Author Topic: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?  (Read 44466 times)

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Offline LucasM

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #135 on: November 23, 2011, 10:06:18 PM »
To all above who responded to it (and questioned it), the reason I haven't tried Community is because - over the last possibly 30 years or more - people have raved about sitcoms, I've tried them all, and I was left unmoved by them.  'Unmoved' as in "I barely, if ever, smiled during the episodes, and often ended up nearly - or outright - pissed off".  Some shows [e.g. Seinfeld, Friends, Modern Family] I very actively disliked or downright hated.  Many simply had no effect on me except that they left me a feeling that I'd wasted my time [e.g. 30 Rock, The Office].  Others, while possibly initially funny to me, I tired of very quickly for one reason or another [e.g. How I Met Your Mother, Melissa and Joey, and animated sitcoms like The Simpsons, Futurama, and Family Guy].

So I ultimately gave up on the sitcom genre as a whole.  It seemed each one has situations that are so contrived as to be offensive to my particular sensibilities [YSMV (your sensibilities may vary)], or have major characters that I would not spend time with in real life because they are so reprehensible, yet their behavior is simply 'laughed off' [or worse, is meant to be laughed 'at' (I don't find laughing at people EVER funny)].  And if I wouldn't spend time with a character in real life, I sure as SHIT am not going to waste my time with them when I want to be entertained.  [I can tolerate such characters in cartoon sitcoms better (longer) than live action ones, however, e.g. Family Guy where none of the characters would be tolerable in real life, I managed to watch and pretty much enjoy I think the first four seasons before I couldn't take any more, because it was so over-the-top offensive.]

As a whole, it seems to me, I and the entire genre of sitcoms, do not get along.  So I stopped trying any.


However, since there are people here who questioned why I didn't intend to try Community whose opinions I value, despite my dislike of Joel McHale [I cannot recall ever hearing a line I found funny come out of his mouth, and his 'funny' stuff on The Soup often angered me], I may put the first DVD of the first season in my Netflix queue.  If people think the show has changed significantly and that I should try - say - the first four episodes of the current season instead, then I may try that.  But with the lead character played by someone I don't find funny, I can't imagine that this sitcom will prove to be any different than what I've come to expect of them.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 10:46:25 PM by LucasM »
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Offline Nunyerbiz

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #136 on: November 23, 2011, 11:30:24 PM »
(I don't find laughing at people EVER funny)].

Not to question your sensibilities... but exactly how many Rifftrax and MST3Ks have you seen? You didn't laugh at Torgo?!? or the Phantom of Krankor?!? Fuck bro, you are hardcore.


Offline LucasM

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #137 on: November 24, 2011, 12:24:21 AM »
(I don't find laughing at people EVER funny)].

Not to question your sensibilities... but exactly how many Rifftrax and MST3Ks have you seen? You didn't laugh at Torgo?!? or the Phantom of Krankor?!? Fuck bro, you are hardcore.

I've seen all the MST3Ks (with the exception of a few KTMA ones) and all but possibly 3 of the RiffTrax.  And, no, I never laughed at either Torgo or the Phantom of Krankor, or any other character that I can think of, from a film that has been riffed by this group, or any other film that I've seen.  Some of what the Phantom of Krankor did was absurd.  But even so, neither Torgo or the Phantom was meant to be a realistic character.

But those characters inhabiting sitcoms (with the exception of animated sitcoms or the bizarre exceptions like the live action The Tick [which I didn't find funny]) are meant to - at the very least - 'represent' realistic people.  The more realistic, the less funny their aberrant behaviors or personalities are to me.  For example: when All In the Family was on, even though it started when I was only 10, I found Archie Bunker highly offensive.  Later my understanding of why I reacted as such resulted in me realizing that that character was possibly even more offensive than real-life bigots.  Why?  Because real-life bigots watching that show would not understand him as being meant as a parody, and would have found him - most likely - to be reinforcing of their beliefs, not resulting in them questioning their beliefs.  So those beliefs of basically 'Aryan superiority' would be strengthened.  And for those who were watching the shows as parody, it would be likely to give them a feeling of superiority to such 'ignorant' people.  And, at no time in the history of the planet, has one group feeling itself superior to another resulted in anything but increased problems.

My sensibilities are different than even my parents: they found Archie Bunker (and other Norman Lear shows) funny.  My brother found it offensive for much the same reasons as I, but he finds other things funny that I do not.

It comes down to this: in realistic depictions, I don't find humor in things that, if done in person, to a living being, amount to cruelty.  Others can disconnect themselves from that for things done in fiction, but I can't (and wouldn't choose to).  But, judging by the success of shows like The Soup, there are apparently many others who have no problem finding humor in laughing at real live people.  I haven't found laughing 'at' someone - fictional or otherwise - amusing for as far back as I can remember.  And because I see it that way, I can't see a reason to start to encourage that way of thinking in myself.  So I can't get past when fictional characters are presented in such a way that they are meant to be laughed at.  'Absurdity of behavior' is one thing, 'stupidity of character' is another (at least to me).

And, in case anyone thinks so [Christ I've had to do a lot of disclaimers when someone asks and I explain my beliefs]: I have absolutely no belief or expectation that anyone should believe the way I do.  These are my beliefs, and I am happy with them.  Other people have their beliefs and they are happy with them.  As long as others' actions don't lead to actual cruelty to living, breathing beings, I couldn't give a shit what they believe.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 12:29:35 AM by LucasM »
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Offline Nunyerbiz

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #138 on: November 24, 2011, 12:43:48 AM »
Quote
  For example: when All In the Family was on, even though it started when I was only 10, I found Archie Bunker highly offensive.  Later my understanding of why I reacted as such resulted in me realizing that that character was possibly even more offensive than real-life bigots.  Why?  Because real-life bigots watching that show would not understand him as being meant as a parody, and would have found him - most likely - to be reinforcing of their beliefs, not resulting in them questioning their beliefs.  So those beliefs of basically 'Aryan superiority' would be strengthened.  And for those who were watching the shows as parody, it would be likely to give them a feeling of superiority to such 'ignorant' people.  And, at no time in the history of the planet, has one group feeling itself superior to another resulted in anything but increased problems.

So... because real life stupid racist assholes won't get it, we should just avoid them altogether? Not even try? Seriously? That's your stance? If you think All in the Family hurt race relations.. then you just don't understand where race relations were in this country when the show started in the late 60s.

You could have just admitted you laughed at Torgo. It's really not a big deal... and nobody will likely buy into these self-made hoops you are jumping through.


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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #139 on: November 24, 2011, 12:52:34 AM »
so slapstick is entirely dead to you?


Offline TheUnabeefer

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #140 on: November 24, 2011, 12:54:22 AM »
[refrained from quoting cuz there's a lot there]

I actually chuckled (not in a demeaning way) at the usage of "tried" like sitcom is a drug.... In a way, it kind of fits!!

After reading your reasons for not watching / liking sitcoms as a genre, etc... You may or may not appreciate Community.  It really would be a toss-up based solely on what you think of it after watching.

Where I feel the show differs from shows like, say, Seinfeld, It's Always Sunny, etc. is that on those shows (as you mentioned), the "funny" part is due to something done TO others on the show.  Either situations that cause the main characters discomfort or tragedy (the "it's funny because it's true" aspect) or characters doing things to other characters (ie, basically everything mentioned in the Seinfeld finale).  I can very easily why someone wouldn't find that amusing, although I personally do... because it's fiction.

Whereas Community isn't really filled with events that simply happen to characters or the characters causing problems for other people a la stealing an old lady's marble rye  (with the exception of Pierce, but his whole point is that he's an old coot that they find incredibly hard to get along with.... but still love and try to support)...  It's simply about community, as in the inter-personal relations between characters, their growth from one lonely point in life to a group of friends who actually care for one another.  Example is Joel's character, who started the show as a selfish self-absorbed ass who created a fake study group simply to get with a girl... and ended up (by the end of the first episode in fact) a part of a group of unlikely friends who care about each other.  Many of the episodes have to do with very natural friction between the (not-at-all-similar) characters, being as how they spend so much time together.... and how they work through those problems to become closer together because they realise that they are better off WITH their friends than alone without them.

Most to practically all the jokes are rather pop-culture reference or just self-referencing (puns and plays on words making obvious tongue-in-cheek jokes at the show's own expense)... so whether you'd find it funny or not is really a toss-up.

For the record, I'm actually not a huge fan of The Soup... I've laughed at it, but it's not my cup of tea, really.  I prefer Joel on Community playing a character than being himself scripted.

Also, having gone to a community college (for 5 years back in the 90's), I remember each and every one of the characters on my show from my real life.  It's like Harmon went to my own school and many of his experiences were my own.... So I have a certain connection to it, because I can relate 100%.  Hell, I was the one who started a random parade to "celebrate" the set of days that you could transfer to the university like it was a damn holiday... and then got the dean to announce it over the PA system.  So the show is basically the most realistic show I've ever seen in that respect.

But yeah... The name of the show describes the underlying growth of the characters becoming a community and their sense of community, much more than it does the "community college" of the setting.

I'm not saying you have to give it a try... or that you should let us pressure you into it... But I am saying that I feel it's a very unique show as far as "sitcoms" go, in that it's more about people overcoming differences to build each other up than it is about people tearing each other down.  I don't find that very often on TV... and I think that's why I like it so much.  (That and it's somewhat intelligently written...)  So if you DO decide to give it a shot and say "Okay I'll see what all the fuss is about." then yeah, start at the first few episodes and then if you don't like it... at least you can say you were right!!
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Offline LucasM

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #141 on: November 24, 2011, 03:57:17 AM »
Quote
 For example: when All In the Family was on, even though it started when I was only 10, I found Archie Bunker highly offensive.  Later my understanding of why I reacted as such resulted in me realizing that that character was possibly even more offensive than real-life bigots.  Why?  Because real-life bigots watching that show would not understand him as being meant as a parody, and would have found him - most likely - to be reinforcing of their beliefs, not resulting in them questioning their beliefs.  So those beliefs of basically 'Aryan superiority' would be strengthened.  And for those who were watching the shows as parody, it would be likely to give them a feeling of superiority to such 'ignorant' people.  And, at no time in the history of the planet, has one group feeling itself superior to another resulted in anything but increased problems.

So... because real life stupid racist assholes won't get it, we should just avoid them altogether? Not even try? Seriously? That's your stance?

No, that isn't what I said.  I never said anything about what anyone else should do: just about me and my preferences.  I don't think things like that help matters, but I don't think that they should be stopped.  But I do think that all of their effects should be discussed (which is why I brought up one I hadn't heard anyone express before).

But for the record, someone being made fun of for their beliefs NEVER looks at their stance and thinks, "hmmmm... maybe I was wrong!"  That is particularly true with more dogmatic/authoritarian people (which most - if not all - bigots are).


If you think All in the Family hurt race relations.. then you just don't understand where race relations were in this country when the show started in the late 60s.

Let's see: my mom worked with inner city 'negro' children (my brother and I played with them), then she worked at a 99% 'black' jail, and she marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.  She had a bookshelf filled with books by 'negro' authors (and one classic by a caucasian: 'Black Like Me').  We had blacks to our home, and we went to theirs.  I saw the Rev. Jesse Jackson speak when I was about 14.  Nooo... I guess I had NO CLUE what race relations were like in the 60s.


... nobody will likely buy into these self-made hoops you are jumping through.

Wow... I've not been so boldly called a liar when taking the time to express my beliefs in a long time (if ever).  I'm really sorry that your ability to comprehend people with different ways of viewing the world is so limited that you can't even conceive of the idea that I am telling the truth.



so slapstick is entirely dead to you?

Yeah, pretty much.  There are only very rare instances where I may find some amusing (and I can't think of a single one off the top of my head).  [[EDIT: an exception might be some of the Warner Brothers cartoon treatment of it (e.g. some of the combined Bugs, Daffy, and Elmer ones); but even with cartoons, I dislike the Road Runner cartoons for the slapstick, and I intensely dislike MGM's Tom & Jerry because of the never ending slapstick-style violence toward one-another.]]



[refrained from quoting cuz there's a lot there]
Understandable.   ;D  [I snipped a bunch of yours to get to the nice, pithy conclusion as well, though I greatly appreciated it all.]

... it's more about people overcoming differences to build each other up than it is about people tearing each other down.  I don't find that very often on TV... and I think that's why I like it so much.  (That and it's somewhat intelligently written...)

That actually sounds like a show I might enjoy.  Like you said, people "overcoming differences to build each other up" is such a rarity (especially in a sitcom) that I simply gave up looking for it.  And particularly with knowing that McHale is not reprising the type of person he 'played' on The Soup gives me more hope for it.  So, yeah, I'll at least check out the first few episodes.  Who knows, this may be the first live-action sitcom I've enjoyed in years.

Thanks, Unabeefer, for the time and effort to describe it in that kind of detail, and to contrast it with some of the other shows I'd mentioned that I didn't like, so I could hear how different it is.  :highfive:
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 04:44:00 AM by LucasM »
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Offline D.B. Barnes

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #142 on: November 24, 2011, 06:47:27 AM »
Okay, so all this with at least warrants you giving Community a shot, eh Lucas?  :)

It would be fascinating to hear your take given these preconceived notions you've laid out.
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Offline Nunyerbiz

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #143 on: November 24, 2011, 07:27:53 AM »
But for the record, someone being made fun of for their beliefs NEVER looks at their stance and thinks, "hmmmm... maybe I was wrong!"  That is particularly true with more dogmatic/authoritarian people (which most - if not all - bigots are).

Well, anybody who can so confidently throw around such absolutes must have all the answers! You NEVER laugh at anybody EVER... and people are NEVER shown the error of their ways through comedy. NEVER. oh wait... NEVER.


Offline TheUnabeefer

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #144 on: November 24, 2011, 11:35:18 AM »
That actually sounds like a show I might enjoy.  Like you said, people "overcoming differences to build each other up" is such a rarity (especially in a sitcom) that I simply gave up looking for it.  And particularly with knowing that McHale is not reprising the type of person he 'played' on The Soup gives me more hope for it.  So, yeah, I'll at least check out the first few episodes.  Who knows, this may be the first live-action sitcom I've enjoyed in years.

Thanks, Unabeefer, for the time and effort to describe it in that kind of detail, and to contrast it with some of the other shows I'd mentioned that I didn't like, so I could hear how different it is.

No problem.  To me, it's one of the more uplifting shows that's been made in years...

I won't lie and say that it doesn't have it's share of slapstick (Chevy Chase falling over things... He's been doing that since SNL in the 70's), low-brow jokes (ie teenage college students who snicker at the word "aspergers", some boob jokes... typical of any real male 19 year old), and there are some third-tier characters that occasionally get snide treatment from the main characters....  but it's not the point or purpose of the show, and definitely isn't glorified in the same way many other shows would.  It never paints "our" main characters as saints for being cruel, and they always grow out of it.

In short:  There's pretty much always a moral to the episodes, and I can't think of many episodes that didn't leave me with a warm happy feeling of "Awww... That's nice." by the end.
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Offline TheUnabeefer

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #145 on: November 24, 2011, 11:36:08 AM »
ON TOPIC for the thread....

I'm still digging Unforgettable.  I know some people are losing interest because it's somewhat typical episodic crime drama.... but I like those, and this one is still done well.
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Offline LucasM

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #146 on: November 24, 2011, 01:11:07 PM »
But for the record, someone being made fun of for their beliefs NEVER looks at their stance and thinks, "hmmmm... maybe I was wrong!"  That is particularly true with more dogmatic/authoritarian people (which most - if not all - bigots are).

Well, anybody who can so confidently throw around such absolutes must have all the answers! You NEVER laugh at anybody EVER... and people are NEVER shown the error of their ways through comedy. NEVER. oh wait... NEVER.

I don't have all the answers, and have never claimed to.  You really need to read things more carefully.  Clearly you've misunderstood some of the major points I've made in multiple posts, while others have seemed to understand them.

I said, "someone being made fun of for their beliefs NEVER looks at their stance and thinks, 'hmmmm... maybe I was wrong!'."  That is very different from, "people are NEVER shown the error of their ways through comedy".  If those two statements aren't clearly different to you, maybe you need to spend some time thinking about them, or studying language use, because I am tired of explaining things when the clarity of my language use is apparently getting my points across to most everyone else.

In my posts I've said merely how *I* respond to representations of people being hurt - and that I don't care how others respond - and from what you've chosen to react to - and what you've misinterpreted - in my posts, and how you've phrased your posts, you've gotten what appears to be angry and defensive at me just saying what my reactions are.  If you react this strongly to what I say about myself, I suspect that that reaction would increase if your apparent belief was directly attacked or ridiculed, not decrease.

People get defensive when their strongly-held beliefs are attacked.  The more deeply held a belief is, the less likely someone is to question it if they, themselves are being attacked for it, whether it is aimed at them in humor or not.  There may be a rare exception to this, but no-one I've ever discussed this with in the last roughly 40 years has apparently heard of one.

And no, I don't laugh at people in pain or distress (real or implied).  It isn't funny to me.  People who have intense feelings of empathy don't find others' pain amusing (it doesn't matter if it is emotional or physical pain).  I have felt saddened by even things as minor (to others) as this cat's distress at getting its paws wet: http://forum.rifftrax.com/index.php?topic=6740.msg674605#msg674605  There have been animated gifs posted to the Funny Pictures Thread or the picture riffing thread, or used as someone's signature line that I've had Firefox block because they resulted in me feeling emotional pain in response to them and I could not tolerate the drain from seeing them repeatedly (one I recall was someone setting their hair on fire with a flaming shot; I've seen people in the hospital with scars from burns, it isn't funny, so I don't find the process of that happening funny).  This feeling predated the head injuries, but has been amplified by them, as I can no longer filter what I see or hear in my environment like I could before, and my emotional responses are less controllable than they were before.

From your repeated comments it seems that you feel that you know how I react better than I do.  I find that far more extreme a stance than my using an absolute when describing one aspect of my own thinking and how it relates to my behavior.  And, in the course of my life talking with large numbers of people, treating a multitude of clients as a therapist, hearing about friends', acquaintances, and colleagues' experiences with people, and having a basic idea of what the human reaction is to being made fun of in general, I think I have a fairly good idea of what people's response is when their deeply-held beliefs are ridiculed.

I'm done with this.


As TheUnabeefer said just above, back on topic for the thread....

I'm still digging Unforgettable.  I know some people are losing interest because it's somewhat typical episodic crime drama.... but I like those, and this one is still done well.

The ads I saw for that looked intriguing, because I was interested in how they presented the psychology of someone with perfect recall.  But since I'm not fond of episodic crime dramas (at least fully serious ones, I enjoy Castle because of Fillion and his interactions), so I ended up passing on Unforgettable initially.  Since you say it is good, and with your description of what kinds of shows you like in the Community discussion, I may give it a try just to see if it is in my 'tolerable range' for serious shows with pain or trauma as their starting point.

I think I've said elsewhere that, for entertainment, I don't enjoy watching things with characters that either would need to have been a recipient of therapy during or after the events of the show or film (because of emotional or physical/emotional trauma).  [Treating trauma survivors as I did, when one is highly empathic and can't turn it off, is very draining.  That's why I had to stop performing therapy after my second head injury.]  Unfortunately that low tolerance for viewing trauma rules out a lot of things for me that are quite well done and interesting.


As usual when I am already past my limits, I've written far, far more than I intended to in this thread in the last 12 hours.  My intention is to not post anything substantial for a few days so I can hopefully recover a bit.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 01:48:18 PM by LucasM »
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Offline Thrifty

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #147 on: November 24, 2011, 01:54:36 PM »
Lucas man, TV isn't real.  I think you need to lighten up a bit.


Offline TheUnabeefer

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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #148 on: November 24, 2011, 02:56:30 PM »
Lucas man, TV isn't real.  I think you need to lighten up a bit.

I choose to believe that it's absolutely real and that the Dharma Initiative extends to the farthest reaches of the world.

Namaste.
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Re: Anything New This Season That Warrants Viewing?
« Reply #149 on: November 24, 2011, 03:51:51 PM »
live long and prosper.\\ //