Laughing Out Loud
A couple weeks ago, I had family visiting and we rented a comedy from the video store. RV. It stares one of the premiere comedians working in film today (Robin Williams) and was billed three times on the cover as being "hilarious." Yet, we watched it in silence. No laughter, no chuckles, not even a giggle. Then we followed it by watching a few episodes of News Radio on DVD and laughed continuously throughout.
This experience just reminded me again of how the quality of television today is often exceeding that of film and comedies are a prime example. It is a very rare movie comedy that is able to achieve the levels of humor and consistent laughter generated by television. I don't know why it is that the relationship of Sam and Diane on Cheers is both more poignant and hilarious than just about any of the generic romantic comedies Hollywood offers up. Two hours of Friends and Seinfeld will make your sides ache far more than sitting in a multiplex watching the latest Adam Sandler movie (and I like Adam Sandler). Even when I watch a relatively bad sitcom (like According to Jim), it is usually guaranteed that I will laugh out loud at least once or twice. Compare that to the countless movie comedies I've seen where I sit bored for two hours.
I haven't figured out the reasons for this, yet, but for whatever reason, comedy writers and actors working in television are putting their movie counterparts to shame.