I have come to the conclusion that I’m too old and cranky to appreciate situation comedies any more.Â Or maybe I’m just, in the immortal words of the Muppet Show, too hip for the room.
Or maybe not.Â Does anyone find any of the current crop of half-hour sitcoms genuinely funny?Â If you turn off the sound and watch the closed-captions, are there really any jokes there at all?Â I don’t think so, but then again I can’t stand to be in the room long enough to finish a show these days, much less pay attention to what’s supposedly entertaining us on the screen.
The thing is, a lot of sitcoms used to be funny and witty and well written.Â Oh sure, every era had its share of stinkers, but just put any of the classic Norman Lear shows–All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, Good Times before it got blown to bits by “DynOMite”–up against what passes for comedy these days and you’ll see.Â One “Hello? … that’s MRS. Findlay!” out of Bea Arthur beats any number of wise-ass kids (JJ’s dyn-o-mite descendants, alas) any day of the week.
And, of course, the classic sitcoms had to be written so adults would get all the risque double-entendres and situations, while kids would not.Â No bad language.Â No rude gestures.Â It took a higher level of writing talent to get that accomplished.Â Nowadays they just drop a few language bombs and have done with it.
Oh, the joys of days gone by.Â I Love Lucy was well into reruns by the time my parents got a TV, so maybe it was just entertaining to kids my age, but I don’t think so.Â It wouldn’t still be running otherwise.Â The Sixties had I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster (could there be any better pairing than John Astin and Marty Ingels?), The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Norman Lear’s finest.
Then came Cheers, Night Court, and Taxi.Â Family Ties. Square Pegs.Â The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda.Â M*A*S*H, The Bob Newhart Show and Alice.Â The Cosby Show and the all-too brief Police Squad.
Now what do we have?Â I dunno.Â Â I haven’t cared enough to watch.Hope you'll recommend my posts via your favorite social media. Just don't copy the material as your own.