Now, I don’t have anything against the Big Bang Theory show…well, yeah I do, but that’s an entirely different blog post…anyhow, one of the predominant expressions of meme-ness nowadays is sarcasm. Just scroll through your facebook page and you’ll see what I mean – negative, mean, f-word laden sentiments boiled down to repeatable jargon and then attached to a photo or cartoon that catches your eye.
It’s what humor has been reduced to in the media, at least the mainstream media (and by that, I mean anything paid for by Cheerios, Victoria’s Secret and Budweiser commercials. I don’t include NPR radio or TV stations, religious stations, or educational outlets). Post-Seinfeld, comedy has gotten leaner, meaner and zingier. Unless you watch something like New Girl or Suburgatory (which could be considered subversive in their own rights), romcoms and other half-hour shows revolve around stupid, loutish men; vapid, promiscuous women; addled, elderly people getting lost while looking for the adult-diaper aisle; or confused, high, and promiscuous teenagers. The smart, complex and layered comedies like Friends (aw, yeah, I WENT THERE), Cheers, Frasier, the Cosby Show, Diff’rent Strokes, and Family Ties have gone the way of the dinosaur.
And then sarcasm became the bestest commodity on television.
Now you get to watch Dads, Archer, Cougar Town, Community (oh, noooooo! I heard you yodel), and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Are some of the newer shows well-written? Heck yeah. Are they virtually basted in sarcasm? Also, aw yeah! 30 Rock was an amazing ensemble comedy show…and then every episode turned into a pig pile of people ripping on each other, preferably a la later-episode-Seinfeld (the same could be said for the last couple years of The Office); Parks and Rec: one of my favorites! : also seems to be headed that way. Enjoyable TV moments seem to be reduced to supernatural, smart shows like Sleepy Hollow; supernatural, sparkly shows like Vampire Diaries; or supernatural, dark shows like Grimm or The Walking Dead.
There ARE bright spots on TV right now, some of which have sarcasm but not in massive amounts: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Crazy Ones, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Sleepy Hollow, New Girl, Suburgatory. The dramas listed have great plot twists and dialogue, the comedies are smart, snappy, masterful exchanges.
In my humble opinion. 😉