Outdated Comedy

TV shows like Friends, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and Little Britain come under fire more and more with each passing year: what they got away with comedically even only 10 years ago wouldn’t fly today. Where do we draw the line? Is Friends an inherently ‘bad’ show because of its non-PC jokes and lack of inclusivity, or do we accept that the times have changed? Does the self-referential and inherently satirical tone of IASIP automatically give it a free pass when it comes to black face, or should we be holding it to a higher standard?

  • This is a great topic. I think it's important that we start to consider the historical context of works before we dismiss as bad because they do not miss today's societal standards. Friends for example, while having some problematic jokes is also full of humor and storylines that are still good today so should we dismiss it as a bad show because of the non-PC instances? – TheHunterBishop 2 years ago
  • I think this is an important topic. A work needs to be understood in the context it was produced. It is easy to get lost in anachronism when analizing from the present. It prevents, for instance, the appreciation of the progressive angles the work may have. I think Little Britain is a good example of it because it's sketch conedy and it goes a bit over the top. In the Fatfighters sketch we get to laugh at the unwillingness to integrate foreigners through the character of Meera, who's never understood by the coach even when she speaks clear English. Regarding lack of diversity, Friends is just one among the majority of sitcoms from that era. In short, few things are timeless. – RFusaro 2 years ago
  • Great topic! This is very controversial. Tina Fey recently came under fire because she removed episodes of 30 Rock from streaming platforms that featured characters in blackface. While she was applauded by many, others thought that she should have let the episodes stand as is. Her argument: "I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness." But not all ugly tropes can be erased from television, of course. Should past sitcoms and comedy shows be dismissed because their comedy has aged poorly? – myacolwell 2 years ago

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