Arts & Culture, Featured

Are We in the Golden Age of Comedic Television?

I’ve recently been on an Arrested Development bender. The election debates have preempted many of the regular shows I watch and I miss the Bluth Family. After I watched a couple episodes, I thought to myself: “if Arrested Development was still on the air, this would be the best era of TV ever.”

It is hard to deny that there are a ton of hilarious TV shows on the air right now. Just look at this list of shows that I’ve deemed worth watching:

ABC: Modern Family, Happy Endings, Suburgatory, Don’t Trust the B***h in Apartment 23

CBS: The Big Bang Theory

Fox: New Girl, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, The Mindy Project

NBC: Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office (sort of)

HBO: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls (even though they turned me down when I auditioned), Eastbound & Down

Showtime: The Big C, Episodes, Web Therapy, Californication

IFC: Portlandia

Comedy Central: South Park, Workaholics, Key & Peele

FX: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Wilfred

TBS: Cougar Town

Adult Swim: Children’s Hospital, Aqua Teen Hungerforce (or whatever it’s called now), The Boondocks

Apologies if I excluded a show that’s your all-time favorite, but I hopefully got a point across. Those are only the shows I consider worth watching—not every comedy on TV.

With the rise of cable television, there are more outlets than ever for quality shows to survive. But the increasing shift in high quality drama from the broadcast to the cable networks hasn’t really applied to television. There are still tons of great comedies that you can find on “The Big Four” (ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox).

I’ll always have admiration for the classics (Friends, Cheers, Seinfeld, etc.), but the amount of quality comedies from the 80’s and 90’s pales in comparison to the present. The fact that the vast majority of the current crop of comedies have abandoned laugh tracks is another bonus.

With something funny on TV every night, it’s hard to keep up. Thankfully, because of Tivo, Hulu, and other devices, you can watch shows months and even years after they air with relative ease. Conflicting time slots no longer matter. While things like “Golden Ages” are never really decided until years after they occur, I think we can safely say that we’re in an amazing era of television.

One Comment

  1. Great piece – and totally agree. I do, however, think “Two Broke Girls” is gut-bustingly hilarious.

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