Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Gosh, I wish it wouldn't suck

The CBC is promoting the hell out of Little Mosque on the Prairie, claiming worldwide media attention, and certainly it's been recieving more than most of the CBC's sitcom clunkers over the years (that is to say, a little). They may be overselling the point, however, since they claim attention from Stephen Colbert, while the No Fact Zone, a regular watcher and documenter of Colbert, can't recall ever seeing anything about it (see near the bottom of the linked page). Perhaps Colbert's attention was attracted, until he realized that there's nothing more likely to encourage death to comedy than an earnest CBC sitcom, unless it's the Air Farce.

(Yes, I know, they've reanimated the corpse of the Air Farce with the sacrifice of some young new talent. But slightly better celebrity impersonations doesn't improve the writing one whit.)

It's generally true that Canadian sitcoms through the years, with a few notable exceptions (Corner Gas, Twitch City, The Newsroom) are just very, very bad. There's a simple rule that's served me well - the opposite of "funny" isn't "dull" - it's "earnest". Canadian sitcoms sure do like to try for "earnest".

So here's a tip for Zarqa Nawaz, as she's writing more episodes of the series: instead of worrying if Colbert is paying attention to you, pay attention to him. When you have a choice between making a point and going for the joke, go for the joke. Pay attention as well to Jon Stewart, who wisely moved the Daily Show away from mocking the stupid but powerless. Don't make characters, even those that show up only briefly, into gleefully rednecked straw dogs in order that you can poke fun at them - as Krusty once explained to a hopeful Sideshow Cecil, the pie-in-the-face gag only works if the sap's got dignity.

Please, please don't suck.

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