It’s pretty hard to get me to watch television comedies. That’s mainly because the vast majority of them are crap. I really, really can’t stand formula sit-coms with annoyingly predictable misunderstandings moving the plot. And damn, I hate laugh tracks. If you have to tell me when something is supposed to be funny it probably isn’t.
With that in mind, I have to say I’m really impressed with a new generation of shows that take a different tact and are funny because they aren’t formulaic or, well, stupid. I think Scrubs kicked this off a few years ago and now we also have The Office and My Name is Earl. All three shows are on Thursday’s on NBC, by the way.
My Name is Earl may be the best of the bunch. The casting in this show is perfect. Jason Lee’s (Earl) narration of each episode is as funny as anything else going on in the show. Ethan Suplee (Randy, Earl’s brother and partner in, ummm, not-crime) and Jaime Pressly (Joy, Earl’s ex) make me laugh about every time they open their mouths.
I’m not sure how long MNiE is going to be able to keep it fresh but for now it’s one of the best things going on TV. Scrubs was hanging in there at the end of last season (this season’s premier is this week) but I think it’s getting a little stale even if still worth watching. We’ll see how the new season goes. Meanwhile, The Office is looking promising again this season, especially with the addition of Ed Helms to the cast.