Are all the fun sitcoms gone?

Recently, I came across an article that suggested television is lacking any fun sitcoms. The article describes how the amount of light and funny sitcoms had dramatically dwindled. This got me thinking about whether or not this claim was true. Have we stopped creating funny sitcoms?

The author of the article, Dan Nosowitz, felt his problem was that when he came home late at night there were no funny TV shows that he could drunk eat buffalo chicken pizza to. Nosowitz suggested that sitcoms like BoJack Horseman and Orange is the New Black are not fun to watch because they actually tackle real issues like depression and the prison system.


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Nosowitz goes on to explain that sitcoms do not feel the need to focus on joke-telling at all. He suggested that sitcoms are transitioning to dramadies and that he is not a fan. He felts that comedies should be light and offer a sense of escapism for the viewer.

After thinking about the state of sitcoms, I disagree with Nosowitz. Plenty of light and funny sitcoms exist.  I think there is a wide variety of different sitcoms that exist and that is what makes sitcoms so great. Instead of sitcoms being focused on jokes we have sitcoms that have the capability to tackle real issues that real people face. I think it is a great thing that sitcom writers do this. I also think the dramedy genre has been a strong point for sitcoms. Sitcoms are no longer tethered to some expectation of having to be funny all the time.

So what are these fun sitcoms? Well to name a few: Modern Family, Broad City, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Fresh Off the Boat, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Black-ish,  and The Goldbergs.

I think if you take the time to look, you will find plenty of comedies that will offer some escapism for you. You will also find plenty of sitcoms that will offer something different for you. I think that is what makes sitcoms so great, the variety!

-Katie Thevenow

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10 Responses to Are all the fun sitcoms gone?

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree that the increase in sitcom variety has only made them that much greater! There are definitely still escapist sitcoms out there that do create a funny space where people can forget about the real world issues for a while. And the transition of some sitcoms into dealing more with political and social issues is also beneficial to viewers, because they have the ability to provoke change in the world. By offering these two main types of sitcoms, television has become more diverse than ever.
    -Lacey Worsham

  2. mediaphiles says:

    There are funny elements in plenty of sitcoms, even dramas, as we’ve learned about this week! Take contemporary family sitcoms such as Orange is the New Black and Transparent, for example. I think the diversity is certainly not at its peak, but we have to give it credit, right? Very interesting. – Corey W.

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I agree. Why can’t sitcoms be both, funny and serious, at the same time? I think it’s necessary to have social issues in these up and coming sitcoms. I also believe that there are escapist elements within these new sitcoms as well that offer viewers a chance to get away from all the doom and gloom for a second and just laugh. As sitcoms evolve, they step away from the plain nuclear image and offer something more blended that gives viewers something to think about. The very name of a sitcom is a situational comedy, so why not have both?
    -Shelby Halliman

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I agree that sitcoms are definitely still funny. I do wonder if I can reason with the author of the article though in saying that it seems like sitcoms address more serious topics these days because there just are more serious topics now. In the early days of sitcoms, a lot more things could get by as being politically correct that would not fly today. I think that this is instead the reason that sitcoms don’t seem as carefree. Not because they are less funny, but because more topics that weren’t before, are now serious.
    Nicolette McCann

  5. mediaphiles says:

    Yeah sorry I have to disagree with this Nosowitz guy. The claim that sitcoms need to be light and offer a route of escape for viewers is bogus. I don’t think that sitcoms should have to be any one thing. Different sitcoms can do different things, and as long as they do them well, that’s great. And for the record, the light, escapist comedies are still out there. Brooklyn Nine Nine, New Girl, Bob’s Burgers, Last Man on Earth….so essentially Fox’s entire lineup. And the fact that many sitcoms have embraced more serious issues and gotten more dramatic has only made them stronger in my opinion.

    –Kevin Pabst

  6. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with Kevin in the fact that there is no universal definition of what a sitcom should be. That is the beauty of media, it gives people license to create whatever they want and if the audience loves it then we see the television show grow into something great. -Courtney Green

  7. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with what you are saying. I definitely believe that there are still some funny sitcoms out there. I think that funny sitcoms are never going to vanish and new shows are always going to appear. Nevertheless I do think that there is some sort of melancholy about the sitcoms we watched growing up that might seem to be funnier. – Jon Baquero

  8. mediaphiles says:

    I disagree with that critic for a number of reasons. 1) There are plenty of light sitcoms. Look at any network sitcom. 2) Sitcoms don’t need to be light to offer a form of escapism. Maybe this guy has a really warped idea of what is “light,” or his opinion piece just doesn’t matter. Series shouldn’t have to be light to be entertaining and they don’t need to. Television is a medium where you can tackle issues and make them fun. They can make us happy, sad, angry, and more all at once. So, yeah, he’s wrong. – Max Dosser

  9. mediaphiles says:

    I would say there definitely is some escapism TV still out there, but there isn’t very much of it because it isn’t really worth anything… If you want that then watch a comedian, their jobs are to make you laugh. An actor’s job is to entertain, but no one wants to work on something that doesn’t have any kind of real meaning.
    -Nick Luedeke

  10. mediaphiles says:

    I would definitely say that he makes a strong point because in the recent few years I would say that sitcoms and television shows in general have gotten worse than the shows of the past. Lissette

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