Monday, September 24, 2007

Laughing Matters

Slate has an interesting piece up about sitcoms and the laugh track. Contained within is this line:

For the past few seasons, the most talked-about television comedies—The Office, 30 Rock, My Name Is Earl, Curb Your Enthusiasm—have looked and sounded more like films than sitcoms.

It just so happens that the shows listed in the quote constitute an almost complete list of my television watching schedule. It also happens that Three and a Half Men has a pronounced laugh track, and despite its status as one of TV's top rated comedies, couldn't entice me to watch another episode if it featured the second-coming.

What does this mean? Does it mean that I have a knee-jerk reaction against laugh tracks? Does it mean that the shows without laugh tracks have writers who work harder because they don't have built in laughs? Is the problem that I am too easily distracted by 100 strangers laughing in my living room? Is it an age thing? Are there laugh track and non-laugh track people in the world?

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