Splitsider: Why ‘Community’ Was the Best Comedy of the 2011-2012 Season
May 25, 2012 Leave a comment
For Splitsider‘s season in review series, each writer argued on behalf of one series, labeling theirs the best sitcom of the 2011-2012 season. My show was Community.
“Let’s consider what it means to be “great television.” Community fans know full well that television is a business, as much as we hate to admit it. A network television show is not an artistic expression by an auteur — it’s eye candy designed to expose millions of eyeballs to paid advertisements. So “great television” is best defined as a show with universal appeal, scoring huge audiences, critical raves, and armfuls of statuettes. If we looked at food the way we look at TV shows, “great restaurants” would include Outback Steakhouse and the Cheesecake Factory.
Not that I don’t love me some bloomin’ onion. But unlike Outback Steakhouse and the Cheesecake Factory, universally beloved television comedies are extinct. Juggernauts like Seinfeld, Friends, Will & Grace, and Everybody Loves Raymond are long gone. Their closest living relative, Modern Family, draws in a (relatively) paltry 13 million viewers and airs new episodes so sporadically that it hardly qualifies as “appointment television.”
With television becoming more fragmented and niche-oriented, the fact that a show like Community has lasted this long on network television — instead of a more fitting home of, say, Adult Swim — isn’t a miracle. It’s a sign of the times. Community may not be “great television,” but neither is any other comedy these days. In the land of the blind, Community isn’t the one-eyed man — it’s the blind man who prefers blindness.”
Check out the full post on Splitsider.com.