March 8, 2013 at 9:54 AM
Best TV comedy of the last 30 years?
Anyone else following the “Sitcom Smackdown” on Vulture. com this week? It’s irresistible: The writers have chosen, after much discussion, 16 top television comedies of the last 30 years and paired them up against each other in this bracket. (I still think “Frasier” should have made the cut, but never mind; it’s their contest.) Each pair is assigned to a TV/culture writer, whose essay determines which show will pass to the next round. Some of these essays are much better than others — I really take issue with ranking, say “Sex and the City” over “30 Rock,” which this contest inexplicably did – but the fun of this sort of thing is arguing with it, and reading the comments, some of which are quite wonderfully worked up. (Blerg, I say.) So far, “Cheers,” “Arrested Development,” “Friends,” “Roseanne,” “The Simpsons,” “Community,” “Sex and the City” (boo) and “Seinfeld” have made the quarterfinals; this morning, “Cheers” edged out “Arrested Development” to make the semifinals. I say “Cheers” and “Seinfeld” in the finals (though I haven’t regularly watched every show in contest) — and I’m not sure I could pick a winner from two such different, yet brilliant shows. But if you forced me? “Cheers.” For reasons like . . . well, this:
And what do you think?