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Foreign Television is Weird

So I just deleted Coupling and The Office off my Tivo Season Pass list, because I didn't like either of them.

This, as with many things I do, raises the question of what the heck is wrong with me. Everyone loves Coupling! Except me, because I just sit there watching the show wondering where the funny part is. I stuck with it for three or four episodes, at least until I was able to tell one character from another, but I was never able to tell why any of the characters hung out with each other. In the pilot, half of the characters had never met each other, but I think they were all buddies in the second episode. Or something.

It's hard to tell, because they were too busy trying to coin naughty phrases. Just because Seinfeld invented phrases that entered the cultural lexicon (that's how they talk in Entertainment Weekly!) doesn't mean that every show has to try it, does it? Because the format always looks like this:

OTHER CHARACTER: "You guys talking about [NEW PHRASE]?"
WACKY CHARACTER: "Yeah, but he's never heard of [NEW PHRASE]" OTHER CHARACTER: "You've never heard of [NEW PHRASE]?"
ME: "I wonder what else is on."

It does not matter if the phrase is "the sock gap" or "the zone" or "the giggle loop" or whatever; by the time the characters get around to telling me about the joke, I've lost interest.

It might also have something to do with the fact that watching television characters have a whole bunch of sex makes me bitter.

As far as The Office goes, I guess there's the basis of a good show there, but I don't think I'll watch until they can afford microphones so I can hear the dialogue. Professional cameramen might help, too, because the thing keeps going out of focus every time the camera lurches from one character to another. Oh, and adding one or two characters I don't find loathesome would help. And also, in my sitcoms, I sometimes like to hear a joke or two.

Okay, that sounded a little harsh. And I'm trying to think of something to soften the blow, but I can't, really. I didn't laugh at all while watching The Office, and it was usually a pretty irritating experience.

But, you know, I'm in the minority here. Lots of other people like these shows. They're probably right, too.


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