With the end of Everybody Loves Raymond last night, I’ve been thinking about the state of television comedy. I love sitcoms. I even love the crappy ones. I enjoyed “Union Square”, “Working”, “Suddenly Susan”, and even “Saved by the Bell: The College Years.” There were plenty of crappy sitcoms they dumped between Freinds and Seinfeld on Thursday night and I liked most of them too. One of my favorite sitcoms that was eventually pulled was Boston Common which starred Anthony Clark and was created by David Kohan and Max Mutchnick of Will and Grace fame. Seeing Clark in “Yes, Dear” confuses me because it’s been on for five years now while “Boston Common,” which was much funnier only lasted two seasons. I’ve given up trying to understand television.
There was a time I wanted to write sitcoms and I even wrote a few spec scripts for “Friends” and “Fraiser” but I never pursued it much beyond entering the Walt Disney Writer’s Fellowship. Now there are so few outlets for sitcom writing that I probably couldn’t pursue it if I wanted. The only two sitcoms on right now worth mentioning are “Two and a Half Men” and “Scrubs.” While I enjoy “Two and a Half Men” because I love Charlie Sheen, “Scrubs” is the only sitcom with the potential to be a major cultural hit. This is probably one of the best sitcoms ever. On the other hand you have “George Lopez” and “My Wife and Kids” and “According to Jim.” All of these shows have been on for a few years but none of them are any good. They aren’t bad, but I never get anything more than a smile from any of them.
I know people say the sitcom was almost dead before “The Cosby Show” came along in the 80s but I don’t think it was as close to dead as it is now. I think the next generation of sitcom will be something like “Sex and the City” or even “Sports Night” with the drama/comedy line blurred, but I don’t really think any major changes need to be made other than dramatically increasing the quality of the writing. And of course eliminating the laugh track.
But I digress…actually is it possible to digress without actually having had a point in the first place?
Today was a decent writing day. I had a feeling that I’d get around to working on “Lunchbox Hero” today as I know pretty much what’s going to happen in the pages leading up to the end but with me you never know. And I was dangerously close to frittering the day away until about 4:30pm when I turned off the TV and unplugged my internet cord and finally got to work. I ended up doing a little more than 1,000 words which is good for me and more than I really expected to do since I haven’t worked on it in a while. And I even thought I might go back and do a bit more work on it, but I think I’ll curl up with the galley of Laura Lippman’s new book instead.
This book is amazing and even though I loved “Every Secret Thing” I think I might like this book even more because I feel like it was written specifically for me. Outside of the myriad theater and theater geek references she even manages to work in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game reference. My life goal now is to link Fatty Arbuckle to Kevin Bacon in six links or less. I’ve been able to do it in eight so far but that’s not good enough. I love you Laura!