Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post
Lights Camera Ashton

Lights, Camera, Ashton: TV comedies do little in comparison to old sitcoms

That, sadly, is no laughing matter.

Every week for my job at, I watch and review the new show Mulaney. And each week, I get more sad than the last. Considering the show is a sitcom, I don’t think this is their goal.

After watching them fail again for the fourth time, I had to ask myself something: what happened to sitcoms? There was a time when sitcoms were great, the pride of television and the king talking point at the water cooler. Now, I have a hard time coming up with at least five comedy shows on TV worth watching. 

Isn’t this supposed to be the golden age of television?

Not even looking as far back as the ’70s or ’80s, just look back on the ’90s and ’00s, when shows like Seinfeld, Frasier, Married… with Children, Everybody Loves Raymond, good episodes of The Simpsons and The Larry Sanders Show, just to name a few, graced the small screen and kept the laughs coming. Now what do we have? 

There’s Louie, of course, then Key & Peele and Tosh.0, but what else? Community, a good show struggling to find ratings, Modern Family, which has mostly lost its zest by now, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, if that ever comes back.

Of course, I haven’t seen every show on TV, so I can’t judge everything. I know people will scream Parks and Recreation and Always Sunny in my ear, but I think the former would be lost if it weren’t for Ron Swanson and the latter is fine, but better in small doses. I hear good things about the new show Black-ish, and I’m sure there are some decent comedies elsewhere, but I think my point stands.

TV comedy just isn’t what it used to be. Hell, comedy in general isn’t what it used to be. The Internet seems to be the main source for comedy levity now because most movie comedies suck and there barely seems  to be any good sitcoms on TV.

I don’t think this is entirely the cast and crew’s fault. I don’t blame the actors. After all, even Jennifer Lawrence started her career on The Bill Engvall Show. I get it; actors need to eat. I don’t even blame the writers (sometimes) because, for all I know, they could have some really great ideas but are constantly held down by studio pressures and overbearing FCC rules.

But something is happening, because even channels without restrictions have trouble getting comedy right. Look at Netflix, whose first attempts at full comedy gained mixed (the fourth season of Arrested Development) to negative (BoJack Horseman) responses. Comedy is tough, people.

This isn’t a major problem, but it’s a bit discouraging. After all, even comedy shows that are good seem to have trouble finding their followings — some shows I neglected to mention, including Broad City, Nathan for You and Inside Amy Schumer, all have partial followings, if that.

Even if there are some funny shows, there are none that earned their deserved following, and some with followings that aren’t deserved. I’m looking at you, Big Bang Theory

That, sadly, is no laughing matter.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH