No Right Answer: Best Sitcom Ever

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Sitcom problem with Friends is that it is comfort food for yuppies. It suffers the fate as Scrubs does. The characters are annoying, bitch about stuff that only semi rich people would find funny. Stuff on the show can be seen coming from a mile away. The stuff on Sienfeld was predictable as well, but the characters had real life problems that we could relate to. The simple fact that a t.v. show has nothing but assholes doesn't mean it is not relatable. It was nice to watch a show about a bunch people that are only looking out for their best interests. Out of all the retarded things about friends, people watching the show and treating the main cast like they were their friends makes me want to punch them.

artanis_neravar:

PeePantz:
Dan missed a huge opportunity in that debate: Seinfeld's lasting appeal. Seinfeld coined phrases that used in everyday life. That's how transcending this show is. You never even have to have seen Seinfeld, yet its impact on you would be unmistakeable. Terms like "man-hands" or "close talker" are all from Seinfeld. I could go on all day about this, but my point is that Friends didn't creep into our lives (hell, no show did), like Seinfeld.

Never heard any of those in real life.

Hitchmeister:
I feel so old.

Leave it to Beaver
Gilligan's Island
Beverly Hillbillies
Green Acres
Shows from when SitComs meant something. There was a challenge to trying to be the best, because there were dozens fighting for that honor every week.

But face it -- all of these choices are from the wrong continent.

How so?

Read the next line.

Hitchmeister:

artanis_neravar:

PeePantz:
Dan missed a huge opportunity in that debate: Seinfeld's lasting appeal. Seinfeld coined phrases that used in everyday life. That's how transcending this show is. You never even have to have seen Seinfeld, yet its impact on you would be unmistakeable. Terms like "man-hands" or "close talker" are all from Seinfeld. I could go on all day about this, but my point is that Friends didn't creep into our lives (hell, no show did), like Seinfeld.

Never heard any of those in real life.

Hitchmeister:
I feel so old.

Leave it to Beaver
Gilligan's Island
Beverly Hillbillies
Green Acres
Shows from when SitComs meant something. There was a challenge to trying to be the best, because there were dozens fighting for that honor every week.

But face it -- all of these choices are from the wrong continent.

How so?

Read the next line.

Fawlty Towers. There were only 12 episodes, because every single one was perfect. Any more would have risked spoiling that record.

My Captcha includes the word "England." Even Captcha knows.

Still doesn't explain it

Where is my M.A.S.H or CHEERS?

Arrested Development?

Why?

I'm glad you asked...

Arrested Development is about family. What could be more universal? Arrested Development at it's heart is essentially how your family hold you back. Now this is a theme that is so universal, it probably happens many times in one person's life.

For instance, young person, edge of adulthood, feels repressed by the family unit trying to hold them back, trying to reel them in.

However, later in life, settled down a bit, got a career: pow! family*

Then older family moves away finally lets you go, and you want to go back, see The Godfather Part 3 (nobody argues with Al Pacino, not even in that movie).

Oh yeah, not everyone has family's. I say to you... Luke Skywalker. Both his parents are, apparently, dead and he still gets wrapped in all this with his Owen and Beru.

Arrested Development addresses all these things sometimes at the same time. It does it with sheer wit and class, and will tell you about 7 different kinds of jokes in one episode.

You've got a great ensemble. Friends has 6, oh that's impressive- Arrested Development has 9! 9 main characters and none ever feel rushed, or unused. And that's not including the amazing array of recurring characters (Henry Winkler I'm looking at you).

So, you've got a Universal Theme, a fantastic ensemble of characters and actors, great writing. What am I forgetting?

Oh yeah...

All these characters are nuts! They're totally totally nuts. Because you can do that when you've got a Universal theme, you can let your characters go wild. For instance, How I Met Your Mother. A show essentially about dating and coupling, in the city, a really big city. This show really doesn't have much going on for say an old farmer, where as does he have a family? I'm pretty sure he does, unless he's creepy old hermit, but I'm not sure any sitcom's really going to be up that guy's street... I digress.

Meanwhile a show like Community's really aimed at who exactly...?

I mean, it about students. Except Joel McHale's 40, Chevy Chase's 68... Okay, so it's oddball unconventional students. Okay, right, cool. We've already got a pretty narrow audience here, let's hope they don't do anything weird... Well, actually, they didn't for the entire first season, which looked like a relationship drama with some nods to Geek Culture. Then... they did a claymation episode. That's a narrowing audience demographic.

What else don't people like actually? What do you want to avoid in Sitcoms?

Smug (I'm looking at you later series of Friends)

And wow does Community have that in spades, particularly in representation of author-insert character Abed. I could go on but no about of intelligence or charisma can make smug funny... and wow, I've watched Community try.

So yeah...

*It happens like that, seriously, if you don't know, it's about to happen to you...

The_root_of_all_evil:
image

Is that Alfred Molina?

OT: Anyway, Seinfeld wins. If only because of George's argument that even Moses picked his nose.

Casual Shinji:
Is that Alfred Molina?

Alexei Sayle, Nigel Planer, Rik Mayall, Christopher Ryan, Adrian Edmonson.

If you can imagine Seinfeld crossed with Tom and Jerry in a grubby Wayne's World set, you're still nowhere near it. ;)

Scrubs!

But out of those Seinfield always.

Friends had really good situational comedy in its first seasons, and the characters weren't that extreme. But from the 4th season or so forward, it started to be more about the characters and the show's own established tropes than the situational comedy, and the characters started to get more and more extreme, to the point where, near the end, every one of them is really annoying.

Seinfeld is great and I love it, but the characters aren't so much better than the ones in friends. George is the eternal loser, Seinfeld is Seinfeld, Kramer is Krazy, so on. The show is interesting for its stand on not delving into emotional territory or preaching lessons, but the downside of this is that the characters are not very relatable. The comedy is funny, but trying to think about the show some years after I watched it (and I watched most episodes, many more than once) I can't remember much, while with Friends I can at least remember the major character arcs. Of course I remember the soup nazi, but this is telling, because it is one of a few exceptions. The situations in Seinfeld aren't exactly real, they're about characters being extremely selfish and self-centered all the time. Good comedy, but not very relatable.

Of course there's a lot of good stuff beyond those two. HIMYM, however, I watched only the first 2 or 3 episodes, found them very weak, and never wanted to get back to. Maybe it gets better after a while.

Yeah, I hated friends.

I guess That 70's Show was in the same vein, but I liked it.

Yeah, they didn't seem as into it this week. That said though How I Met Your Mother is the right answer.

The_root_of_all_evil:

I shall have to ask you to step outside for a game of Street Countdown.
And only one vowel.

I only watched the first couple of episodes and could not find a shred of humor. But all right, maybe it's not Two and a half men (etc) level, but I'd still put it below Frasier and a couple of others from that list (Although laugh tracks really kills most of them.

artanis_neravar:

People always complain about other people using IMO because "it's always your opinion blah blah blah.." but I bet that if you hadn't include it the next 4 or 5 pages would have been attacks against you

Yeah, it's the reason why I added it. I didn't want someone attacking me for something as trivial as this.

All this talk of British awesome makes me want a British focussed topic. Best British Thing Ever? The Queen vs Doctor Who or QI vs Have I Got News For You. Or Life On Mars vs Lost for Best Mystery Show where it turns out they're all in purgatory. Or best Sherlock Holmes adaptation and do A Game Of Shadows vs Sherlock (although I'm missing every single adaptation before this year :D )

Hitchmeister:

Fawlty Towers. There were only 12 episodes, because every single one was perfect. Any more would have risked spoiling that record.

Fawlty towers would win, but Sitcom is such an American thing, it has to be american. There's a certain brashness that the word has that we can't capture. I guess we just have to settle for best comedy programs :D.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Next time: Try something less dangerous: Like Star Trek vs. Star Wars

Why's that even a debate? Everyone knows it's Wars right?

Redem:
Who shoves their head up a turkey? Mr.Beans

Thank you! That is exactly what I thought when I saw it! Mr Bean did it YEARS ago! And it was 1000 times funnier!!

Also, how I met your mother, and Big Bang Theory are my current favs! Along with the classics - Vicar of Dibly, and the Royal Family! Awesome stuff..

Also that new one - The Cafe is great!

I don't understand. Friends was supposed to be a comedy?? I thought it was an aspirational lifestyle show for idiots who wanted to be one of the "beautiful people."

Hmpf for me Blackadder is the superior sitcom.

I know I'm in a minority, but I never found Seinfeld funny. There's just something about the way it was presented that isn't humorous to me.

I've never liked "humiliation" comedy. I can't stand I Love Lucy for example. But, that's just me.

Give me an Arrested Development, Scrubs, The IT Crowd, or even Big Bang Theory.

I *can* say that "Corner Gas" was one of the most consistently funny shows I have ever watched. That is the winner for me.

Edit: Oh yeah, and Community. Can't believe I almost forgot Community.

I agree with the judges ruling - the clear winner is How I Met Your Mother.

Best sitcom is How I Met Your Mother? I've only seen a few episodes, but I can say that it doesn't do what I liked about either Friends or Seinfeld. I agree with Dan that it should have gone to Seinfeld. It's a funny show I can talk about seriously as it deals with more realistic situations and has so many quotable things that have become part of everyday discussion. "Low Talker" came from that. "No soup for you" "the contest" and all sorts of other bits of observational humor that just stuck out as being interesting and worth discussion. The best thing Friends had to offer was Chandler and he was only good in a handful of episodes per season (pending on screentime).

I'd like to throw in "The Office" for consideration. But I know many people hate the American version despite the fact that I think season 2,3, and whatever one it is on now (5?) are great. Season one was slow and the previous season that focused to much on Micheal Scott are bad examples, but the overall quality is good.

Another contender is "Arrested Development" that did not last long enough to make the wide appeal that Friends or Seinfeld did. but despite that, it was still really good and the jokes built off everything that had happened before. It was a show you had to watch from the beginning, but it paid off in the end.

And I'd also say "Community" deserves a nomination due to just being awesome. If it gets outright canceled after this hiatus, I might just not watch NBC programs again. Yeah, I think it's that good.

Lastly, I'd say that "Modern Family" deserves some attention too. It's also good and while I think it is using the same formula as "The Office" it has moments where it breaks the formula and sticks to the story more and that works wonders.

but I would still probably award it to Frasier or Seinfeld. While Cheers was out before Frasier and made sitcoms pretty huge (despite not being the first), Frasier showed how a successful spin-off can work and blew Cheers out of the water. Seinfeld was just good. Give the prize to one of these two if anyone.

artanis_neravar:
Seinfeld's main cast were people I would hate in real life, they are just so self-centered and oblivious that it pissed me off, same with Everybody Love Raymond, King of Queens, etc.

Friends I enjoyed, mostly for Joey and Chandler, and That 70's Show and Scrubs are great

How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory win it all though

Thing is I hate people in real life already because of the self-centered obliviousness. But I'm just like them to a different degree. So are you. And even that jerk over there *points at random person*. Seinfeld is taking some of the worst human traits, highlighting them in a small group of select people, and putting them in normal situations you and I find ourselves in everyday (or most every day). Friends, takes human extremes and puts them in some normal situations and some absurd situations. I agree with Dan's assessment. It's like putting a webcam in a mental ward. I agree they should remake the show with that kind of twist to it. :D

I don't hate Friends. I just think Seinfeld does a better job delivering what a sitcom is meant to deliver.

Friends over Seinfeld in my opinion. But the best sitcom ever is still Titus. That's actually a fact.

Redem:
Who shoves their head up a turkey? Mr.Beans

thank you. good lord how could they not even mention that. But anyway I pick scrubs. And if it has to have the laugh track and only 3 walls then big bang theory followed by How I met you mother and News Radio.

No, no, no. You're all wrong because Frasier is the best sitcom ever. I'm honestly dissapointed that wasn't what Kyle dropped in to say.

Never have I enjoyed a judge's decision so much. Great choice for best sitcom.

But Alison Hannigan's best work? The nerd in me has to choose Willow over Lily.

Love how the judge's ruling is that both of the other choices are invalid.
Also, Dan's expression at the freeze frame...it is burned into my retinas.

Silly double posting.

BrotherRool:
but Sitcom is such an American thing,

Next time: Try something less dangerous: Like Star Trek vs. Star Wars

Why's that even a debate? Everyone knows it's Wars right?

image

SAVE YOURSELVES!!!

Umm Coupling......... awesome British Sitcom from the guy who wrote the new Sherlock Holmes ( the British one NOT the Robert Downey Jr one)

He is also the guy who is head writer on Dr Who right now...... So yeah he has some credentials there.

Watch Seasons 1-3 seasons 4 saw the loss of a main comic foil character and was never the same.

All 4 seasons are available on Netflix

Case and point:

Married with Children would be my favorite. Though, 3rd Rock From the Sun comes close.

I guess it really depends on what decade you grew up in. I bet a lot of people would say the Honeymooners, but a lot of other people would say Fresh Princes of Bel-Air.

Dargocitfer:
I know I'm in a minority, but I never found Seinfeld funny. There's just something about the way it was presented that isn't humorous to me.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SeinfeldIsUnfunny

Not quite relevant, but still :D

Is it me or does Seinfield have really poor international penetration? I could ask anyone here in the UK about Friends and they'd probably even be able to talk about specific episodes, but if anyone I know has watched Seinfield, they've never mentioned it. The only thing I know about it, is it's meant to be a classic sitcom?

I mean How I Met Your Mother does fine here too, just not Seinfield

EDIT: A quick bit of research,
Seinfeld 2.2 million UK hits
How I Met Your Mother 23.4 million UK hits
'Joey Friends' 4.6 million UK hits (Friends was too generic but I think it gets the point across, that even a much more specific search, doubles Seinfeld. Compare it too 'Kramer Seinfeld' .06 million UK hits)

Seinfeld 2.2 million German hits
How I Met Your Mother 19 million German hits
Friends Serie 20.2 million German hits

Sorry America, but Seinfeld sucks

How I Met Your Mother's a good call, it has great episodes, and I like the characters, but like others have said, it can get inane and preachy, characters fail to learn simple things, and reiterate things to fill episodes between major events. It manages to stay sharp and different though, but whether it's the best of all time...

I'd probably give it to Frasier, Friends or Scrubs. Chandler alone could carry Friends and Frasier was some of the best sitcom writing of all time. Scrubs, until that tenuous 10th / 9th (?) season, was full of the kind of humour I can enjoy for years after I know the punchline.

If characters in series don't develop like real people though, I get frustrated with them, which I suppose is one of my major gripes with HIMYM. Stop having heavy handed repetitive moral rebirths, it's tiresome.

Harris is a brilliant actor though. I'd like to see him in some more serious roles, see what kind of capacity he has for them. I'll check out his IMDB page...

Once again I have to point out that you're all wrong, and you should have just come to me for the right answer.
It's Community.
It's so awesome that I don't even need to say anything about it. It just is pure awesomesauce.

Of the two, I hate them both, but I did watch a few seasons of friends. I just couldn't go on after Ross proved there was a worse place to get a girl's name wrong than in bed. Seinfeld, tollerable in small doses, but nothing to grab me.

I'm not sure I'd classify my favorite comedies like Get Smart, Hogan's Heroes, and MASH as sit-coms. Others like Rosanne, The Drew Carrey show, That 70s show, and Married with Children fell apart by the end. Now one I like from beginning to end is Night Court. The Cosbey show has some issues, but still some timelessness.

The jury's still out on Big Bang Theory. I'd give it more credit if it had avoided the Clap on / Clap off relationship problem I had with Friends.

I have never seen an episode of Friends or Seinfeld (or Net your Mother) so cannot comment on any if those.

While Arrested Development is my all time comedy show, I guess by traditional metrics I enjoy the sitcom Big Bang Theory.

Trucken:
Friends over Seinfeld in my opinion. But the best sitcom ever is still Titus. That's actually a fact.

The Dad on there was classic. Another show Fox gave me, and cruelly took away.

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