Have TV Shows Replaced Romantic Comedies in Our Hearts?

This week, we read a great article over at Vulture on the state of the romantic comedy — or more specifically, its rapid decline in recent years. In the article, studio execs and directors throw around possible reasonings (they don’t have enough production values to justify a big-screen viewing, we just don’t care about love as much anymore), but as Vulture’s Claude Brodesser-Akner pointed out, “though the genre is suffering at the box office, it is hard to believe that the very idea of a romantic comedy is completely losing favor. After all, what are sitcoms’ “will-they-won’t-they” arcs other than long romantic comedies?” Indeed.

In fact, while there have always been “rom-com” sitcoms (Mad About YouFriends), we feel like we’ve seen an uptick in both the number and quality in recent years. We also tend to care about characters in TV shows more than we do for their film counterparts — after all, when you spend time with the same characters week after week, over months or years, you tend to be more invested in their exploits. After the jump, we take a look at a few TV shows that could be replacing our need to see romantic comedies in the theaters. Do you agree, or do you think that despite the current rocky ground, traditional rom-coms will always have a place in our hearts?

How I Met Your Mother

HIMYM is the ultimate rom-com in many ways — the whole premise is a search for true love, with what’s now approaching nine seasons of bumpy road in between. We know that more than one set of the characters are “destined” to be together and it’s all a mad scramble for them to overcome their own egos and the extenuating circumstances so that they can all (including dear hapless, continually overshadowed Ted) get married.