Friday, May 5, 2017

Don't end scenes with jokes that don't fit in.

One of the things that bothers me about comedy shows is that too many of them try way too hard to be funny. Too many of them try to make you laugh even when there's no need for that and when the situation doesn't warrant comedy.

As unfortunate as it is, a lot of producers seem to think that no matter what the situation is, you always need to have jokes. Regardless of whether they make sense or fit in, these jokes have to be in there anyway.

For example, yesterday I watched an episode of HBO's comedy series 'Silicon Valley'. This episode S4E02, 'Terms of Service', had a lot of things in it that made me scratch my head and made me wonder what the writers were thinking.

By that I mean that the episode had moments in it, where it was clear that the scenes and how they were wrapped didn't make sense. It was clear that the writers were cramming in 'funny' stuff just for the sake of it and without thinking things through first.

For instance, when Stephen Tobolowsky's character started to get serious about what to do with the company, it felt like the episode was going somewhere and had a purpose. We in the audience started to get interested in what was going on.

After all, 'Silicon Valley's' problem as a series has been that it has felt too much like a sketch show instead of a series that you could believe in. In too many cases it has been difficult to believe in the characters and the storylines on the show.

So for once we had a scene and a moment where it felt like something might actually happen and that the stuff would make sense. It was exciting to see Tobolowsky's character start talking about the 'middle-out' idea and how it would help the company.

Yet, when the scene reached its conclusion, the attention was diverted from the idea to a weird joke about Matt Ross's character wearing a wig. The writers simply moved on to stuff that made no sense, which took the energy out of the scene.

Later on in the episode, things didn't really get any better when it came to these jokes. At least in my opinion, things got even worse when it came to 'buttoning' scenes with stuff that didn't fit in and that came out of nowhere.

Especially when it came to the Indian looking guy making a fool of himself and dropping those sauces in the cafeteria, you just had to facepalm in embarrassment. It was so obvious that the writers had no clue what they were doing.

As a whole, all these things happened because the writers either didn't believe in their characters and storylines enough, or because they were too confident about their ideas and thought that it wasn't possible to make mistakes with these scenes.

Unfortunately for them, these scenes stuck out like a sore thumb to the audience. They were so easy to spot, that any reasonable person who was paying attention to the episode was probably able to pick them up without any effort.

In the end, when it comes to unnecessary jokes like these, I'm not saying that this is just a problem for a show like Silicon Valley. Having scenes that end with horrible jokes is not something that only this series does all the time.

On the contrary, this kind of writing can frequently be found on other shows too. Popular sitcoms like Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory have also been guilty of making these kinds of amateurish mistakes lately.

In that sense, I just wish that writers for comedy shows in general would take their jobs a little bit more seriously. I just wish that they would respect us in the audience a little bit more than they're currently doing.

As far as I'm concerned, all these needless jokes only hurt these sitcoms. These awful 'jokes' make these shows worse and make us in the audience feel that our needs aren't being met when it comes to getting quality entertainment.

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