Sitcoms aren’t always about laughing

Yep, you read them right. Sitcoms aren’t all about laughing.

(Even though some of them have a fake laughing sound effect, I know).

Unnecessary disclaimer: I know my profile says, “I turn my contemplation into writing, sometimes”, but this one is that other time where I didn’t turn them into writing so I write about other things instead. Hehehehe.

I have watched sitcoms for about two years now. At first, I watched them as a coping mechanism for this pandemic. I mean, they’re good for your mental state, you know, rather than being exposed to too much news about this devastating pandemic.

Watching movies and TV series has always been a hobby to me. I used to watch a lot of them during my college years. Every time I feel too lazy or tired to go anywhere on weekends, I just stay in my dorm room, grab some snacks, and watch. I used to watch fiction or fantasy TV series back then. Name it: Game of Thrones (ah those tiring eight seasons with a meh season finale), Black Mirror (man, I love this one to death), Breaking Bad, Stranger Things, et cetera. But as I stated earlier, I need a coping mechanism, an escape in this devastating state of the pandemic. I need something to laugh off and something that can make me relax, so I left my (used to) favorite genres and changed it to slice of life.

Here, I will try to tell you my story, or more likely my opinion, of some of the sitcoms I have watched these past 2 years. I’ll try to tell you what I love about them too.

Friends

The first episode of Friends. Cr: https://screenrant.com/

Friends is the very first sitcom I’ve ever watched in my whole life. I always knew them actually, but I haven’t watched until this pandemic trapped us inside our homes, got us confused about what we should do to stay sane and entertained.

Friends is about a friendship (yea, duh, the title already tell it all) of three women and three men: Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Ross, and Chandler. I know this sitcom always have their haters that said, “The show is nothing but the fake laughing audience, ‘hahahaha’”, or else. But regardless of what they’re saying about Friends, what I love most about this sitcom is how they really showed me the reality of adulthood that isn’t always rainbows or butterflies, not always good days and good luck. And every character has their own struggles and life lessons I can learn.

I might still be in my early 20s, while Friends tells the story of life in the late 20s, but I can quite relate to some of the points of the stories. How life will always give you something unexpected, good or bad. How as we grow older it does not only the number increase as we age but also the burden of other people’s expectations on us. How we must learn to manage ourselves to remain adaptable to the ever-changing twists and turns of life.

I remember how I used to hate Rachel so much at the beginning of the series (sorry). A privileged kid that knows nothing about life but carelessly spending money. But as she grows older, she matures. She started to work hard for what she wants in life. From a waiter at Central Perk to an executive at Ralph Lauren, she really showed me the importance of working hard, and sometimes, you have to sacrifice your wants to achieve your big dreams.

And the reunion… Ah, such a tear of joy!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Nine-Nine! Cr: https://scuffedentertainment.com/

Ah, I love this one too! It’s pure of joy and laughter when I watch them. In my opinion, B99 is the funniest one among all the other sitcoms I’ve ever watched.

What I love most about B99 is… their jokes and funny storyline. They showed us how it’s like to work in a police department, except with a rigid-don’t know how to laugh even smile-boss, a life partner who’s also a detective partner, and other unique co-workers. Furthermore, I love how B99 is often brings up sensitive social issues in their storylines, such as the reality of discrimination based on gender, race, and others. I learn a lot about love, friendship, and family from them. Also, B99 has a lot of very smart but not offensive jokes that I bet we all going to adore.

B99 has a special episode on special occasions, like halloween, thanksgiving, or christmas, just like Friends or any other sitcom out there. But unlike other sitcoms halloween episodes, there must be a “halloween heist” on their every halloween in this 99th Precinct of the NYC Police Department which makes them very special!

The Office

The Office. But HEEEY where’s Kelly?! Cr: https://www.grazia.co.in/

I don’t know for sure why I include this on my list, but there’s something about The Office that couldn’t stop me from keep watching them! (Even though I couldn’t stand with Michael, really). I guess I’m trying to stay because I love PB&J (IYKYK hahahaha).

The Office shares the same background with B99. Both are all about work, coworkers, and maybe projects. But The Office is more about a work in an office environment, while B99 is in a police environment. I know their story is fiction and perhaps too exaggerating things, but this sitcom lets me know how it’s like to be in a work environment where you’re going to meet a lot of people with diversity, with different backgrounds, points of view, values, and work ethics.

And in case you ever have to work in such an environment, you need to learn how to be Jim: be adaptable, honest and assertive, but still pay for respect for others. But remember, no matter how hardworking and loyal you are to the company, always remember how to be Stanley: be a loving family man (who loves pretzel too).

Other Sitcoms

Those are the top three in my sitcom lists that I have watched so far. Far as I knew, two of them, Friends and The Office are very known as the most-watched sitcoms. I’m not sure about that but I think people should give them a try too.

The rest of the most memorable sitcoms on my list is:

  1. Kim’s Convenience

Kim’s Convenience is about a Korean-American family who owns a convenience store in Toronto, Canada. The sitcom really show us the reality of being an Asian family (that I bet we all can relate to, more or less) who live outside their home country.

I learn a lot of lessons from Kim’s Convenience, especially about love and family. That parents often sacrifice their lives and everything they have for their children that oftentimes can’t be seen or even mistaken as rude by their children. That every family must have its own problems and struggles, but the most important thing is how to overcome and make peace with these problems in order to achieve the goals. That once a family is always a family: blood is always thicker than water.

2. The Good Place

The Good Place is a sitcom about the good place: a place where people go after they die, but only if they have enough good deeds while they’re lived in the world. The sitcom doesn’t use the terms “heaven” or “hell” as we are all familiar with when it came to the afterlife. The good place is fulfilled with everything great and everything you want, and it should be a nice and comfortable place, except if you are a bad person who should go to the bad place but goes to the good place by mistake.

There is some twist in this sitcom that I obviously can’t tell here (or it would be a spoiler then). I’m still watching this sitcom but I already learned a lot. No it’s not about the concept of “the good place” or “the bad place” this sitcom tells us because they are fiction and we all have our own concept, it’s about how every deed we have done in the world will find its way back to us, whether to help or destroy us, in life or the afterlife.

There’s also one character in The Good Place name Tahani Al-Jamil and her life story that really woke me up, and became one of the reasons why I write my previous story.

Actually, I’ve watched more than those five sitcoms I’ve mentioned above in my whole life. I’ve watched How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, So Not Worth It, and others, but none of them can beat those five. They are my most favorite and memorable sitcoms I’ve watched so far.

Also please note I still have a lot of sitcoms that I haven’t watched yet. Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Parks and Recreation, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Schitt’s Creek, …and the list goes on. So the list above can be changed in the future, but never mind, I don’t think I would edit this story too.

And maybe, even when the pandemic is over one day, I still choose to continue watching sitcoms — let’s have a burst of good laughter, at least one per day! (Or per week, depends on the schedule).

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