I’m not running this week. So I’m not posting about running. I’m being all tangential. (+3)
That’s right. There’s a period at the end on purpose. Shitcoms are definitive. You either are or you aren’t. No middle ground here.
As the name implies, it covers any crappy, poor quality, laugh track filled sitcom. And if one of your cast was on another, infinitely more successful show, yours is the career killing shitcom for that actor (see Jason Alexander, “George” from Seinfeld and subsequent shitcom, Bob Patterson – forgot about that, didn’t you?). I’m sure this word has been around for awhile but I was first exposed recently by watching the hilarious Extras (HBO) season 2. Extras is definitely not a shitcom.
The networks birth more and more vapid shows onto the airwaves each season. I don’t know what the success rate is but I would guess there is a 10:1 shitcom ratio going on here. Its pretty easy to identify the quality shows versus the shitcoms. They jump right out at you. Even a terrible, utterly unredeeming shitcom can last on the air for YEARS before anyone notices and puts us out of our misery. How else do you explain How I Met Your Mother. In what world is Doogie Howser a playboy Lothario? Next, Saved By the Bell’s Screech is going to try and pass himself off as a tough guy. That would be one sign of the apocalypse.
My original intention was to publish a list of the worst shitcoms. Quickly, I realized this would take weeks to compile. You can’t rate shitcoms against each other. Once they fall into that bin, they all carry the same ranking. It’s futile to differentiate. I had this whole rating system worked up where I was going to categorize the worst shitcoms based on how they make me feel watching them. Something like:
(5) Makes me what to punch somebody
(4) Makes me want to punch self.
(3) Makes me want to eat California Tortilla again and puke for distraction
(2) Please induce coma
(1) Would rather watch a ventriloquist
But a true shitcom coerces all of the above emotions.
And there’s no end to the candidates. Do I qualify it and say it had to have been on the air for a certain number of years first to qualify, like shitcom Just Shoot Me? Or you had to occupy a prime Thursday evening time slot and fail miserably, like shitcom Veronica’s Closet?
There was just to many kinks to work out. And way too many terrible shows to review.
So, I thought I’d present my list of QUALITY sitcoms that actually DESERVE to be watched. I have a bit of a warped sense of humor if you haven’t picked that up by now so maybe these won’t appeal to you all. However, here are some decidedly non-shitcom sitcoms:
The Office (BBC version)
It lasted only 2 seasons with an hour long finale. This was a GREAT show. It has spawned the NBC Steve Carell version which is also funny but cannot hold a candle to the original. If you like the American version, check out the BBC version. Warning: Give it 2 episodes as the English accents are a bit thick at first until the ears adjust.
From the same folks that brought you the BBC’s The Office. Not quite as good but funny stuff. Again, it lasted only two seasons with a finale. Quality writing.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (F/X)
This is a low budget comedy about a group of young bar owners in Philly. Danny Devito joined in season 2 to try and give the show some mainstream recognition. I don’t know what the status is for this year. It usually airs over the summer on F/X. The writing is uneven but when they hit a ticklish spot you laugh your ass off.
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
This show gets the most extreme reaction of any I mention. Folks either “love it” or “hate it”. If you liked the wit of Seinfeld in a more frenetic, less structured, non-laugh track environment, you should love Curb. It’s from the main writer and creator of Seinfeld who stars as himself. You need to give this one 3-4 episodes to pick up the unstructured flow.
Just seeing if you are paying attention. OZ is not funny. Nor a sitcom. It features anal rape, Nazi’s, drugs, and violence. It did give us the word “prag” which I used in a previous post. I find that word funny but probably not enough to qualify it as a sitcom.
Hit me in the comments with your favorite sitcoms. I’m sure there’s more out there. Don’t be afraid to make a suggestion. Sure, other folks will feast on you like sharks in a feeding frenzy in the comments. You can always return though and laugh at the poor schmuck who suggested Mr. Belvedere.
Happy shitcoming! (Two 'm's or one? This apparently isn't an actual verb based off the little squiggly line I get under it.)
Perhaps I should now google “anal rape” and Feet Meet Street. I fear I’ve intertwined these items across the net. I'm not going to do it though for fear of what may come up. Probably Vanilla's site. You do it and report back.
The Running Laminator takes an indignant tone towards bandidos.
Vanilla takes a pot shot at me while wearing and reviewing some sort of space age moon boot.
NWGDC shamefully solicits donations to buy him running gear.
Everyone stop by Eric's home to congratulate him on a PR in the half marathon.