Friday, May 04, 2012

The Situation (comedy)

I want to be That Girl! Unfortunately I think I'm more a bit like Mrs. Kravitz.

Growing up with the boob tube, I've watched my share of television. You can spend the best twenty-two minutes of your life watching characters interact in a common environment. Running gags or jokes are part of the dialogue and as the show comes to an end, an easy and tidy disruption resolves itself and the characters return to their 'normal' selves. This genre is a situation comedy, or sitcom!

I could watch re-runs of some of the best sitcoms in television history because they are classics. New actors and modern families often try to repeat old sitcom story lines, but nothing beats a boring night of tv than surfing through two hundred cable stations to find some classic must see tv.

I probably have seen every episode of M*A*S*H* at a minimum of 4-5 times. And I don't tire of it. By the way, M*A*S*H's last episode on February 28, 1983 was the most watched tv episode ever. I'm sure those statistics probably could be challenged, today there are more televisions and more people in the world. That show outlasted the real military conflict that it was based on by 8 years.

Could my life be a situation comedy? Sure, if I had some good writers! I think if you are a good actor... maybe even a mediocre actor, you are only as good as the words written for you and the foresight of a good director who plots the action. I've been on stage before in community theater. You don't walk and talk at the same time unless the director has told you too!

When I was a kid, I thought my life was a lot like All in the Family. Although my dad was no way near as bigoted as Archie Bunker, there was a strict 'my way or the highway' feeling in our household. There was a certain strictness that was around all the neighbors I grew up with during that 1971-79 time period. Having different ideas about controversial topics like religion, politics, feminism and racism, was something very different. We tuned in to see the reality of every day life.

Dad was the boss and he brought home the bacon. Not a dingbat, my mom had some Edith moments. She would open her mouth at the wrong time and I could image my dad's harsh.... 'stifle yourself.... will you-ewwwwws!' In the end, Gloria, Meathead, Edith and Archie knew they could count on their family to be there for each other, no matter the name calling or the political in-correctness.

Who could take a nothing day and suddenly make it seem worthwhile? Mary Richards of course! Maybe in my single days my sitcom would be the Mary Tyler Moore Show... I of course would want to be Rhoda, the artsy neighbor! But I probably would end up being Phyllis, goody two-shoes, nosey and the flighty no-it-all neighbor! Mary just lived her life. All of her eccentric friends had the most crazy life situations... mostly through an un-locked front door in her cool one room loft! She could turn the world on with her smile!

There are so many hit shows that come to mind, Family Ties, Mad About You, Friends, and Seinfeld could all be good choices to choose my life's situation comedy. Not yet a Golden Girl, I'm not sure if I'd want to be a sitcom of the Two-thousand-ths.... what do we call this era we live in right now? Friends is so 90s....Happy Days is so 70s!

One thing for sure, I would want to be filmed in front of a live studio audience. That track laughter is so annoying. Some sound editor is sitting in a booth somewhere.... oh... that could be funny.... add track laughing NOW! Oh, and it's best to have a catchy theme song to start out the show, one preferably by a famous musician.

I can only imagine what it's like to be a comedy sketch writer and being stuck in a room with some really funny people coming up with skit after skit to end up writing about nothing. The good thing about living your life like a sitcom, is that you resolve any and all issues within 21 minutes. I personally don't do anything funny, but I have neighbors and co-workers and friends whose lives are completly and utterly un- predictable. Next week, who knows who will be waltzing in your front door, un-announced, of course!

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