Lies In SitComs

The family tv was tuned to a few sitcoms this past week. Looking in on a few of them, even a few well-regarded ones, I was surprised how similar the plot elements were. They all seemed to involve a lie, then a character’s less-than-best efforts to extricate herself or himself from the consequences of the falsehood.

My daughter tuned in to the last (I think) episode of Hannah Montana. The main character has an opportunity to relieve her boyfriend of a scandal, and make her best friend’s sacrifice of her unnecessary. It’s an artificial set-up, sure, but at the first moment of truth, the character walks away from doing the right thing. Thus giving the viewer another thirty minutes of extended tv time until she gets it right.

Amazingly enough, I saw some of the same thing on reruns my wife was watching yesterday. Ray Romano and Kevin James each had a lie they’ve told to give us an excuse to watch these clueless guys extricate themselves from clumsy situations. Is it a phenomenon of the 21st century? I think back to Beaver and the Bradys, and it seems the same. Of course, if these people told the truth, it might look more like real life–and they wouldn’t be on tv.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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