There’s nothing worst in TV land then that feeling when a show jumps the shark. When a sitcom becomes serious, when new boring characters are added, when it seems to go nowhere. You realize your favorite show just started sucking.
Friends stopped being funny at one point, X-Files came to an end and I barely noticed. I hear Scrubs is still on, but I don’t watch that anymore, after puffing some eye-opening herb that made me think of what it was like for the people behind the camera. Suddenly, I realized that the people involved in the creative process of Scrubs were aware of what they were doing, making a predictable sitcom with no storylines, only characters that are caricatures of their original selves, backed-up with gags and slapstick bits. That was a terrible realization.
The first item on my list is How I Met Your Mother. Great for the first couple of seasons, this show has become a chore to watch, a pain that you have to endure. Will Ted ever meet ‘their mother’? The producers could make five seasons of Ted meeting and getting to know the future mother of his children, but no. Instead, we get an endless repetition of one-liners, clichéd story-lines and actors that look like they can’t wait to get out of there. Barney seems like a puppet with pre-recorded catchphrases, Lilly and Marshall are just sad - two smiling frowny faces, like Robin Williams, and Robin is, well, no direction for her part I guess. Our main man, Ted, is becoming like his future self - Bob Saget, only in America’s Funniest Home Videos. A depressing, annoying dude, but sometimes you laugh at his jokes and then feel guilty.
The ultimate sign of Jumping the Shark is a tragic, serious story arc. In this case, Marshall’s father dies. And so we get a couple of ‘tear in my eye’ episodes. Fuck that. This reminds of the time when Dharma was in a wheelchair, or when Ross and Rachel broke up. It means the creators of this show lost a great deal of their imagination, as the tragic boo-hoo story is a sign that the show should have ended, but now it will drag on.
So, I’ve stopped watching. Last time I checked to see if it got any better, John Lithgow was guest starring as Barney’s dad, and even his superb comedic talent was misused by a boring script. Here the problem - the show’s premise is Ted meeting his future wife. But now, as the show feels like chewing a gummy piece of meat that you eventually have to spit out, I don’t care who she’ll turn out to be. This used to be tasty, but it’s not tasty anymore. Until better times, or the last two or three episodes ever, I’m not watching.
Bob’s Burgers is my new favorite show. Not all-time favorite, but among the shows that are in their first season, Bob owns. In case you don’t know yet, it’s a cartoon show on Fox, set in the basic premise of a family sitcom. Bob’s owns a burger joint in an East Coast town, and lives with his family in the same house. His wife is annoying and they have three very strange kids.
Bob is voiced by the great H. Jon Benjamin (I bet the ‘H’ stands for Hillary), known as the voice of Archer, another genius cartoon show, over on FX. The show was created by Loren Bouchard, who is also responsible for the cult classic Dr. Katz, which is also worth checking out. Today it would definitely please hipsters who seek ironic stuff from previous decades, this one being from the 90s. And yeah, you can find it on YouTube or similar sites.
Those who primarily like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The Cleveland Show will be instantly hooked onto Bob’s Burgers. Even though you think it will be just another Fox cartoon, its humor is bizarre in a John Waters kind of way, with a pinch of John Cleese absurdity and sarcasm, topped-off with a hint of gross-out comedy.
If you enjoy the herb, this is highly recommended, as the jokes and dialogs will most likely BLOW YOUR MIND, man.