Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sitcoms & Lists


It's no secret among my friends that I love television.....more specifically movies. But, I do enjoy the occasional sitcom. I usually find out about them after they are long into their run or off the air and have to view the shows on DVD, which I love to do. When I finally discovered "The Sopranos", I went to Blockbuster and rented every season that was released and sat down for a weekend of therapy, f-bombs, and killing. That's just the only way to do it. No commercials. No waiting a week for a new episode. No waiting until autumn for a new season. Alright, back to the topic at hand; sitcoms.
When I was a kid, my mom and dad always watched "All In The Family" and "MASH". They are among the best sitcoms ever. "MASH" really holds up well to time, while "All In The Family" doesn't do quite as well.....but by any standard, it's a fine show and was very cutting edge in its' day. While I have watched various sitcoms on and off during my life, I hold some in high esteem, while others (even though I liked them) were shows I just passed time watching or was too young to realize that they sucked. I'm a big fan of doing lists, so I suppose that I'll turn this blog post into an article of lists.

My Very Favorite Top 5 Sitcoms

WKRP In Cincinnati: I used to love radio, before it went syndicated. WKRP caught the essence of small time radio, even though the show played out in a major market. Like any good sitcom, the characters were well developed and the actors fit their parts well. Dr. Johnny Fever is a TV icon and there are few well intentioned, serious minded screw ups that can match Less Nessman.

Arrested Development:  A gawddammed crime that this show was cancelled. There are few shows that are as funny and well written as "A.D." was. It's only grown in popularity since it's cancellation, as they are now developing a movie, with all the main characters coming back, including "Super Bad" star, Michael Cera. The cast was first rate and delivered the sarcastic and witty dialogue with precision and perfect timing. David Cross has never and will never, be in anything as insanely funny as this show.

Happy Days: Fonzie......the coolest character in the history of television. Enough said.

The Office (American Version): This is another show that hasn't gone over the top in popularity, but should. It's one of those shows that has an odd format and sometimes directly addresses the audience. It's an acquired taste, but if there is a smarter or a better written show on TV, I have yet to find it. This is another show with great character development, which drives the jokes that pay off week after week. 

Curb Your Enthusiasm:  Larry David (creator of "Seinfeld") is the star of this HBO show, which has had a really good six or seven year run. The show is very rude, abrasive, and hilarious. It doesn't take long into the first episode to see where "Seinfeld" got its' wit, charm, and absurd mannerisms. HBO does great television.

Honorable Mention
Leave It To Beaver
30 Rock
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Sanford & Son
My Three Sons
South Park

The Most Underrated Sitcoms EVER!!

Freaks & Geeks: This show was created by Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin) and employed future film actors Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, Jason Segal, and James Franco. The show takes place in the mid-80's and is worked around high school and teenage traumas. The show had a stellar cast and frankly, I don't see how this show was not a hit. FOX, which has always been a risk taker with programming, canned this show after one year.

Undeclared:  Once again to the Judd Apatow well. This was his second shot at having a hit show. It was also cancelled after one season. The program was sort of like "Freaks & Geeks" goes to college, starring several actors from the aforementioned program. Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder, Knocked Up) was fantastic as the heart and soul of the program, but Seth Rogen and Jason Segal also provided plenty of laughs. Singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright also had a recurring role as the divorced father of Baruchels character.

My Name Is Earl: How in the hell this show got the axe is beyond me. The program was a breath of fresh air and along with "The Office" showed that NBC wasn't scared of taking some risks and changing the face of sitcoms. The show was shot like a movie and featured characters that strayed in and out of Earl's world. How can you not like a show about a former failed criminal trying to make amends with those he has wronged? Especially when those wronged are the biggest band of hilarious misfits to be on television since Malcolm's (Malcolm In The Middle) schoolmates.

The Worst Sitcoms I Have Ever Laid Eyes On

The Nanny:  Fran Dresher. Do I need another reason? I'd rather be hate raped by Fabio than hear the whiny, nasally, abrasive sounds that come out of her cake hole. I guess she calls it a voice.

Full House: Simply because it gave us Bob Saget and the creepy assed Olson twins. I hated them as babies almost as much as I hate them as the ghoulish looking, incestuous siblings that they currently are. The sad thing is, the kids on the show were far funnier than the adult cast. 

Family Affair:  I like Uncle Bill.....he did the best he could. But, really, the butler, Mr.French, raised the kids. And what a terrible little twosome they were. Buffy and Jody. Little manipulative puds. I swear if I ever find a Mrs. Beasley doll, I'm going to buy it, just to watch it burn.

So there it is. In all its' glory. My sitcom blog! 

"You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have, the facts of life, the facts of life."-- The Facts Of Life Theme Song


  1. "I'd rather be date raped by Fabio" ....that was a gem. One of the best lines I've heard this year.
    That no one has commented on this blog to date is a crime in itself.
    Allow me to indulge ......

    Most overrated sitcom ever : Roseanne
    I like John Goodman as much as the next chap. But Rosie's way bad acting, lack of comic timing & she's too damn lazy to actually talk ....she freaking groans her lines! And because of her, we had to deal with Tom Arnold.

    Geez, I need to wrap this up.

    If I were stranded & could only have one season of any sitcom, it would have to be Season 4 of Seinfeld......The Bubble Boy, The Cheever Letters, The Virgin, The Contest, The Pick ....far & away the BEST season of any show ever!


  2. Nice! I thought this was one of my better efforts. :-)