Life lessons or raw jokes?

Sitcoms have changed over the generations. It used to be innocent and it has now turned into ridiculous, crude and raw laughter.

By Ashley Couillard

Full House, like many family sitcoms in the 80’s, was a vessel for life lessons and wholesome fun, unlike today’s TV, which is constructed for pure entertainment only.

Back in the day, watching sitcoms meant sitting down with your family for about a half hour, watching and laughing at what was playing on the television. Then, it would end off with a life lesson or a moral. Each episode was geared towards giving a meaningful message. Before television desensitized us, TV shows were only created to send out a message, and they used entertainment to portray that. 

When we used to watch shows like Full House, Boy Meets World, Saved by the Bell and Three’s Company, we were only about five years old, and everything that played was full of innocent laughter and it would be something we’d all look forward to watching when we got home from kindergarten or grade school. We would sit down and laugh at the simple but funny jokes. Nowadays if we put a five year old in front of today’s sitcoms such as Two and a Half Men, they wouldn’t laugh at any of the ridiculous jokes nor would they understand the context. Nonetheless, they will continue to watch the show, just out of curiosity and will probably remember scenes that seem interesting to them such as a sex scene, simply because they have no clue what is going on. How are we supposed to explain to little kids what is going on at that precise moment? Are today’s sitcoms appropriate for the new generation?

All the TV shows have become cruder, rawer, and more for entertainment purposes rather than giving a message. Since a lot of the TV shows are now geared towards entertainment, they’ve let go of giving out morals to kids and therefore have slacked off on really decent comedy. Entertainment is comedy, however it isn’t the real comedy that was created long ago. Today’s entertainment has to include death, sex or parties for it to be funny.

Shows such as CSI Miami and Criminal Minds are examples of more recent shows being broadcasted, which have desensitized us. People are interested and enjoy watching the thrill of mystery, suspicion and crime. Watching people die has become entertainment to us, we don’t react the way we normally would if we saw someone die in front of us, we’ve become so used to watching it on TV, that it has become a norm. Other shows such as One Tree Hill are about watching ordinary teenagers live their lives the same way we do everyday, including all the drama that goes on. There is no intended message being shown through the new generation of TV.

Sitcom shows are no longer something a family can watch together. It is no longer a TV show with a purpose, nor is it a show for all ages, where a five-year-old will understand what is being shown, it is rather a show created for an older audience who purely loves to watch TV for entertainment and who loves raw and crude laughter.

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