The more I think about it, the less comedy I watch. The shows categorized as comedy on my Netflix suggestions do little if nothing to entice me. Just a little troupe of 22-minute cable shows with laugh tracks that rely on somewhat witty one-liners and circumstantial humour to be funny. All are recipes for good comedy, but the recipes are old and dusty.
Modern Family swept the Emmy’s this year. It is a funny show but not THE funniest. I was rooting for Silicon Valley, a new HBO show whose humour is certainly not for everyone but has managed to attain itself a loyal audience of ‘tip-to-tippers’. The show has a story – a startup, founded by a nerdy computer programmer, is destined for greatness if only it can get over its bad management, extreme competition, and hilariously arrogant and obnoxious supporting characters who seem to do nothing but impede on success.
But it has a story. It wasn’t just comedy. I was glued to the sixth and final episode of season 1 to see the outcome, not just to laugh.
Are dramas the best kind of television?
I just assume most people are like me. They glue themselves to a show, binge-watch every waking minute on their weekends, and become completely immersed in the story, told so elegantly on the small screen. Hannibal, The Killing, House of Cards, Breaking Bad, these shows have done something to me, or to my expectations of great TV.