Thursday, October 9, 2008

Golden Age of Sitcoms.

So, I wake up every morning and watch ESPN (my news channel) as I'm eating breakfast. Part of the routine. Nice way to start the day in my opinion. However, there are times when I'll flip through the channels during a nauseating segment involving any of the football analysts, Chris Berman, or some fluff, sentimental garbage. On rare occasions when I'm flipping channels, I'll run across some early morning episodes of Saved by the Bell, and to be honest, I kind of get excited. I used to fucking love Saved by the Bell when I was growing up and genuinely looked forward to getting home from school, plopping myself down in front of the TV, and watching a good solid hour of some high school hi-jinks orchestrated by Zack Morris.

But when I try to sit through an episode now, hell even ten minutes of one, I find it absolutely unbearable. The show's terrible...fucking terrible. A.C. Slater wears tank tops to school everyday. Lisa Turtle finds any way to insert "dork" into every sentence involving poor Screech (How about I make a dork omelet out of you? What?). Zack Morris owns a cell phone the size of a pineapple in 1990. Jesse Spano is an uptight, snobby bitch. Mr. Belding has way too much time on his hands mainly as a result of only having to deal with about 24 students, which seems to be the entire population of Bayside. Two classrooms, a hallway, and a gymnasium the size of a garage. Oh, and I don't even know where to begin with Screech. No one would be friends with Screech, especially the "cream of the crop" of Bayside High. The only person I accept is Kelly Kapowski because she's good looking.

My main point is I used to watch a lot of unfunny shit as a kid. We all did. Saved by the Bell is nostalgic, and I understand that. But could you really sit through an entire episode right now and enjoy it? I'm going to say no. When I watch any of the sitcoms I once loved, I'm baffled. Well, not baffled. I know why I liked them then, but it's just funny to see it from a different (older) perspective and realize how unfunny something is that you thought was hilarious. There are a few mainstays, though. One of them being the Cosby Show because it was clever. While it had it's cheeseball moments, it knew what it was trying to accomplish and usually did so effectively (well, not in the later seasons...that's when it started sucking). Anyway, I'm going to ramble off a few of the shows I used to ritualistically watch and quickly explain why I now find them to be examples of unbelievably bad TV.

Home Improvement - This is the one sitcom that was "family time" for me. My entire family loved this shit and we made a point to sit down together and watch it each week. The story is the exact same every episode. The intolerable Tim Taylor gets into a pickle, asks Wilson's advice, misinterprets it, makes the situation worse, and then somehow wraps the show up unscathed. Tim Allen is so far from funny it's astonishing.

Full House - Wow...where do I even begin? Sentimental, "cute" comedy, moral-laden terribleness. All of the characters are bad, so I'll just focus on the worst - Joey Gladstone. I don't remember one point during the lifespan of the show (and me watching it) in which Joey said one funny thing. Not one. And if you didn't notice, that's his deal. He's supposed to be a fucking comedian. When the show first started, he lived in an alcove. A grown man living in an alcove. How he didn't blow his brains out, I'll never know. Did Joey Gladstone ever get laid throughout the history of the show? I don't see how he could have. His Popeye impression may be the root of all things evil and wrong with the world today.

Growing Pains - I agree with Bill Simmons when he says that the fact Mike Seaver had a friend named Boner is hilarious. It is. That's all the show has. Nothing really memorable aside from Tracey Gold being anorexic and Kirk Cameron freaking out, going militant religious, and basically refusing to doing anything in the show that was even slightly controversial or risky for his character. Those were the most popular story lines of the show and they weren't even relevant to the actual sitcom. That should tell you something. And by the way, Alan Thicke is the star and central figure of the show. Enough said.

Webster - Man, I wish I could have lived in the mansion that the Papadopolis' had after they moved out of their apartment. Remember all the secret passageways and strangeness? Awesome. If I ever have the opportunity to live in a house with a dumbwaiter, I'm taking it. No questions asked. All I would do is hide and freak people out all day. Damn, that shit would be so much fun. Oh yeah, this show kind of sucked. But I sure do love saying Papadopolis.

Others that are coming to mind but I'm not going to expound on: Perfect Strangers, Step by Step, Family Matters, Boy Meets World

Shows that pulled it off most of the time: Cosby Show, Wonder Years, Family Ties, Roseanne

1 comment:

edwardallen said...

i own the entire saved by the bell series. what do you think that says about me? i used to watch it late at night when i would come home from the bars. i love it. i know what you are saying, and i agree to some extent, but when it comes down to it, i'm just a sucker for contrived high school drama. i wanted to go to bayside. i wanted to be zack morris. and i'm talking when i was 12 years old, and when i was 25. nothing changed. i guess you could say that i was the same person for those years. some might say that this means i didn't grow as a person. i'd like to think that it just means that i was an awesome 12 year old who knew what was cool.