On Television

For someone who doesn’t have cable, satellite service or even a television, I watch A LOT of shows. Thanks to the internet, I seem to have an infinite supply of entertainment to keep me glued to my laptop for at least an hour or two every night.

Is it just me, or are we in the midst of another golden age of sitcoms? For a while I felt like every prime time comedy seemed to be about an insufferable buffoon, married to a women, who under normal circumstances, would be way out of their league. These include, but are not limited to: Raymond, Jim, and that King of Queens guy. The few good shows that were still left then, like Frasier and Friends, had long since jumped the shark. After that, all that remained on television were reality shows, and they’ve never been my cup of tea. Eventually, we gave up trying to find something worthwhile to watch and cancelled our service.

Something seems to have changed over the past few years. There seems to be less traditional family oriented comedies and more workplace or friendship based situations. I prefer the latter. For me, those have always been the best kind of shows. Like most people, I loved Family Ties, The Cosby Show and the like, but they never quite measured up to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers and Night Court, just to name a few of my old favourites.

Here are a few shows that I’m loving right now, that you may or may not be watching already:

The League
When Jeremy first showed me this one, I dismissed it as some lame comedy perpetuating male stereotypes. Just another show about beer swilling misogynistic guys, obsessed with professional sports, or in this case, a fantasy football league. Seriously, does the world really need another sitcom about guys being total buttheads, that we’re supposed to find hi-larious, because that just how boys are?

Pass.

As much as I tried to ignore it, while Jeremy watched, I found myself involuntary snickering at the dialogue. In many ways this show is exactly as described above, but then Jeremy put it in perspective for me when he asked me how this was so different than the stereotypical manner that Sex and the City portrays women. After all, I don’t drink cosmopolitans or buy Manolos and yet I can appreciate the show for its entertainment value. He had a good point, so I got over my issues and learned to love it.

Community
Somehow this show didn’t make my radar last year until late in the summer when I downloaded the first season. There are so many things I love about Community, I don’t even know where to begin. If you haven’t seen it yet, the setting of the show is a second rate community college where a group of misfit students form a study group.

It’s that perfect combination of silly and clever with an endearing ensemble cast that includes Chevy Chase and Joel McHale (the The Soup guy). I could not even begin to pick out a favorite character or episode, they’re all so brilliant and funny.

The IT Crowd
This is a British show that isn’t actually on television right now (that I know of, at least) and I’m not even sure if it’s ever aired in North America at all. It bears mentioning here because it is one of the funniest shows ever (in my humble opinion) and I’ve watched the every episode so many times over, I could probably act them out for you (although you’d find my British accent unconvincing). The show is centered around two under-appreciated IT geeks and their technologically challenged department manager.

There are only 24 episodes in total, six episodes a season over the last four years, and if you can get a hold of them, they will not disappoint. I’ve read there might even be a 5th season next year. My fingers are crossed.

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