09 April 2009

Thoughts on television

The other day I was chatting with a friend of mine and she mentioned she loved Chuck. Now, I've seen about three minutes total of this show, outside of commercials, and my initial reaction to the show is negative.

When my friend asked me why this was, I had to think about it for a bit, and eventually I came up with a principle when it comes to what I like from television.

I like television shows that are one thing. My sister Amy loves Psych, but I don't really like it because the writers try to make it a comedy and a cop show. As a result, the cop show side suffers badly in that the cases are oversimplified, there is little attention paid to detail, and the "danger" scenes come off as hokey and embarrassing, in my opinion.

And that's exactly what I perceived during my three-minute stint with Chuck. It's a spy show that is also a comedy. Doesn't work for me.

Now, some shows may appear to be two things but are really just one. Scrubs is not trying to be a comedy and a medical drama, it is a comedy set in a hospital. Inversely, House is a medical drama that is funny; it is not trying to be a comedy and a medical drama.

The more I think about it, the more I believe this is limited to comedy attempting to find equal footing with another genre, but I can't think of any other examples where this is the case.

Hmm. More research is required.


LaPaube said...

Wait, so House is a drama that is funny, but it's not trying to be a drama and a comedy? What?

Jimmy said...

House isn't designed as a comedy. Just has humor in it.

Brandon said...

G: Comedies are trying to make you laugh more often than not. House tries to make you laugh, but not nearly as often as a show like Scrubs or Friends.

LaPaube said...

Understood. Good clarification by both of you.

MooKoo Joe said...

I have to disagree here. I feel that Psych is a comedy placed in a police/detective setting.

LaPaube said...

Psych is awesomeness wrapped in hilarity. I can't think of a TV series that I've liked as much, ever. But I see B's point that shows trying to be too much often end up being crummy.

Brandon said...

Mookoo: No, Reno 911 is a comedy taking place in a police\detective setting. Psych tries to take its cop stuff seriously, and fails more often than not.

G: I also loved Psych during its first couple seasons, but then the attempted seriousness started getting to me and I couldn't watch it anymore. If they'd fully embrace a "we're funny!" identity, I'd come back.

MooKoo Joe said...

No, Reno 911 is stupid.