Ask A Genius 412 – Explicit and Implicit Characters and Plots
October 14, 2018
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is the wave of new shows?
Rick Rosner: There explicitly state that their characters are terrible. They are the worst. There are shows, like sitcoms generally, are explicitly presented as huge assholes. We are supposed to be entertained and have learned how horrible these people are.
These people are presented as problems for themselves and others. It is explicitly stated that these people, these products of America, are awful and then we are supposed to be entertained by their awfulness.
There is a sub-text that, maybe, we should not be as awful as this. Seinfeld was one of the first shows to wallow. The idea is no one learns any lessons because it was a terrible sitcom troupe.
Most of the decades of sitcom are that people are generally good, goodness will prevail, and then people will learn their lessons. There is a backlash against this. It is seen as cloying and done lazily. Most sitcoms from the 60s through the 90s were lazy.
So, anyway, the degradation of culture was able to help. The end for this one.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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