Monday, July 15, 2013

Being Critical of Comedies

Friday Night Dinner

Our era appears to be in a new golden age of television series and films; everything champions "critically acclaimed" reviews. This critical acclaim, however, is extraordinarily exclusive to dramas. Yes, I love a good drama. But do you ever feel like those amazing comedies are being left out? It's like they're the losers of entertainment.

Yet comedies often show great intelligence, art, and truth. Remember Gilmore Girls? A remarkable comedy that really pioneered the portrayal of unique families, and rejoiced in the mother-daughter relationship. It dealt with real emotion, real issues, and kept you thinking, while still laughing. 

Likewise, The Office (both the UK and US series) is a hilarious look at workplace relationships. And while exaggerated to impossible stretches, every episode asks us to appreciate the nutty, the uptight, the bland, the dimensions of love, and the humor in life.

Both are gut-busting, with smart writing and honest characters. But not considered worthy of the elitist criticism. It seems as though those stomach-churning dramas that thrive off of little dialogue, overzealously peppered with gunshots, explosions, and blood show a "true genius." 

Because it's so difficult to make a crime scene interesting. And it's believable, too. Let's face it: some dramas are insanely genius. They're breathtaking and intricate. Let's not forget, though, that in times of crisis and distress, comedy often prevails with truth and comfort. (Remember: SNL aired after 9/11. Similarly, comedians are often considered the truth givers of our society; that we get the most honest information from comics.) 

So have a laugh, but think critically. You're probably enjoying a beautifully crafted, artful composition of language, cinematography, music, and acting. 

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