Sunday, September 9, 2012

The TV Post!

I just told Don about my awesome new pitch for a sitcom:  a Northern Exposure-esque dramedy set in small cafe in Rogers Park, Chicago.  The cast will be made up of differently aged, but very attractive people who represent the lovely cultural diversity of this neighborhood while affectionately tweaking its lockstep urban liberalism.  Like, everyone will be really nice and smart but will also believe that their Coexist bumper stickers are meaningful political statements.  They will drink wine all the time but never get drunk and never pay for anything.  At the end of every episode a handsome twenty-something will play pretty songs on a guitar while the older people smile at him benevolently, all the problems of that episode resolved.  There will be romance!  And wacky hijinks! I would totally watch that show.

But until I figure out how to write a spec script or write one and then completely fall down on the part where I do the work to make it a real thing (oh, how my novel languishes!), I thought I'd take a moment to enlighten my readers (both of you!)  as regards my theory that we are now living in a real Golden Age of Television.  This means if you are a person who tells other people that you never watch TV, what the rest of the world assumes is that this is most likely because reception is kind of spotty ever since you crawled up your own ass.

I am particularly fond of the sitcom.  Here are my ten favorites, in descending order.

10. Suburgatory - As much as I love the principals and as impressed as I am with Cheryl Hines' ability to give so much heart and nuance to what could easily have been just another sitcom trope, i think I could watch 22 minutes of this girl:

9. Apartment 23 - That's not the name of this show, but it should be.  This show is super weird. I love that in a sitcom.  And while I'm too old to get all the Dawson references, I think James Van Der Beek is a hoot.  But, really, it's mostly about Kristen Ritter.  I feel like this all the time:

8. New Girl  - I know people hate Zooey Dechanel.  I think she's a doll, though.  And this show is tight and funny and filled with unassailable logic like the following:

7. The Middle - Look, Patricia Heaton is an asshole.  I think we can all agree about that.  But I love Sue Heck with passions approaching Leslie Knope levels.  Don't write this show off because Patricia Heaton is an asshole.  Also some more unassailable wisdom:

6. Cougartown - I have made clear my feelings about the word "Cougar."  But I am heartened in my disdain for this term by the fact that the people behind this show also hate that word and want nothing more than to change it. This is a hangout show.  It's like Scrubs.  It's funny.  Courtney Cox is hilarious.  Here she is answering the following question from her fiance:  Once we find out I'm not the father, which Maury Povitch Show celebration dance are you gonna do...:

5. 30 Rock - The old girl's still got it.  I mean the show, not Tina Fey.  Tina Fey is not old. Although I expect the following assertion comes as much from Tina Fey as it does Liz Lemon.  And me:

4. Happy Endings - This show fires out good jokes so fast that you need your DVR to keep up.  This is one of my favorites:

3. Community - It pains me how many more people watch Big Bang Theory than this show.  I like Big Bang Theory, too.  I have a DVR.  I watch them both.  But it's like preferring a Nilla Wafer to a Chocolate Sundae.  Nilla Wafers are yummy, but there's a big old Chocolate Sundae RIGHT THERE! Also, and this seems to be a bit of a theme in this post: some funny ass women.  I am particularly fond of Britta:

2. Parks in Recreation - There is LIT'RALLY no fictional character I want to be friends with more than I want to be friends with Leslie Knope.  And while it is the most passionately feminist show on TV, at this juncture I'm going to let Ron Freaking Swanson drop some wisdom on us:

1. Louie - I'm not going to do a gif here, because Louie's not a show that lends itself to Gifs.  It's brilliant, it's complicated, and it makes you work a little. But it's worth it. Also, it is VERY funny.  Here's a little something you may be able to relate to.  I can:

And now the dishonorable list.  These shows.  Sigh:

1. Two and a Half Men -  Hoky jokes that rely exclusively on gendered assumptions that were stale 30 years ago are not funny.
2. Two Broke Girls - This pains me a bit because I really like both the lead actresses on this show and wanted to like the show so much.  But racism does not equal daring political incorrectness.  It's just racist.
3. Modern Family - Look, this is a pretty good show.  I watch it and laugh sometimes.  But, man, did it start coasting last year.  It's like it built up a big audience and then said, "We can do a pretty good impression of that good show from the first season instead of all that hard work and people will still watch." And they're not wrong.

And, with that note, I've offended someone!  My work here is done.