Posts tagged ‘Comedy’

Community

My wife isn’t sold at all on Community, the new sitcom on NBC Thursday nights starring Joel McHale and Chevy Chase. I’m not 100% sold either, but I think there’s enough THERE there to indicate potential.

community nbc comedy

Her big complaint, and it’s totally valid, is that the relationships between the characters essentially strain credibility to the point of breaking. This is especially true for the two “romantic” leads, Jeff (McHale) and Britta (Gillian Jacobs, to the immediate left of McHale above). It requires significant and constant suspension of disbelief to accept that these two would continue to enjoy the mildly flirtatious connection they share, especially since he’s at heart a barely likeable (if quite funny) jerk and she seems like a pretty traditional damaged, brittle (hence the name! oh, irony), closed-up single lady.

For that matter, all of the relationships and connections that provide the show’s central premise are pretty forced. It’s about a community college, or more specifically, a group of seven students at a community college who are brought together in the show’s first episode to form a Spanish study group that immediately studies absolutely no Spanish, instead descending into a mix between group therapy and random bonding.

Why would these people spend any time together past the first ten minutes of the first episode? The only reasonable answer is, “Because it’s a TV show,” and I think ultimately that’s going to have to suffice. The premise and plotting is such pure situation comedy that it’s jarring up against the night’s other series, which are also sitcoms but are able to disguise their plotting mechanics and any strained character connections by a more reasonable shared environment, the workplace.

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September 25, 2009 at 2:40 pm 1 comment

TV Funhouse

Reviewing comedy is both incredibly easy and largely impossible.

It’s easy because what makes for good comedy is pretty simple: Did ya laugh? If yes, it works; if no, it don’t.

At the same time, what makes you laugh isn’t necessarily what makes me laugh, so while I may fall head over heels for a comedy series or film, you may watch the very same bits and have no reaction whatsoever. This is especially true when it comes to your more edgy brands of comedy–scatological humor, especially sharp satire, politically incorrect gags.

TV Funhouse is packed to the rafters with all three of the above, from monkey poop jokes to note-perfect parodies of old after-school cartoons and black-and-white educational films. Every scene seems to push some boundary or another, whether through coarse language, controversial content, or uncomfortable characters. It’s comedy at the fringe, dancing back and forth across every conceivable boundary of acceptable behavior and content.

It’s subversive, unspeakably profane, relentlessly sharp…and damned fantastic.
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July 30, 2008 at 9:32 am Leave a comment


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