I’ve discovered, and I’m sure you have too, that there exists, what I’ve coined, a Sitcom Threshold Phenomenon – there is a precise amount of TV shows that you can keep up with on a weekly basis. This number varies, greatly, depending on the viewer’s situation. I can keep up with a rather lot because I don’t have children, I barely clean my apartment, and I tend to put off doing groceries of any kind for a very long time. In short, I’m young. But even I’ve got stuff going on – I do have friends you know, as well as a gym pass and a dance studio to go to – so, I’ve found I can keep up with six shows – though two only run in the summer: New Girl, Mindy Project, Community, Men at Work, Melissa and Joey (don’t judge) and the Mentalist (not a sitcom, but still great TV).
I wish I could keep up with The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Suburgatory, Cougar Town (sad), Last Man Standing (oh Tim Allen), Murdoch Mysteries (yes, it’s true), and the newly created and cancelled How to Live with Your Parents which was actually kinda humours, if not quite short lived. The Sitcom Threshold Phenomenon only occurs in those glorious sitcom heydays (of which we’re experiencing right now, like we did in the 90s with Friends and Seinfeld and everything else on TV at that time) where so much good TV exists that you simply can’t find the time to watch it all.
My friend Nicole had been urging me to watch Parks and Recreation for some time, but I just couldn’t squeeze it in. She maintained that I didn’t know what I was missing, and damn, she was right. She lent it to Hil, I borrowed it and I love my life. At first it was funny. And then I got to season three with Rob Lowe and I just die every time. I watch it and I can’t help but cackle out loud, every single time he talks. He overuses “literally” like no one else and his outrageous positivity makes my life. I’m simply going to have to bump up my threshold because I just die. I die.
The good news is there is a solution of sorts to the Sitcom Threshold Phenomenon: seasons on DVD. You pick a show you’ve always wanted to watch but have never gotten around to doing, you block off some time, preferably in the summer when most of your sitcoms end, and you settle in to watch all the seasons. Book your vacation time now, folks, there’s TV to be watched!