One of the greatest injustices of the past millennia was the mishandling and subsequent cancellation of Arrested Development. That statement is ridiculously hyperbolic, but as a (stupid) man of principle, I’m just going to go ahead and stand by it. Fox played musical chairs with the show’s timeslot—including at one point putting it up against Monday Night Football—and AD was never able to gain a foothold and find an audience. Well Arrested Development fans, your prayers have been answered! Assuming your daily prayer routine involved doing the chicken dance and screaming “There’s money in the banana stand” to the heavens, all while clutching Arrested Development and Teen Wolf Too DVDs (Jason Bateman’s true Magnum Opus).
Despite my rugged handsomeness, I don’t have many loves in my life. Maybe my manliness intimidates women, or maybe they’re mistaking my “rugged handsomeness” for “misshapen ugliness”. The point is– other than my immediate family and some close friends– the only constant love I’ve had in my life is The Simpsons. I’m strangely comfortable with this. 78% of my language is cobbled together using Simpsons references (the other 22% is recreating the Sanford & Son theme using mouth noises and under-seen Mr. Show sketches). My lifelong dream will always involve writing for The Simpsons. I would even settle for sitting in the writers room in quiet awe while they dictate their lunch orders to me. So you would have to believe the front of my pants would tighten when a friend sent me a link to the most beautiful story ever written. Was it the Bible? Everybody poops? Breakfast of Champions? Carrot Top’s Junk in the Trunk? Katherine Hepburn’s Me?
Community is essentially the only reason Channel 4 exists on my television. I guess this is also true for 714, Channel 4’s beautiful, (albeit a little slutty) high definition sister. It is the only show I make a point of watching during its intended timeslot. The reason is simple, it makes me happy. Pathetic? Maybe, but it’s the most well rounded show on TV today. It carries the torch lit by early seasons of The Simpsons. It is a show that can be both zany and grounded in the same scene, with three dimensional characters, not just joke machines spewing set-ups and punch lines at an alarming rate. Unafraid to take risks and try new ways to tell stories (covering un-treaded ground, who knew that an episode where the characters sit in a room and play dungeons and dragons could be so epic?), Community avoids spiralling into the formulaic, something that bogs down essentially every other show on network television.
Like many kids born in the 80’s, I have always wanted to hit Dave Coulier in the genitals with a baseball bat. It’s nothing personal. For all I know, Dave Coulier is a class act. A man of honour and substance. None of this is relevant. His character Joey Gladstone: the basement dwelling, (probably) pedophile uncle, always seemed creepy to me. Using his cartoon impressions to lure unsuspecting kids down to his dungeon (is it taking it too far to call it a sex dungeon?). Even just kicking him right in the “woodchuck” seems satisfying to me (equally satisfying: hitting Kimmy Gibbler with a series of cars).
Well (clearly psychotic) people like me can have their wish, a street fighter-esque game featuring the cast of Full House. That’s right, Full House: Tournament Fighter. If this was out I’d buy it in a heartbeat. I would trade in everything I own, including my kidneys and three of my original teeth. I would sell the rights to my life story to Michael Bay (it would be a 90 minute movie about a person writing or watching TV with needless and unexplained explosions). Anything to get a crack at Uncle Joey, or to at least use the dog to maul one of the Olsen twins.
I’d like to think that I’m not a horrible person. That I’m a gregarious young man, brimming with wit and an altruistic personality. Truth is, I’m probably a pretty big jerk. With the personality of a selfish, borderline sociopath. How else could you explain that the television show that matches my comedic sensibilities is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? The characters are selfish, deplorable and greedy. They are also funny. In celebration their return (the front of my pants is tightening just thinking about it), I present to you…Rob McElhenny’s anti-smoking commercial. This is one of those commercials that you vaguely remember, especially since the kid is the personification of “too cool for school”. Well that kid was Mac, so no doubt he was too cool for school or at least was the ultimate cooler.
Remember when TLC actually stood for “The Learning Channel”? No? Well neither do I, but now it’s television’s home to: grotesquely large families, midgets, and grotesquely large midget families. The crown jewel of crap is Toddlers and Tiaras. A place where parents force their children into sick and degrading beauty pageants in order to live out their failed dreams of glory. The kids are glorified dolls: dressed, slathered in make-up and forced to mince in front of a panel of judges. Recently they decided to jettison the veneer of a “Beauty pageant” and decided they wanted the little angels to become prostitutes now, instead of 20 years down the road (the obvious progression for a failed beauty queen I suppose).
With the leaves starting to wither, brown and eventually commit ritual suicide by leaping out the of trees en masse, we are made painfully aware that the summer is ending and we will soon be bombarded with cold weather (at least up here in the fabled Canadas).
While we are caught in the deep freeze, we can take comfort in the idea that with the changing of seasons, television cuts loose its B squad and decides to field its starting line-up (although most of said starting line-up still sucks pretty bad, and couldn’t even find work on the Maple Leafs 3rd forward line).
Soon I will be releasing an article “Reasons to live this fall”, chronicling what shows you should lend a glazed over stare to (wow that sounds so negative, I need a caffiene injection of some sort). Until then, enjoy this montage of Troy and Abed from Community, the best comedy on network TV.