Will audiences of the future find 30 Rock funny, the way we still enjoy I Love Lucy and Cheers? That’s the question Salon critic Matt Zoller Seitz poses in a smart piece arguing that today’s cultural reference-laden sitcoms, or “footnote shows,” as he calls them, all come with an expiration date. In fact, Seitz points out, early episodes of the show that launched the trend, The Simpsons, are already incomprehensible to kids.
While we agree that series like Community may not have decades-long shelf lives, we do believe that plenty of 21st-century sitcoms have what it takes to make generations of fans laugh. After the jump, we list ten shows we think will pass the test of time. Add your suggestions (and feel free to take exception with ours) in the comments.
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Since we never know when Larry David will decide to pull the plug on his hilarious HBO series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, we’re pretty excited to see that there’s finally a promo for Season 8. Although it doesn’t reveal anything as concrete as a premiere date, the funny, Godzilla-inspired teaser does give us one very interesting piece of information: looks like David will be coming to New York City, his old Seinfeld stomping grounds. Watch the promo after the jump and add to our list of local landmarks and attractions we’d like to see Larry visit while he’s in town in the comments.
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Thanks to the plethora of reruns airing on TBS, it’s hard to ignore that The Office just ain’t what it used to be. Plenty of people think the problem is Jim — now that he’s married to Pam and a manager, there’s not as much room for his character to tug at our heartstrings or make us laugh. But NBC obviously thinks the problem is something else: a lack of star power. That’s why they’re bringing in the great Kathy Bates to cameo in a story arc as Jo, a bossy Floridian executive whose pals with Jan’s replacement. (In less exciting news, a day care center could soon be opening at Dunder Mifflin, presumably for Jim and Pam’s… Read More
A Seinfeld reunion? GET OUT! First it was Saved by the Bell (minus Screech) on the cover of this week’s People, and now the AP is reporting that a Seinfeld reunion is in the works. The actors who played the show’s four principles will appear on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld alum Larry David’s HBO… Read More
Welcome back to Whatever Happened To…, a weekly column where we unearth a pop culture personality from the deep, dark recesses of your over-stimulated psyches. Because nostalgia is fun! For this third installment we present you with Blossom. Errr, we mean Mayim Bialik. Note: This is kind of cheating because we just found out from Pop Candy that she’s going to be featured on the season premiere of What Not To Wear tonight.… Read More
Last night marked the third season finale of Dexter, Showtime’s series about an extremely good looking and easy to relate to serial killer. As Salon’s Heather Havrilesky points out in her wrap-up, “…he’s a bloodthirsty monster in ordinary nerd’s clothing. This is the delicious and awful trap of Dexter, a drama that, even in its third season, still may qualify as the strangest and most unsettling show in the history of television: Even at his darkest hour, even when he’s watching events in his life unfold from a great distance, without feeling much of anything, Dexter is undeniably likable.”
This isn’t the first time in recent TV history a beloved character happens to be a bit of a dark horse — The Sopranos made the concept a pop culture staple. Think about most of the shows you watch today: Heroes, House, Gossip Girl, Lost — sorry Dr. Huxtable, the days of goody goody television are long gone.
We count down our favorite small-screen antiheroes after the jump. Add your own in the comments.
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