Recently, a group of friends and I were having a heated discussion about what T.V. show is absolutely perfect. Every show has bad episodes, sure, but what show can you think of that has a collection of perfect seasons? Perfect arcs to keep you on the edge of your seat for next week (or after the credits roll because you're clearly streaming this, what am I 62, watching "my shows" every night?)
We went through all of the best drama series we could think of and while one friend opted for "Breaking Bad", which I have never seen (sorry I know, I'm getting to it,) but overall every show we came up with either started incredibly and then jumped the shark, had a bad season where writers totally dropped the ball *cough "GAME OF THRONES" cough* or simply was only our favorite on account of personal fancies and not because it was actually objectively good television.
That was until we moved to scripted comedies. You name it, we thought it was a perfect series. "The Office," check. "Seinfeld," check. "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," double check (you know because it's still airing.) "Veep," oh my freaking god check, that show is flawless.
We quickly realized it was hard to think of any comedy series (cartoon excluded) that wasn't in our books as a great gem in television history. But why?
My opinion — drama series tend to be fantastical to an extreme or on the flip side incredibly realistic. When you're faced with a premise that you're intended to relate to or be astounded by, you tend to build expectations for the characters and their unique circumstances. You tune in to each episode waiting for the plot line you've been expecting since last season, you get genuinely angry with the characters when they don't do what you think they should and you curse the writers for dialogue that lulls you to sleep (looking at you "The Walking Dead.")
Sure we can talk about similar follies in comedies like "That 70's Show" or "Friends" but one bad character arc in a comedy usually doesn't ruin the rest of the show for you, like it might with a drama series, *cough "GAME OF THRONES cough,* man I should really get that checked out…
With comedies, you enter every episode with only one expectation; that you're going to laugh. When the bar is so low (but actually so high for the writers, people don't know that though) it's easy to find little to complain about. Like sure, you're mad Michael Scott left "The Office" but there are still phenomenal episodes without him and that's for one simple reason, they're funny.
So next time you and your friends are debating which was better, "Mad Men" or "Breaking Bad" tell them all to shut up and that "Scrubs" was better than both. They'll be mad, but eventually, they'll realize why you're right.