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watching a sitcom several times.

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#1 slicer4ever   GDNet+   

Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:23 AM

so, i'd like some validation that i'm not the only person that does this:

i watch tv quite a bit, it's generally sitting on in the background, and sometimes i get interested, sometimes not. I generally like to watch sitcoms because they don't require much attention to understand what's going on, and and pretty good filler in the background.

however, lately i've noticed that certain shows are becoming annoying as hell when watched a few times, for most shows it's generally only after seeing most of the show once that on second/third time around i start hating it.)i've seen all of friends at least twice now, and i enjoyed it the first time watching an episode, but on second, or third viewing you start to realize the shear dickishness of some characters(ross being a prime example imo.). everybody loves Raymond(ELR) being another(seriously ray is pretty much the most selfish person I've ever seen).

i realize that a sitcom's whole idea is to put characters into wacky situations, but i'm really finding it a tough time to watch such shows more than once, since i soon realize the asshole, or annoying tendancy's of certain characters is the only reason things actually happen, it's like producers said lets make the worse asshole possible, and then justify their actions, and get a good laugh out of it.

And i think that's what i hate about these type of shows the most, that other people in the show actually try to justify someone's action, or don't really get angry at them(such as ELR), whereas a show like Seinfeld pretty much bills it's main cast as being assholes,

I don't know, i'm rambling on a bit much, but i was curious if anyone else can enjoy something a few times, only to slowly hate it more and more.
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#2 L. Spiro   Members   

Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:45 AM

I think you are defeating the whole purpose in your methodology. I never watched TV as a child and have for the last 2 years been correcting that by downloading old shows that I missed.
The obvious question to me is why are you watching them multiple times?
I used to walk by the TV on my way to get a snack and saw some parts of Everybody Loves Raymond—my step-dad’s most beloved show. I laughed when I caught enough of the joke and thought the show was probably funny overall, but I never considered watching any of it a second time.
Why would I? Why would you?

My reply seems to defeat the purpose of your question but then again watching those sitcoms multiple times defeats the purpose in watching them at all.
I tend to feel they are simply defined as a “watch once and forget” experience. I love The Simpsons and hate re-runs. There are only a few episodes I would be willing to watch a second time.

Basically, sitcoms are designed around the premise that you will just watch them once, laugh, and move on. Watching them multiple times reveals their flaws and defeats their purpose.

L. Spiro

Edited by L. Spiro, 16 December 2012 - 04:34 PM.

#3 slicer4ever   GDNet+   

Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:53 AM

true enough L., it's not that i intend to watch them multiple times, it just happens to be really the only thing i like to throw on as background noise when i'm working on things, it just happens to be pretty much the same shows over and over, that eventually i've seen every episode at least once, most twice, and a number of them 3 or more times.
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#4 LennyLen   GDNet+   

Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:11 AM

Watch M*A*S*H. It's comedy that can be enjoyed over and over again.

#5 MrDaaark   Members   

Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:20 AM

You've just described some common tropes. That's how all types of fiction work. Sitcom type comedy doesn't work without the sitcom type formula. Usually one rational person (the Straight man), who solves everything caused by the surrounding idiots in the group.

Even if some go to great lengths to mask this stuff, it's always there. Just like every other genre.

Every movie has the same basic story structure, even to the point where they have the entire structure of the story set up in the first 20 minutes. The rest of the movie is just setting up everything that will need to be resolved in the last 20 minutes.

Every episode of a crime procedural is the same. The exact same points of every story happen right down to the same minute.

In most movies, everything bad that happens is the fault of the protagonist being incompetent, gullible, or lazy in some way.
--Everything that happens in LOTR is the fault of Bilbo and Gandalf.
--Everything bad that happens in BttF is the fault of Doc Brown for screwing over those Libyan terrorists with a fake bomb made out of used pinball machine parts to get the plutonium he needed for his time machine.
--Batman's characters have gotten genre savvy to the point they all universally acknowledge that Batman is at fault for everything the Joker does because he refuses to kill him, with even Jim Gordon telling him the GCPD would look the other way. Even to the point where they offer to do the job for him, and ask him to just not save him.

Characters often die or leave right after they learn whatever lesson they needed to learn, overcome a weakness, or otherwise serve whatever purpose they were there to serve.

If you take the structure away from these things, there is nothing left. You have what is called a 'random events plot', which is just a list of things that happened. No matter what you are watching, you are watching the same things over and over again. Who cares? It's fun. It's just entertainment, no need to look so deep into it. :)

#6 shadowomf   Members   


Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:12 PM

I only watched them again when I was really bored. But never enjoyed them as much as the first time.
But it can be fun to watch old episodes from a show you enjoyed a few years ago. But watching a hole season of a sitcom again is not something I would enjoy.

However nowadays I don't have a TV in my room. On purpose.
When I was younger I often had the TV on while sitting at my computer. Watching a moment, while a game is loading or when I took a pause from programming and so on...

But it's distracting, unnecessary noise and cost energy (= money). Besides most of the time there is nothing worth watching.
When I do want some distraction nowadays, I prefer music, you can interrupt it anytime without missing any story. And it's not as distracting as TV.

#7 Koobazaur   Members   

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:41 PM

Slicer I've actually been doing the same thing lately especially when doing non intensive tasks like checking my email or doing some web design layout concepts. Keep two browser windows open one with work one with a non demanding show

I'm also on with Daaark and why I've had hard time following many shows - they just tend to be too formulaic and after you watch a few episodes you kind of figure exactly how they will play out. That's why I stopped with House or Star Trek because each episode is exactly the same when you think about it. Just the premise and villain changes.

Then shows like lost or battle star galactica on the other hand follow a more linear story where new things happen each time and the story is actually moving forward than in circles.

EDIT: ok so technically both house and Star Trek do have some developing backstory but its just that a backstory. I find it hard to sit through 45 of formulaic stuff that happens the same way each episode just to see 5 minutes of new stuff
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#8 slicer4ever   GDNet+   

Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:19 PM

it's not that i don't disagree with shows being pretty much down to a science for most tropes they encode. it's not so much that which gets me(or maybe it is, and i'm just generalizing those tropes to the point of hating them now). it's that the portrayal of those characters doing/saying things that are now cringe worthy imo. I think the reason i hate these shows now is because i soon realize that the consequences/implications of what the people say is just astounding at how bad of a person they really are, and i think the worse part is that many times, these are things that would generally cause divorces, or serious jail time, yet they are suppose to be taken as light-hearted jokes/shenanigans to the viewer.
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#9 samoth   Members   

Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:52 AM

At night, before going to sleep, I'm re-watching old, known episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" on DVD, in French. Sometimes I re-watch the same episode immediately after.

Not only is this a great way to learn verlan, but you also learn about 3145 different ways of using important idioms signifying things such as "fuck", "hook up", "look at that bitch", or "get laid" or another one of Barney's many abominations.

It was never that much fun in school.

#10 BCullis   Members   

Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:15 AM

Whenever I want to make background noise I put on Firefly/Farscape/Stargate. I can't stand most sitcoms. Mostly for the trope nature. I know sci-fi has its own tropes and/or just spins the common fairytale scheme. Chalk it up to personal preference I guess, I'm happy to watch SG1 try to repair their gate for the 14th time but won't sit through 30 minutes of sitcom.

I do think you're breaking the model of the intended viewer though, which is the source of your frustration. Follow the story through once, and then find another story. The magic of a stage act quickly fades if you follow it around watching them perform the same act "new" for everyone over and over again.

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#11 JonathanJ1990   Members   


Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:05 AM

certain ones i can watch forever like Arrested Development, I have watched all 3 seasons 3 times in a row and i plan to do it again soon . then there are those like the walking dead which i love watching the episodes the first time i am completely drawn in and excited about the subject material and characters , however watching it again  I focus less on the plot and what's actually occurring on -screen and my critical eye comes out and evaluates the craftsmanship about it and all of a sudden cool effects i loved the first time around seem kind of corny . So generally i try to stay away from repeatedly watching episodes of a show  unless i've taken a long , one year or greater , break from it .

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