Of Sitcoms– ‘For Good Mental Health’

Yep, as some of you must have guessed – I was watching Frasier when the thought for this post came along. For 10 funny years Dr. Crane and the lot kept us entertained while he told Seattle ‘I am listening’ and wished them ‘Good mental health’. Sitcoms are one of the best antidotes for escaping from reality. Whenever you are down you can just pop in a good old sitcom DVD and watch episodes and enter a world of comfort and familiarity where you know in the end something good and happy will happen. It’s been one of my constant escapes.

Short for Situation Comedy, Sitcoms are essentially a comedic drama with characters and developing storylines which may be short term, episode based or long arc multiple episode continuously evolving. It is the perfect recipe – happiness, love, laughter and emotion, all in just about the right quantity to leave you with a smile on your face at the end.

Each one of the shows that I have followed over the years have provided me with a different value. I mean yes generally they are all the same comedic drama types – but each show has a different value. Specifically if I classify them as the long arc evolving story and short term single episode story then definitely they have different values – at least to me. The short term single episode resolution based shows like the show about nothing i.e. ‘Seinfeld’ or ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ or ‘Home Improvement’ are more of just pop in some entertainment sort of shows. Yea they are good for a good laugh and taking your mind off things as well but for me really when it comes to wanting an escape then I would rather pop in something which will offer all 4 elements – love, laughter, happiness and emotion. That emotion bit is actually the catch really. I mean because in the end everything generally works out and during the show I can feel so engrossed and at times relate the story to myself as well I think that’s why those appeal much more to me. When it comes to these I would think more along the lines of ‘Friends’ or ‘Frasier’ or the first 6 seasons of ‘Scrubs’ (I just think the show just went realllly downhill after the 6th season). And from current programs I would say ‘How I met your mother’ definitely tops the bill to be alongside those. I would just like to mention some of my favorites a little more in detail.

Seinfeld (1989 – 1998) ran for 9 seasons and delivered the genius concept of a show about nothing. There was no emotional value attached to this whatsoever. Pure, mind boggling laughter. Kramer was by far the best character followed a close second by George. The whack job and the loser. Hilarious show. Jerry himself was I think not as funny as those two. In fact in many episodes he himself was often the weakest link. But overall … mindless laughter.

Then came the 90’s and really for me an era of some of the best Sitcoms that we … well at least I have ever seen. Of them the 3 I particularly enjoyed the most were ‘Friends’ , ‘Frasier’ and ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’. There were a couple of others as well which I think should get a mention: ‘That 70’s Show’ and ‘Home Improvement’.

‘Friends’ (1994-2003, 10 Seasons) by far for me one of the best shows ever and I think really an all time favorite when it comes to Sitcoms. I have done a ‘Friends’ marathon for all 10 seasons so many times that it is just ..well I guess weird for some people. All 6 characters were hilarious and brought something to the show in their own right. No weak links here. I have laughed at all the scenes, felt emotional bumps for all the turning points and felt happy at all the special moments each and every time I have watched this show. I used to relate myself to the characters and their storylines quite a lot. I was mostly going through the same things as ‘Chandler’ or ‘Ross’ (Well chandler mostly because some of my friends used to think that I used to talk and act just like Chandler and Ross …well … because of the history). I was literally sad the first time I saw the final episode of the series. Loved the music in the end scene (Embryonic Journey).

From the modern day Sitcoms the ones that I have liked are ‘Scrubs’ (till season 6), ‘How I Met Your Mother’, ‘Two and Half Men’ and ‘Big Bang Theory’. Post 2000 Sitcoms really don’t have that long a list of likes from my end. The above three are the ones that I have or am watching regularly. As regularly as the ones from the 90’s that I used to watch. But the ones from the 90’s still triumph over the current ones. HIMYM thou has the potential to join that list in my books. The story line seems to have that almost perfect blend and Barney Stinson is actually Legen-wait for it-DARY!

Anyway .. the point of the blog wasn’t to analyze the various sitcoms but to actually acknowledge the wonders that Sitcoms can do for a person. I mean I am not saying its magic or some sort of hi tech aging cream or anything of that sort. But honestly speaking it is a really good way to escape and give one comfort especially when it gets hard dealing with all the stuff happening in real life. We live in a world and time and age where we as humans more often than not love making things more and more complicated for ourselves. Especially those who also over analyze and over think everything to it’s death. And then some. I mentioned it in a previous blog as well that really … Sitcoms for me are in a sense ‘Comfort Food’. I know if I put on Friends, Scrubs or Frasier  I would simply lose all my worries and let myself be engrossed in the warmth of the fictional characters stories.

Here’s to the very first advent of Sitcoms – may the name of the man who came up with them live long and prosper!



    • It’s all about Sitcom therapy. Actually suggested sitcom therapy to a friend with the specific sitcom – helped him get through his stuff more easily.

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