I haven't seen any comedy series pre-1980 I think (unless Fawlty Towers is older than I think it is). Any examples of shows I ought to check out?

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