Thursday, July 8, 2010

What to show and what not to show: The IT Crowd season premiere.

Ah, yes. Ah, yes.

You might be a fan of the show. If not, you should be. Because 'The IT Crowd' is in my opinion the best comedy series of the last ten years.

Unfortunately, the first episode of the fourth season wasn't really funny at all.

Here's one reason why it wasn't good: (Okay, that's going to be two reasons actually)

1) It showed us things that we shouldn't have seen and
2) It didn't show us things that we should have seen.

The episode starts with Roy holding photographs that used to have his now ex-girlfriend in those. But she isn't in the pictures, because Roy had photoshopped her out.

The problem with this is that I started asking: why? Why would he do that?

Did you understand why he did that? I would think that you were puzzled too if you watched it.

In short, it's not good when the audience starts asking questions why something happens.

The other problem I had with this storyline was that it started with Roy telling us about the break-up so we did not get a storyline about the dating process itself.

Why didn't they show that? Because we haven't seen Roy dating (m)any women before. Why make something as important as dating a mere footnote. Didn't make sense to me.

No wonder it wasn't a good episode after it made mistakes like those.

When you write your scripts, you have to know what to show and what not to show.

Comedy is not about having characters in implausible situations.

I've been lately watching critically praised shows like Parks & Recreation and Community.

I didn't really expect them to be any good since there hasn't been any 'real' buzz over these shows. Nevertheless, I decided to give them a go.

Well, it wasn't exactly a good idea. I didn't end up liking either show at all.

That is because both are poorly acted and poorly written. Both have uninteresting characters. Both have 'jokes' that aren't funny.

Community especially excels in being completely chaotic. Nothing makes sense whatsoever on the show. It's just rapid fire stuff -  and then to the end credits.

Shame, shame, shame.

But I guess watching those shows wasn't that bad of an experience to me. Because it made me think why these two comedy shows and too many others aren't really funny at all.

Good question, right?

Bad writing - yeah, I guess, but so? Uninteresting characters - yes but so? Unfunny jokes - yes but so?

Doesn't really explain that much.

If I had to sum up in one sentence why comedy shows aren't really good anymore, I would say that it's because we don't see characters in ordinary situations anymore.

I know, sounds lame and unhipster and uncool and so on. But the truth is that every funny comedy series has more or less been based on real stuff.

Like All in The Family, King of The Hill, The Simpsons (the early seasons), Family Ties...

All classic shows. These sitcoms respected you and me and life in general. These shows had storylines that we all could relate to.

We had characters that were real. Problems that were real. Pain that was real.

Alex Keating dating an older woman. Hank Hill having serious problems with his bowel movement. Marge Simpson having an 'affair' with her instructor. Edith Bunker being sexually molested.

Those days seem to be gone. Now we have shows like Community being written by people who don't seem to know much about life.

How things have changed... ...and not for the better.