As many of us twentysomethings have been bemoaning this entire Fall Season, our generation’s across-the-board favorite comedy, The Office, is declining rapidly. Jim and Pam’s wedding episode was one of the funniest episodes the show has ever seen, but it’s perhaps the only episode all season that had me consistently laughing out loud. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not completely dead. I still sit through (most, not all) episodes with a pleasant smile on my face, but few times will I actually laugh out loud.
It takes a lot to make me laugh out loud. So when a show is able to make me do it consistently almost through an entire episode, I find myself shocked and awed. Friends and (admittedly) Everybody Loves Raymond had been the closest I had experienced to this, until The Office came along and blew my every expectation possible for a comedy. The first handful of seasons of that show are, I feel, among the funniest TV has ever seen. But The Office of today is a mere shadow of The Office of yester-season. But not one but two shows have more than made up for this lack of laugh-out-loud-ness this season.
The first comes on right after The Office (or so I hear, I just Hulu everything). It is the new show Community. It follows the story of a successful lawyer who has to go back to community college after his original undergrad degree is shown to be a fake. It’s by the same guys that did Arrested Development. It is so good. Watch the episodes or clips on Hulu. Here’s a great segment from the sixth episode this season. This should hook you. (I’ve also ended this post with the greatest clip the show has had this season, “La Biblioteca“.):
The second show is ABC’s Modern Family. This is in the Mockumentary style, like The Office, but it follows a large extended family. The Grandfather who just married a young, attractive Spanish woman with a ten year old; The Grandfather’s son and his gay partner who just adopted a little Vietnamese girl; and the Grandfather’s daughter and her “typical” American husband and family. Pretty standard storyline for the most part, right? Well this show is so brilliant and smart. I’m almost crying by the end of it. You can watch it on Hulu as well. Here’s a little taste from YouTube. It’s one of those cheezy trailers for a show with really bad elevator music playing in the background that stops before every punchline. I hate embedding one of those, but I couldn’t find a better clip, and this is still funny. Just watch the show:
So those are my two favorite new comedies this season. Watch, laugh, love, and let me know what you think. Finally, as promised, here’s that hilarious final clip form Community. You’re going to love this, I promise: