Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Serial Vs One-Shots

The other day I was listening to an old podcast in which they were discussing how 30 Rock is the best comedy on TV right now. They also compared it to Arrested Development in the sense that they play with a few recurring jokes as well as sometimes set up a joke that won't pay off for several episodes.

I want to state unequivocally that I hate it when people compare TV shows to AD just because they're funny, or because they're their favorites. I'm not one of those ballbags that hold the show in exalted light or anything (though it is one of my favorites of all time), but it just bothers me when people will compare a show like How I Met Your Mother* or something to AD when they's apples and oranges. I feel like this is pretty common among people like me (i.e. people that fight online about music/movies/pie charts/breeds of dog/antique sextants/etc...) and I'm just putting my foot down. NO MORE will I compare two things that have little to nothing in common!

ANYWAY, I started thinking about TV in general and how this sort of serialized, long-sell format seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance lately in all genres. Shows like Lost and Heroes and The Wire and the ones mentioned above seem to be enjoying popularity** (maybe not the Wire, sadly) and I'm wondering how this will play out. Obviously these shows require a bit more effort and dedication to truly enjoy, but I don't think that this makes them smart TV or anything, it just affords the creators more opportunity to revisit a theme and plot things out. but it's welcome after so many years of the 900 crime drama one-off shows that we're taking a new step.

Clearly, I prefer this format most of the time. I think it pays off more in the end and becomes more of a shared experience for the viewers. I wonder if this comes around every couple years in cycles like everything else. huh. I started this with a point I think, but now I have no idea where I was going with this. but I really like the way this works for a comedy. Someone should be working to bring more of this into comedy. Get crackin', TV people.

*this isn't a slight on this show, I'm just noting that it's different.. I've had it recommended to me by several trustworthy people, but I've just never gotten around to it.

**of course, I looked this up and I'm waaay off. My god you people watch a lot of crap.

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