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What keeps people laughing?

Nurse Jackie poster

Written by : published Saturday 4th December 2010

What keeps people laughing? main image

Honorable Mention: Parks and Recreation

This show has more fans than ratings, and will do better next year.


10. Curb Your Enthusiasm


This comedy came of age in 2000, and marked a turning point in television comedy to the dark side. Larry David continues to mines fans and viewers from this legacy HBO comedy series. David produced the highly popular "Seinfeld" TV show for years. The main feature of this comedy is how snarky grumpy, cheap and argumentative the highly Jewish character David plays (himself) is in various situations.


9. Nurse Jackie


Nurse Jackie Image

Edie Falco nabbed this year's Emmy for lead actress for the ongoing saga of a drug-involved nurse. The pathology of pharmaceutical addiction serves a nurse a constant reality check that her everyday traumas are never ending. Jackie Peyton battles to complete the same day as every other nurse, albeit with a little help and a lot of problems. Nurse Jackie integrates the seriousness of medical situations with the practical necessity nurses have of dealing with life. The nursing challenges Jackie faces are distasteful but necessary, and the emotional toll is not without its cost.

8. The Office

Steve Carell and company make funny at the longest running comedy currently on the NBC roster. The Office started out showing a ridiculous boss Michael (Carell) and his henchman Dwight against the real talent at Parker Mifflin paper company. The Office was adapted from its Randy Gervais UK original TV show. Fistfuls of nominations flood the inboxes of the show, but after seven seasons it may be time to call it a day.

Big web presence (like 30 Rock) makes online viewing fun and augmented with extras. Jenna Fischer (Pam) the receptionist marrying Jim Krazynski (Jim), and her getting promoted and pregnant on the show have coincided with falling ratings from the number one TV comedy of past years.But years of watching Jim and Jenna fight the Man have gotten old. Ryan the temp and Toby the job stealer are wonderful to watch, but Carell's movie career has suffered.

7.  The Big Bang Theory


The Big Bang Theory

This show is for those that don;t mind watching TV with faces they don;t recognize. The humor is offbeat, fast paced, and dark tones, sometimes buying into the slacker underdog as mainstream consumer. Started in 2007, BBT concerns those on the dark side of light-hearted nerdiness. Leonard and Sheldon are two California Technical College physicists who isolation is sad and comic, but mostly comic when contrasted against what their neighbor Penny has to say.


6. Modern Family


Modern Family Image

The modern family occurs in many ways, as the changing map of ethnic and gender roles jumble in family life every which way. Modern Family shows how neighbors, friends, and family can laugh at their foibles in the context of laughing louder at the next guy's. Ed O'Neil (from Married with Children) shares a home and family with superhot Sofia Vergara, and Julie Bowen and her husband Ty Burrell are "normal" with laughable complexities and fears. Mitchell and Cameron, the two gay men whose "steretypical" stability is variable as the day is long, completes the piece.


5. Parenthood

The show everybody in America has come to love, Parenthood slaps the modern tropes of family living around every week. The Bravermans extended family is the focus of this up one minute down the next fast-paced comedy. The Braverman children, Adam, Sarah, Crosby, and Julia reflect the choices and decisions Zeke and Camille have made in different ways. Parenthood is a snapshot of how these inter-related families exist now, but as families everywhere identify with, time changes all things.

4. Glee

Glee is the slushy-fest n the face of expectations of a 1940's and 1940's school about high schoolers. Sure, the kids sing in the Glee club and play on the football team, but today's world demands being able to tweet under pressure and sing on every high note. Talent like Lea Michele and Matthew Morrisson takes a snarky look at teenagers and cynical low notes of young adulthood. Great singing and dancing numbers are included in every show set in the context of the high school dramas every week provides.

Glee is the show everyone from Carol Burnett to Gwyneth Paltrow is doing this season, and the Billboard top 50 hottest songs are full of the Glee cast's reworkings of great songs. The glee coach is Will Schue, a substitute Spanish teacher whose marriage cracked up in Season 1. His wishful thinking romance with the school's guidance counselor may or may not evolve in a positive direction. Fox has clever writers and stunning talent, as Jane Lynch playing Sue Sylvestre proved by winning the latest Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series.

3. Two and a Half Men


Two and a Helf Men Image

These two bachelors, the Harper Brothers, keep bringing in audiences, despite the high profile lifestyle issues of Charlie Sheen. The playboy brother, cunningly named Charlie, is an advertising jingle writer who is the typical ladie's man. Alan is the anal obsessive who charts his every mistake and freewheeling thought. Alan's son Jake gets a mixed impression of what the basic elements of life are about. Men who wish they lived like Charlie adore this show and watch it in planetary volume.

The show has been accused of jumping the shark, and this, together with Sheen's penchant for getting busted and violating his schedule with busts outside every luxury hotel, may signal the end of the run. The mother is wittily played by a woman they both hate, and the TV show cleaning woman rounds out this comedic tour de force. The woman stalking the men from next adds to the hilarity. One of the most watches shows on television, the shtick may finally be running out.

2. How I Met Your Mother


How I Met Your Mother

Who knew the kid from  Doogie Hauser would be such a starmaking trip? HIMYM started out as a segue of backward glance moments about how the mom and dad formation wasn't quite as idyllic or as planned as possible. Hanging-over-the-windsill college roommates form up the weekly situation. The hip show full of strange-go-lucky young married and singles going over the not so idyllic or stereotypical years of their parenting and marriage making has risen from its earlier days. Cameos reflect the hipness of this show.

Started in 2005, this show hooked into a niche of mid twenties demographic who got the jokes but felt like a TV comedy should star people they might actually know. Bob Saget narrates a show where Neil Patrick Harris has almost stolen it. Innovative writing matched with razor sharp timing make any episode, funny, witty, and water-cooler conversation.The frame of the show is how Saget's narrator 'remembers" events in 2030, in the "past".

1. 30 Rock


30 Rock Image

Comedy thy name is Tina Fey. The folks at the show on NBC now love Liz Lemon but only when she tries to buy their friendship.  This is a show-about-a-show, launched at the same time as NBC's "The Sunset Strip". But Jack Donaghy wants to be Jack Welch, and the show pokes fun at the real-life corporate shenanigans at NBC in the middle of episodes. Liz Lemon is the nerdy but brainy showrunner of a zany comedy show so erratic it can barely stay together. Jack McBrayer is endlessly entertaining as the atypical NBC page in a blue suit who hails from the Appalachian mountains of somewhere, references of which pepper the show at hilarious moments.

The 30 Rock name is the building in New York City where the shows is created and filmed, like the " Saturday Night Live" show where Tina Fey hosted "Weekend Update". Liz Lemon is mentored and mocked by Jack Donaghy, whose corporate slickness and everyday authority throws her into the shadows even more. The writing staff get schooled in pranking, and God only knows what Tracy Jordan is up to. Jack is expecting a baby with Avery and the network as of yet has not been sold to Kablevision. Liz had a quasi-steady relationship with Carol (Matt Damon), and celebrity cameos are the bomb.

About the author thetvking


Hi my name is  Chris Ramsden, I am the creator of TheTVKing. I don't write that often but every now and again I dust off the keyboard. I tweet as @TheTVKing

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