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History Of The Sitcom

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CNN doc series

"Following in the footsteps of the popular CNN Original Series examining The Movies and The Story of Late Night, History of the Sitcom reunites audiences with the television friends, families, and co-workers they grew up with while introducing cutting-edge comedies that are sure to be your next binge-watch. The eight-part docuseries produced by Cream Productions features over 180 original interviews with sitcom icons including Norman Lear, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Kim Fields, Tim Allen, Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, George Lopez, Mel Brooks, Isabella Gomez, Ted Danson, Joey Soloway, Jimmie Walker, Judd Apatow, Dan Levy, Zooey Deschanel, Chuck Lorre, Mara Brock Akil, Helen Hunt and many more, breaking down how sitcoms have helped generations of Americans navigate an ever-shifting cultural landscape."

Premieres with back-to-back episodes on Sunday, July 11, 9pm and 10pm; the series will settle into its Sundays, 9pm timeslot the next week

 

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2 minutes ago, letter8358 said:

I can't wait to see this! Anybody excited?

I’m ready to record!

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I saw an ad for this and it looked interesting. I liked older sitcoms, but anything after the 90s has not held my interest.

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I'm looking forward to this, too :). I like learning about this kind of TV history. 

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FYI, there was a thread started a while ago.  Don't know if someone wants to reach out to a mod to merge or whatever magic they do.

 

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I hadn’t heard about this. Is it a special or a series?

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10 hours ago, Dani said:

I hadn’t heard about this. Is it a special or a series?

It’s an 8 episode documentary series

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Sounds super interesting.

I don't get CNN, so I just hope I will eventually (within a year) get to see it.

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That sounds interesting. I wonder if they will tackle the interracial kiss between Uhura and Kirk in TOS. It seems tame now, but when it aired, it caused quite a controversy. I didn't think it was something to get worked up, but my mom said that was really daring for the time period. Or Ellen coming out that led to her sitcom ratings dropping considerably. 

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15 hours ago, letter8358 said:

Or Ellen coming out that led to her sitcom ratings dropping considerably. 

The ratings drop may have been because she came out (I honestly don't know) - but I stopped watching because the show itself just wasn't funny anymore.

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I don't argue with that point of view. I just remembered that episode where Laura Dern guest starred as the woman that kissed Ellen.

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20 hours ago, letter8358 said:

 

That sounds interesting. I wonder if they will tackle the interracial kiss between Uhura and Kirk in TOS. It seems tame now, but when it aired, it caused quite a controversy. I didn't think it was something to get worked up, but my mom said that was really daring for the time period

 

Probably not. Star Trek was scienceFiction/drama. They might cover the kiss on All in the Family the Sammy Davis Jr. gave Archie Bunker!

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On 7/10/2021 at 12:03 AM, letter8358 said:

That sounds interesting. I wonder if they will tackle the interracial kiss between Uhura and Kirk in TOS. It seems tame now, but when it aired, it caused quite a controversy. I didn't think it was something to get worked up, but my mom said that was really daring for the time period. Or Ellen coming out that led to her sitcom ratings dropping considerably. 

Probably not because Star Trek was a drama, not a sitcom. This series is not covering all of television, just the genre of sitcoms.

That being said, I am super excited for this series and cannot wait to see how they organize it. The episodes are centered on a theme, not a decade/era.

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I like how they went through how important The Cosby Show was & then just gave a brief acknowledgement of what we know now. It pretty much stopped everyone from pointing their finger & going "but, but, but..."

So far I'm enjoying it.

Edited by GaT
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Ha, yeah, the timing was definitely rather awkward for the discussion of that show. But I agree they handled it about as well as they could've, given the circumstances. 

Looking through the episode on sitcoms about families, I've realized that my family seemed to gravitate towards the sitcoms that had more unconventional, realistic families. I've seen a bit of "Leave it to Beaver" and "Donna Reed" and all that, but yeah, those shows never reflected my family's life (hell, they didn't reflect my mom's family's life, and she was born in the '50s). "Roseanne" was probably the closest to the way my family lived, and it also resembled my friends' families as well. And I didn't watch "Married with Children" regularly, but I do remember seeing it from time to time when I was a kid, and I could see elements of families I knew in that show as well. Even "The Brady Bunch", as squeaky clean as it was overall, still had a family that wasn't the typical mom, dad, 2.5 kids setup. I'm glad that TV did eventually start to expand beyond the stereotypical nuclear family and acknowledge the other kinds of families that exist out there. It's good to see the variety and diversity, and it allows for a lot more interesting stories and character dynamics to play with as well. 

I knew Reiner and Struthers weren't the first picks for Mike and Gloria on "All in the Family", but I hadn't realized they were the third picks. So interesting to see those very early pilots with the other actors they'd originally considered. It's interesting, too, that the topic of escapism versus touching on real world issues was just as relevant back then as it is now. Which makes it all the more puzzling for me whenever I hear people nowadays complaining about TV shows getting "too political" or bringing in all the real world problems that exist out there. I get wanting lighthearted, escapist fare, and we should have that, certainly...but some people seem to act like TV getting political is some kind of recent phenomenon, and it has me wondering how, if they're old enough, they managed to handle living in the time of Norman Lear sitcoms, or "Family Ties" in the '80s, or so on and so forth.

As these episodes proved, TV has always tackled real world issues and topics, and that formula has proved very successful for many of them in the process. Even escapist shows will still have their moments where the real world might creep in and they may touch on an important topic, even if only briefly. So it shouldn't be all that surprising that continues to be the case nowadays. I can understand critiquing the way some shows may address certain issues, sure, but some people seem annoyed that the issues are being discussed at all, and I just don't get that. 

As for the second episode, indeed, it is wild to see how far we've come from the days of not being able to say the word "pregnant" or showing married couples in separate beds :D. Again, some good discussion here, too, about the importance of touching on issues relating to sexuality and representation, and educating people on important topics (that "Golden Girls" clip where they're discussing AIDS....dang), and how doing so can help shape public opinion and so forth. 

Regarding "Soap", I know that that show had a LOT of interference from the higher ups throughout its run, because they were afraid of complaints from viewers and how this would affect the advertising and whatnot. I suspect that played a large part in how some of the storylines they did with Jodie turned out. As imperfect, to put it mildly, as the portrayal of his character was, though, I do agree that there were some good moments that came from storylines with him. They did a whole plot about whether or not a gay man should have the right to raise a child, and Jodie gives a really good speech in the courtroom about that. 

And speaking of TV shows, I've only seen snippets of "Modern Family", but that scene with Cam and Mitch by the side of the road and both saying 'Yes" to each other was really sweet and got me choked up :). Aw. 

Interesting start thus far! Looking forward to seeing what other topics this show will explore as time goes on. 

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The tricky thing about The Cosby Show was that it was MASSIVE, so there was no getting around discussing it. 

Ugh, Family Ties. The premise failed so hard that the writers forgot the flower children parents/conservative kids premise and Michael J. Fox took over the show. That’s just poor writing, no matter how much everyone liked Fox. He’s one of my least favorite actors.

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Awww....I actually like Michael J. Fox. Funny how this Canadian actor plays a Republican character. I didn't think that was possible, but Michael definitely made the show. There was an episode from 1987(?) where Michael J Fox talks to the audience and somebody from the background ask what his name was and he says it with such convictions. It's one of my favorite parts from that show. While Family Ties was either a love it or hate it show, I am just amazed at how many recognizable faces you could spot there. I mean, Courtney Cox, Anne Ramsey, MJF's wife, River Phoenix, etc...the list goes on.

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2 minutes ago, letter8358 said:

While Family Ties was either a love it or hate it show, I am just amazed at how many recognizable faces you could spot there. I mean, Courtney Cox, Anne Ramsey, MJF's wife, River Phoenix, etc...the list goes on.

Tom Hanks played Elyse’s brother!

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Just now, chitowngirl said:

Tom Hanks played Elyse’s brother!

As I said, a lot of recognizable faces!

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Holy crap! I nearly forgotten about Too Close For Comfort. That was Ted Knight's final show and he died of terminal cancer during the show's run.

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I liked Alex Keaton while the show was on but can understand he can be overbearing when watching again as an adult. My favorite moment is his dance audition, an interpretation of Wall Street market; "this part is when it crashed." 😂

As for this topic, I like the first two parts and hope the rest of the episodes are just as good. There's nothing new but I loved seeing all those old clips. The first two Michael and Gloria for All in The Family was interesting. They showed a bit of the British version and I was hoping they'd do the same for Three's Company.

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I was surprised they aired some of those clips uncensored in the 2nd episode. I know FX uses “fuck” a lot in their dramas but it caught me off guard hearing it here. It’s still pretty rare for basic cable. (Not offended in any way, just surprised.)

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On 7/12/2021 at 2:32 AM, GaT said:

I like how they went through how important The Cosby Show was & then just gave a brief acknowledgement of what we know now. It pretty much stopped everyone from pointing their finger & going "but, but, but..."

So far I'm enjoying it.

Too brief, IMO. Just looking at that rapist & his defender makes me sick. 
Otherwise, I am enjoying this show. 

Edited by chediavolo
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Overall, I liked the first two episodes. There was a part of the episode on sex that didn't work for me. I don't understand why they jumped around going from Transparent (the early 2000s,) to Busom Buddies (the 1980s) to Three's Company (the 1970s). I understand wanting to show something modern in the first few minutes of the episode to hook a viewer, but I don't understand why they were doing it in the middle of the episode. 

In case anyone wants to speculate on future episode topics that episodes will cover, I think that because Simpsons was not included in the episode on family, it will be part of an episode on animation. I'm pretty sure there's enough animated prime time sitcoms to fill an episode (Flintstones, Jetsons, Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, Futurama, and others). 

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On 7/13/2021 at 6:00 AM, chediavolo said:

Too brief, IMO. Just looking at that rapist & his defender makes me sick. 
Otherwise, I am enjoying this show. 

I respect that sentiment but I refuse to erase how big the Cosby show was, it's influence on pop culture, the tremendous work that was done on it, the careers it helped create and its place in tv history. The man as a human being is piece of shit for what he did. As a actor and creator he still means a lot. Sadly, it's why people will always defend him. But, I'm glad they approached it the way they did. Just talk about the show. I know the show is tied to the man but the show will always be important and never forgotten.

I loved these types of shows. It reminds of the I love 80s shows VH1 used to do. Just less snarky. Always fun though. 

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20 hours ago, Racj82 said:

I loved these types of shows. It reminds of the I love 80s shows VH1 used to do. Just less snarky. Always fun though. 

I used to love the Vh1 decades shows. If you aren't already aware, CNN has done multiple documentary series that are just as good as this one on Sitcoms. They did one on movies, a four part series on the year 1968, and multi-part documentaries on the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000-2010s. 

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I've been enjoying this series. Sitcoms are my favorite form of TV. Yes, the Cosby show was huge. I remember talking about it in middle school. I think the coverage of the CS was appropriate. It really had to be acknowledged in the history of sitcoms. I love catching up on old sitcoms on youtube that I haven't seen recently. I even like the cheesy ones like Small Wonder and Too Close for Comfort. At least they acknowledged Monroe on TCfC was obviously gay. He got awful storylines even though he had good chemistry with Ted Knight.

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3 hours ago, Sarah 103 said:

I used to love the Vh1 decades shows. If you aren't already aware, CNN has done multiple documentary series that are just as good as this one on Sitcoms. They did one on movies, a four part series on the year 1968, and multi-part documentaries on the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000-2010s. 

Yep, I already saw those. They are actually on hbomax if anyone missed them while they first aired. I caught an ad for them and they went right on the dvr when they first aired. CNN covering the decades was great too. Retrospectives are my jam.

2 hours ago, babyhouseman said:

I've been enjoying this series. Sitcoms are my favorite form of TV. Yes, the Cosby show was huge. I remember talking about it in middle school. I think the coverage of the CS was appropriate. It really had to be acknowledged in the history of sitcoms. I love catching up on old sitcoms on youtube that I haven't seen recently. I even like the cheesy ones like Small Wonder and Too Close for Comfort. At least they acknowledged Monroe on TCfC was obviously gay. He got awful storylines even though he had good chemistry with Ted Knight.

Didn't he get raped or sexually assaulted by women on the show and it was played for laughs?

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It was facinating that ABC in the 1970s, instead of trying to go after the audience/people who were watching CBS's topical Norman Lear shows, went in a totally different direction and created shows aimed at children and teenagers. 

I was really curious to see if Cheers would be in the episode on groups of friends or the episode on workplaces. I could make a strong case for including it in either episode. What do you think about the decision to include it in the episode on groups of friends?

 

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5 hours ago, Sarah 103 said:

I was really curious to see if Cheers would be in the episode on groups of friends or the episode on workplaces. I could make a strong case for including it in either episode. What do you think about the decision to include it in the episode on groups of friends?

 

Makes sense to me. Workplace sitcoms tend to focus almost exclusively on the employees. Customers and clients are, at best, recurring characters. But on Cheers, roughly half of the main cast are regular patrons who hang out together, in and out of the bar. It's a fine line, though, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it shows up in the workplace episode, too.

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7 hours ago, Sarah 103 said:

It was facinating that ABC in the 1970s, instead of trying to go after the audience/people who were watching CBS's topical Norman Lear shows, went in a totally different direction and created shows aimed at children and teenagers. 

I was really curious to see if Cheers would be in the episode on groups of friends or the episode on workplaces. I could make a strong case for including it in either episode. What do you think about the decision to include it in the episode on groups of friends?

 

Yeah, it's Cheers is more about friends to me. It's in a bar but not about the bar. 

All of discourse about this most recent episode seems to be that Warren continues to deny ever ripping off Living Single by making Friends.

I honestly think both things have truth. NBC wanted a 20 something groups show like Living Single AND the show Friends is based on the lives of the creators. 

I also do need the narrative about shows like Friends and Seinfeld being too white needs to go.

Marta is right. At that time, there was very little interracial storytelling. White shows were very white. Maybe they would have a token POC. The opposite can be said for shows with people of color. The only issue was how little diversity there was on prime time tv at the time. There is a reason why channels when they first started, went after the young demo and the black demo. Once a Different World was gone, shows for young people or POC on primetime was non existent except for Fox, UPN and WB. The latter of which everyone didn't have and had much smaller audiences.

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5 hours ago, The Crazed Spruce said:

Makes sense to me. Workplace sitcoms tend to focus almost exclusively on the employees. Customers and clients are, at best, recurring characters. But on Cheers, roughly half of the main cast are regular patrons who hang out together, in and out of the bar. It's a fine line, though, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it shows up in the workplace episode, too.

I also thought there would be more on Cheers in the episode about sex. I was 12 when it began and frankly it was the first time I was exposed to an adult sexy relationship like Sam and Diane’s, after years of adults acting like teenagers on Three’s Company, etc.

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20 hours ago, Racj82 said:

Didn't he get raped or sexually assaulted by women on the show and it was played for laughs?

Yes. That was one of the worst episodes ever.

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18 hours ago, Sarah 103 said:

It was facinating that ABC in the 1970s, instead of trying to go after the audience/people who were watching CBS's topical Norman Lear shows, went in a totally different direction and created shows aimed at children and teenagers. 

On the topic of demographics, I'm amused by the fact that "Golden Girls" was written with the older, often forgotten viewership in mind, and Harris was wondering if the show would even be on the air...and yet many of its biggest fans are in the coveted 18-49 year old demographic, even to this day. How ironic. 

Also, your mention of Norman Lear...gee, ya think he and Garry Marshall have/had any money :p? Good lord, the amount of classic shows they each have had under their belt are insane. 

Quote

 

I was really curious to see if Cheers would be in the episode on groups of friends or the episode on workplaces. I could make a strong case for including it in either episode. What do you think about the decision to include it in the episode on groups of friends?

 

I was a bit surprised at first, too, but as they talked about the show, it made perfect sense. That was one thing I really liked about this episode, that they focused on friendships of all kinds and within all different age groups, they didn't just keep it to the hip twentysomething single adults living in the city. Friendship could be two divorced men, like Felix and Oscar, living together, or a group of women like the Golden Girls, or the study group on "Community" (so fun to see one of my favorite sitcoms mentioned here :D! I love the "Sam and Diane" discussion bit, especially when Annie asks Shirley who they are and she grumbles, "Okay, we get it, you're young!"). 

Appropriate time to talk about "Cheers", too, because I've been spending the last couple months finally delving into that series proper (I was very young when the show originally aired and had just seen clips and the occasional episode here and there), and yeah, it really does feel like the sort of place people can just hang out and get to know each other, sometimes really well, sometimes casually, the way adult friendships often tend to be. 

I really loved Ted Danson talking about finding one of Colaasanto's lines after his death, and getting choked up as he did so. That was touching. And it's so wild to think about the fact that "Cheers" wasn't a big hit right out the gate-had NBC cancelled it, we never would've had Frasier or his spin-off, and who knows what could've become of the cast from there, where they would've gone. Funny how that stuff works. 

21 hours ago, Racj82 said:

Didn't he get raped or sexually assaulted by women on the show and it was played for laughs?

...what?

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2 hours ago, Annber03 said:

On the topic of demographics, I'm amused by the fact that "Golden Girls" was written with the older, often forgotten viewership in mind, and Harris was wondering if the show would even be on the air...and yet many of its biggest fans are in the coveted 18-49 year old demographic, even to this day. How ironic. 

Also, your mention of Norman Lear...gee, ya think he and Garry Marshall have/had any money :p? Good lord, the amount of classic shows they each have had under their belt are insane. 

I was a bit surprised at first, too, but as they talked about the show, it made perfect sense. That was one thing I really liked about this episode, that they focused on friendships of all kinds and within all different age groups, they didn't just keep it to the hip twentysomething single adults living in the city. Friendship could be two divorced men, like Felix and Oscar, living together, or a group of women like the Golden Girls, or the study group on "Community" (so fun to see one of my favorite sitcoms mentioned here :D! I love the "Sam and Diane" discussion bit, especially when Annie asks Shirley who they are and she grumbles, "Okay, we get it, you're young!"). 

Appropriate time to talk about "Cheers", too, because I've been spending the last couple months finally delving into that series proper (I was very young when the show originally aired and had just seen clips and the occasional episode here and there), and yeah, it really does feel like the sort of place people can just hang out and get to know each other, sometimes really well, sometimes casually, the way adult friendships often tend to be. 

I really loved Ted Danson talking about finding one of Colaasanto's lines after his death, and getting choked up as he did so. That was touching. And it's so wild to think about the fact that "Cheers" wasn't a big hit right out the gate-had NBC cancelled it, we never would've had Frasier or his spin-off, and who knows what could've become of the cast from there, where they would've gone. Funny how that stuff works. 

...what?

Oh yeah. Feels like a fever dream but it's real.

 

 

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Wow. I mean, on the one hand, I'm not entirely surprised, given some of the stuff people thought it was okay to joke about on TV in the past, but on the other hand...yeah. Just. Wow. 

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I've only seen the first two episodes so far, but I'm really enjoying this show.  I loved sitcoms when I was younger (I don't watch as many now), so it's been really fun to see clips from the some old favorites.  It's also interesting to see how far they've come with important issues over the years.  I know they've come a long way, but to see it all in a bunch of clips like that makes it almost shocking. My only complaint (and I know there are a ton of shows/scenes to choose from and they can't include them all) is that they didn't discuss the Designing Women episode where a young, 20-something man, a friend of the women and Anthony, asked them to plan his funeral because he was dying of AIDS.  It covered:

  • How many funeral homes refused to take people who had died of AIDS.
  • When one of the women took his hand, he was shocked because people were afraid to touch him, including, I believe, some medical personnel.
  • One of Julia's glorious rants directed at a woman who said that they were getting what they deserved.
  • Mary Jo's wonderful argument at a school PTA meeting in favor of supplying condoms to teenagers.

It was quite a moving episode.

 

 

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On 7/12/2021 at 6:52 AM, cpcathy said:

The tricky thing about The Cosby Show was that it was MASSIVE, so there was no getting around discussing it. 

They at least included what I think is the funniest clip of the show - That is the dumbest thing I heard! You will study, you will clean your room, ... 

I watched 3 so far. This is right up my ally. I love talking about how social issues influence pop culture (here, the sitcom) or if the issues are being brought up on the show influence our society. Clearly there's a feedback loop that flows in different ways depending on the era. 

I don't think they gave Golden Girls enough time about that tbh. They covered a lot of interesting issues. Also, it's amazing how those actors had the timing of a Swiss watch - 'how do you know the fly was Spanish Dorothy?' 'Because he was wearing a sombero and a little mushtache' 

Not really a Friends fan - but I have to call some BS on TBTPs. Fair, they copped to not being diverse enough. I get they started the show based on their real life experiences, and that's fine. However, by year 4 or so, when the show is a certified phenomenon, you kind of need to look around and take stock. Come on.

I thought it was interested in the transition from maybe early 80s into the 90s, you see less of the issues, and it's more self-centered and cynical. I don't begrudge Friends or Seinfeld their success, but they are self-centered shows. Then, we have the mid 2000s, and it's kind of swinging back. 

I'm surprised It's Always Sunny wasn't included yet. I would think it would be in the 'friends' category. 

 

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I really like the content of the show but I don’t like the way it is structured. The transitions and order shows are being discussed makes it feel somewhat disjointed. Like ending the last episode talking about diversity praising New Girl seemed bizarre after talking about the much more diverse Community. 

I’m finding that I enjoy the parts about older shows more than the talk about more recent shows. It seems like some of the shows were only talked about because they had interviewed cast members. What was the point of even mentioning HIMYM when they didn’t say anything interesting about it?

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1 hour ago, Dani said:

I really like the content of the show but I don’t like the way it is structured. The transitions and order shows are being discussed makes it feel somewhat disjointed. Like ending the last episode talking about diversity praising New Girl seemed bizarre after talking about the much more diverse Community. 

I’m finding that I enjoy the parts about older shows more than the talk about more recent shows. It seems like some of the shows were only talked about because they had interviewed cast members. What was the point of even mentioning HIMYM when they didn’t say anything interesting about it?

Yes. This could have been much more in depth. Twice the episodes. 

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10 hours ago, Dani said:

I really like the content of the show but I don’t like the way it is structured.

I don't like the editing. One actor says one sentence and there's a cut to someone else saying something else about a different topic. I'd like to hear an actor actually talk a little about their show and its context. 

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14 hours ago, Dani said:

I really like the content of the show but I don’t like the way it is structured. The transitions and order shows are being discussed makes it feel somewhat disjointed. Like ending the last episode talking about diversity praising New Girl seemed bizarre after talking about the much more diverse Community. 

I’m finding that I enjoy the parts about older shows more than the talk about more recent shows. It seems like some of the shows were only talked about because they had interviewed cast members. What was the point of even mentioning HIMYM when they didn’t say anything interesting about it?

I don't think Community was much more diverse. Community is more interesting if we are doing the friends episode.

I don't really agree with the editing issues complaints. They are never going to go super in depth in these because there is way too much to cover.

A lot of these shows deserve a treatment like the toys/movies that made us series Netflix does. Cover them one at a time and cover their creation and impact. 

The friends episode could of used another pass through though. It felt the most disjointed and searching for structure out of the episodes so far. 

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55 minutes ago, Racj82 said:

I don't think Community was much more diverse. Community is more interesting if we are doing the friends episode.

I feel that it was. A big part of that is that I have a real problem with how New Girl often handled their POC characters. Ending the conversation on race with the creator patting themselves on the back was a sour note for me. The places where they chose to be critical on social issues was really bizarre to me. 

1 hour ago, Racj82 said:

I don't really agree with the editing issues complaints. They are never going to go super in depth in these because there is way too much to cover.

My issue with the editing isn’t that they aren’t going in depth but that they are doing a poor job of transitioning between show discussions.

In my opinion, the show is structured poorly. For example, we really didn’t need to hear the plot description of HIMYM. It was wasted space that only seemed to be there because Alyson Hannigan was interviewed. 

This was less of an issue in the first two episodes so I am hopeful it will improve. 

1 hour ago, Racj82 said:

A lot of these shows deserve a treatment like the toys/movies that made us series Netflix does. Cover them one at a time and cover their creation and impact. 

That’s a great idea. 

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"When you shave off the edges of the character, they become bland, and maybe that's why you haven't had a hit in seven years."

LOL, damn, shots fired, Diane English :D. Good lord, I get network executives are all about the bottom line and money and everything, but they really need to learn to chill from time to time and not freak out the moment they hear about a show that's a little outside the norm. 

The way "Murphy Brown" addressed the Dan Quayle controversy was fantastic :D. I liked those clips from "Designing Women" regarding the Clarence Thomas hearings, too. Gosh, imagine that, TV shows taking on the politics and big issues of the day and making big storylines out of them. Who'da thunk? I also liked the point about how even young people who haven't fully entered the workforce yet can still relate to a lot of workplace sitcoms because they can relate to the whole thing of being stuck alongside people you may or may not like working with :p. 

I felt they kinda rushed through the discussion of the '90s sitcoms a bit in this one, 'cause I can think of quite a few other sitcoms from that would've fit in this hour. "The Drew Carey Show" and "Frasier"-yeah, they balanced the work element with hanging out with friends or family, respectively, but still... "Wings" could've been a good one to mention, too. 

And when it came to the '60s, we saw how "Dick Van Dyle" balanced the home and work sides, they could've mentioned "Get Smart" as an example of an episode that was pretty much straight up focused on the workplace most of the time. Yes, you got moments with the characters at home, but the vast majority of the show took place at their job. And it was such an unusual job as well, which could've made for some good discussion as well, in regards to the variety of jobs that were showcased on TV over the decades. 

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Pretty good overview of workplace comedies 

Man, Hal Linden looked rough 

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1 hour ago, DanaK said:

Pretty good overview of workplace comedies 

Man, Hal Linden looked rough 

Isn't he  90 years old?

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9 minutes ago, letter8358 said:

Isn't he  90 years old?

Yes, but he didn’t just look old, he looked very different. His Wikipedia page shows a picture of him from 2011 that looks similar to now so he’s looked like that for a few years

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I feel like they did a better job letting moments and jobs breathe. There was also a better throughline from show to show. Of course, they missed a bunch of shows but that will always be the case.

I just watched this retrospective on the Cosby show yesterday. It was done on youtube but it was a very fair and detailed look at the series. It's creation, success, the backlash the show received at the time. The guy has done other shows.

 

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FYI, CNN is doing a special on Sitcom theme songs. I believe it premiered yesterday or at least within the last couple of days; check your local listings for repeats

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