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Tuesday, November 15   >>


Cell phones might have ruined the sitcom, thus giving me another reason to resent cell phones.

I was at a friend's house the other day watching Seinfeld on DVD. It was the Chinese restaurant episode, where George had to make an urgent phone call. That episode, to me, is a milestone in TV. It's too funny for words. Had the cell phone been common at the time, the episode would have never been made.

Why? Because George was impatiently waiting for someone to finish with the in-restaurant pay phone. Had he a cell phone, he would have been able to make that urgent call.

Cell phone = the elimination of minute conflict.

Same with Full House. I remember watching an old episode of Full House a couple months back where Gibler (remember Gibler? Obnoxious neighbor?) learned to drive. She took the Tanner girls on a drive, and for some stupid reason, they had locked themselves out of the car.

The girls started freaking out because they were miles away from home. They had no phone. There was the conflict. There was a void of communication. They would have to endure the humiliation of asking nearby residents to use their phone because they, the girls, were too immature in handling a car.

Cell phone = the elimination of minute conflict.

Sitcoms are all about minute conflict, which is why there's a conflict in the beginning, and 22 minutes later, it is resolved. That's why it is called the Situation Comedy.

These situations are usually meant to be trivial and rarely ever life changing. With the super freaking fast progression of technology nowadays, minor inconveniences are no longer tiny anchors to our lives.

Could this be why the sitcom has sucked so much in recent years? Has recent technology really ruined the quality of the point-A-to-point-B sitcom?

Sounds like a bit of a stretch, but I think I'm onto something.