Cry, you comedy-loving buffoons, cry

Recent posts

Cry, you comedy-loving buffoons, cry

25.01.2015

Came here to laugh, did you? To unwind, to watch a pleasant comedy for 20 minutes, get some giggle on?

Well, you know what? Fuck you, that's what.

So yeah, I've watched the newest episode of Mom. Spoilers follow by the way.

It's not my favorite show, it has never been, but when it comes to sitcoms I watch during meals I don't have high requirements. This one fell for me into the category "meh, can do". Granted, it was always a little on the bitter side - its main characters are two alcoholic women in recovery, a daughter Christy and her mother who, with her actions and negligence kind of pushed Christy into alcoholism. Those issues are raised, and the downward spiral is shown, but it has always been done with distance, and generally on the comedy-side anyway.

Now in the latest episode suddenly Christy's father dies. And that's with a buildup of how he's reconnecting with his family, how it's important to Christy, how the mother loves him etc, etc, etc. You get it. And then he dies. And it's a sitcom. And then follow two of three scenes with laugh track while I sit bemused at what's so damn funny, and then ensue another 10 minutes or so of depressing talks, issues, and regrets.

No laugh track at least, but it hardly makes it better.

I ask - what gives?

I'm sure everyone and their mother (huehue) knows already how How I Met Your Mother ended and what an outrage it had been. Was it an intelligent way to finish the story? Yes. Did it make sense in retrospect? A lot. Do I think they made the right call? Fuck no. I have loved that show, I did (well, maybe not the last season), but then I felt like I got punched in the gut and kicked in the face as I bent over. I mean, I SNIFFED it. I sniffed it coming during the final episode when it was getting fishily touching. I've seen too many TV shows not to see it coming, so I paused the video and did a fast-forward clicking like I did watching some especially scary episodes of Buffy when something could jump out on me. I fast-forwarded though the hospital scenes, I fast-forwarded through the entire fast-forward sequence of the episode and yet I was still pissed. Because they robbed me of a lovely experience. Because they took my laughing time, and laughed in my face making me cry.

Wanting to make me cry. I didn't cry because I fast-forwarded through it.

I didn't cry on Mom either, because I'm not invested in that show, and because I was too dumbfounded to bring my feels up. I came for laughs. I didn't get my tear box. Sorry.

Now maybe it's just me, maybe I don't have a proper sense of humor to deal with changes in the mood/intent like that. I mean, shows like Nurse Jackie (very good show IMO), Weeds (fun to watch), Shameless (shameless) or Girls are all marked as comedy. Hell, the one about a hospital for old people (can't remember the name right now, I've turned it off after 10 or 20 minutes) where they're shown hopeless and dying and discarded and ignored is marked as a comedy and the only thing it made me want to do was plan to kill myself before I get too old.

I never laughed at Nurse Jackie, I don't laugh at Girls, Shameless or Weeds. I enjoyed all of these shows, I still watch Shameless and Girls, but I don't approach them as comedies anymore, not at all. They leave me feeling sour, bitter, hopeless, empty when I think about such life. Sometimes happy that my life is so different from anything shown there. I enjoy them, I watch them with a tear box at hand for them sorrows, a cable to bite for annoyances, and a glass of my cherry liquor for lurking void.

But the big difference is, these shows from the first episode show what they are. If someone perceives them as comedies - great. If someone sees them as dramas - super. If they make someone cry - whatever floats your boat. If someone thinks they're shit - well, okay, we can't all like the same things. But they don't trick, they don't cheat. You get your perception, you decide whether it's something for you or not, and you are in for the ride or jump off. They change and morph, as all such shows do, but they don't make you laugh for 7 seasons then suddenly go: AHHAHAHAHAHAHA NOW SHE DIES XDDDDDD HOW WITTY EH?? OLOLOLO.

That's like Dexter ending with everyone suddenly jumping out at him and screaming: SURPRISE! WE KNEW ALL ALONG! YOU'RE IN A HIDDEN CAMERA, DEX OLOLOLO. COME LET'S HAVE A BEER AT THE BAY YOU MESSED UP MOFO. GOOD WORK KILLING ALL THOSE BASTARDS.

How would that work?

Well, maybe better than the actual ending kekekeke. Yea, I'm salty about that too. Who isn't? :P

I'm not saying that a long-running comedy can't have more serious touches. I remember an episode of Scrubs that genuinely made me cry, but still did not make me angry. A patient in the hospital, after a funny episode, died, of a pathetic cause. We got to like him, we felt terrible, but they made the episode in such an intelligent way that it didn't jump out. And Scrubs always seemed a touch more serious to me than HIMYM did. But it was a bit of an episode and an episodic character. A moment for reflection, then the show went on. It didn't ruin the show's dynamic, it didn't suddenly feel like a punch. It was graceful, tasteful, and not really out of place.

So can't say that about Mom. So can't say that about HIMYM.

Is this a new trend somehow? That sitcoms will make us laugh only until they decide it's time we feel like we've been hit with a dead puppy on the face?

Cause if that's so, I might just go and switch to watching tragedies, at least I'd come prepared to feel miserable. Or I'll go with My Little Pony. Nobody dies there, right? RIGHT???