i can’t seem to get into cable tv dramas… i’m not a fan of Lost or The Office, but I love me some old sitcoms.
9. THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR – Remember at the end of season 4 when the show was supposed to end but then it came back for a fifth season? That was weird. The show had “ended” with Will in Philly, and rather than writing some clever scenario to get him back to Bel-Air, they just had an NBC van come kidnap him and take him back to California. That’s literally how season 5 began. Man, that’s a good show.
8. WHO’S THE BOSS? I love seeing the van pull up in opening sequence. When I was a kid, syndicated reruns of Who’s The Boss came on right before bed time, so the routine was to get two episodes in, then bursh your teeth to the opening of The Aresnio Hall Show.
7. THREE’S COMPANY – They kept cycling out the blond roommates, but it stayed pretty consistent. My mom is annoyed by Three’s Company, she says it’s a solid half hour of campy sexual innuendo. I guess she’s not completely wrong, but there’s a little more going on there.
6. CHEERS – The theme song is easily the most emotionally draining thing ever played on television, I have no idea why, but things gets much better if you survive the opening. I like the Diane episodes better.
5. THE COSBY SHOW – Noteworthy for its groundbreaking portrayal of a black upper-middle class family, but funny because Bill Cosby is so dang funny. Methinks Dr. Cosby became took too much of a back seat to the adolescent cast in season 8, but the show was still jam up.
4. WINGS – Revolves around a group of people who work in the Nantucket island airport. They’re often downtrodden and/or flawed, but I kept finding myself wishing I could work in the airport with them. Lowell became the sandman, Antonio became Monk, Joe is on Private Practice and Bryan was in a couple of made for TV Stephen King movies. Where are Faye, Roy and Helen?
3. FRIENDS – The prefect example of standard sitcom formulas working perfectly. The basis of the show is literally “the lives of a group of friends,” all the details outside of that are extraneous, the characters just work together and the cast is great. It’s dang funny. I was very concerned about Ross and Rachel, I’m glad she got off the plane.
2. SEINFELD – Perhaps one of the bravest and most innovative shows to ever grace TV, Seinfeld was heralded as the “anti-sitcom” and “the show about nothing” with a motto of “no hugging, no learning.” All sentimentality is completely tossed out to make room for entire episodes about waiting for a table in a Chinese restaurant or finding your car in a parking garage. No emotional elements whatsoever outside of the attachment you can’t help but develop for each of the characters, who happen to be detached and narcissistic. It’s an absolute masterpiece without peer that gives me endless joy to watch over and over again.
1. THE SIMPSONS – I would argue endlessly for The Simpsons as the smartest TV show ever for its consistent and effective ability to satirize everything. The amazing, specific sense of humor on the show has never been effectively duplicated but often poorly hacked (see The Family Guy.) I can literally watch several Simpsons episodes every day (and often do) without the slightest sense of over exposure.