25 August, 2010


For the less initiated this particular blog addresses: ‘situation-comedies’. You know. Those semi-endearing, character driven, often ridiculous televised portrayals of life we once enjoyed before there were true ‘reality shows’. As far back as ‘Ozzie and Harriett’ and the ‘Honeymooners’ up to and including ‘Two and a Half Men’ and the ‘Big Bang Theory’, they are prime time staples.

They’re still 30 minutes long (21 if you deduct commercials). There are still 7 main characters. They still use laugh tracks, a practice I find personally insulting. I know when to laugh and I do not require prompting.
I sometimes reference these shows as ‘comfort media’. We’ve seen these programs many times. We know the names and histories of the characters and cast. Many have concluded production and exist now only in ‘syndication’.

Syndication as you know is that state wherein a show that was terminated as far back as the fifties can still find a market (albeit sometimes in international translations) on today’s broadcast schedule. How else could a twenty something of today embrace ‘I Love Lucy’ or ‘Bewitched’ or the black and white televised images of ‘Amos and Andy’!

One can hardly turn on the tube without encountering reruns (sorry, ‘encore presentations’) of ‘Friends’ or ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, or ‘Frasier’ or ‘Cheers’ or ‘Reba’ and many more. In fact, the entire schedule of the ‘TV Land’ network is comprised of the very many half hour shows that lost popularity among previous audiences decades ago… hence they were cancelled. But just as the ‘Mummy’ might say: “Death is only the beginning”. Where else can cheesy effects, clumsily written stereotypes, stiff acting and fabricated  pretense find an everlasting time slot.