Okay, sports fans, here we go!
I've already written fairly extensively about it.
It's negatives are Jerry's inability to act convincingly, and the buy that you have to make that any character could quite easily run into any other character within the Metropolitan area of New York without it seeming to matter that it smacks of major coincidence.
But, as is true of every entry in the Top Five, it is gut-busting funny.
I place this entirely at the doorstep of Larry David.
"Seinfeld" was a mastery of story architechture, and Larry David is the Frank Lloyd Wright of sitcoms.
He managed to take four story lines in each episode, weave them together, and build a pyramid out of them, placing the final block on top at the end, much like one would put a maraschino cherry on top of a beautifully formed cake.
One of the results of this is that you can watch a rerun of "Seinfeld" and not recall that a particular story line was in that episode.
It was never not funny.
When it wasn't slugging you with roundhouse rights, it was peppering you with jabs.
It really never missed.
Two And A Half Men.
Probably makes me laugh harder and more consistently than any other show currently on television.
I don't miss Charlie Sheen at all.
To me, it never was about Charlie Sheen.
It was always about great, punchy, imaginative storytelling and dialogue.
Chuck Lorre's best work so far.
Curb Your Enthusiasm.
A real high wire act.
Larry David working without a script.
A real further tribute to his architechtural abilities.
I'm in awe of the process, and how hard he can make me laugh with it.
He is a major comedic presence.
And it scares me how much I am like his character in real life.
Unlike "Seinfeld" and "Two and a Half Men", this is one show where the star can not walk away from it successfully.
The Dick Van Dyke Show.
The first show to successfully work well in two arenas: the office, and at home.
And you wanted to go to both places.
It was one of two shows that had a great Show Runner and a great star. Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke.
It had the license, which it used liberally, to have the characters sound like comedy writers, and not cause there to be a layer of believeability missing.
That's because they WERE comedy writers.
When Van Dyke was at home, they pretty much stuck to character writing.
And you had Mary Tyler Moore in those Capri pants.
What more could a young adolescent lke myself want?
The other show that had a great Show Runner and a great star.
Nat Hiken and Phil Silvers.
And I think they were both more overtly great.
Never was there a show with more positive energy.
I am in awe of Nat Hiken for another reason: years later, I was in a position to cast the sitcoms I worked on.
We brought in all the old Bilko regulars to read for me at one point or another.
The only one we used consistently was Billy Sands, who played Private Papparelli.
But we also brought in people like Joe E. Ross and Al Lewis.
How Nat Hiken was able to drag acceptable, much less hilarious performances, out of them, is beyond me.
Phil Silvers was really in his prime, and Hiken gave him pretty much free rein to improvise within the context of tremendously well-crafted scripts, and he only improved upon them.
They shot thirty-nine episodes a year for five years, and to my recollection, only slightly missed on maybe two episodes.
What a tremendous batting average!
And what a high slugging percentage!
The largest overwhelmingly positive output in sitcom history.
There is no show that I would rather watch, even though I have seen them all over and over again.
Most of the others, at this point, I have no reason to go back to.
So that's it.
Feel free to disagree and express yourselves about the overall list.
Just be aware that I'm not easily swayed.
I'm on my way to Chicago for the Hollywood Collector's Show, and will be away from my computer until next Tuesday.
Hope to see you all then.
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- The Top Five.
- More Of The Top Ten.
- The Top Ten List---- #10.
- The Top Five Honorables.
- The Next-To-The Last Honorables
- More Honorables.
- More Kindling.
- Beginning The Honorable Mention Odyssey.
- More Non-Honorables.
- My Favorite Sitcoms. The Top Ten.
- The Best Of Intentions.
- The "Seinfeld" Brouhaha.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."