Thursday, January 29, 2004

Dammit, babies are not funny

Okay, this is for all you comedy writers out there: Babies. They're not funny. Not. Funny. AT ALL.

Friends was going great, then they threw a baby into the mix, not once, but twice. Sure, Phoebe's reactions were kind of amusing, but then it turned into the same old screaming-woman-demands-drugs-and-scares-the-doctor routine (although the doctor who loves Fonzie was a touch of genius). Then Rachel got up the duff, there was love, there was hugging, I was too busy vomiting to notice. I gave up on Friends when Joey and Rachel started the will-they-won't-they shite.

Frasier. Fantastic show. But now Daphne is pregnant. They've wrung some comedy milage out of it with Niles' testicle trouser fans (yes, really), but 2 episodes in and I'm already tired of it. Why? WHY? I watch these shows because they make me laugh. Babies do not make me laugh. Birth scenes do not make me laugh. Heartwarming scenes of emotion do not make me laugh. And that episode where Niles had a heart scare? Really, really not funny.

Birth scenes are so overused and abused. I must have seen a hundred of them over the years, in various shows and movies, and they're all the same. The woman suddenly becomes transformed into a hideous, screaming demon, red faced, grabs the doctor, screams "DRUGS!", makes some witty comment to any men present ("shut up, people like you made me like this!" or "it's your fault I'm here!" or something equally hilarious), the doctor cries "push!", the woman screams "I'M PUSHING!", maybe the baby will be coming out backwards or have the cord around its neck for tension, whatever, and suddenly there's a baby, it cries, the doctor hands it over, and the red-faced, screaming woman-demon is suddenly a soft-focus Venus, beaming radiantly, mother and child in harmony, nature's greatest gift and joy. It's boring. It's always the same, always. I'm sick of it.

It's a common pitfall in comedy, they think, hmm, let's shake things up a bit, throw in a serious element just to make it more realistic - bollocks. I don't watch comedy shows for realism. Some are realistic, that's great, but if you start off as an all-out comedy, don't suddenly throw serious things in. Remember Roseanne? Used to be the funniest thing on television. Then, for some crazy fucking reason, they decided that Dan and Roseanne should have marriage difficulties. Yes, it was realistic, it was well done, but Christ! I thought it was supposed to be a comedy! I tuned into that show every week for half an hour of laughter, to be taken away from the drudgery of my then-miserable little grey life, not for MORE bloody depressing realism.

So, in conclusion: if you start out as one thing, don't turn into something else. Us simple folk who watch television don't like it. We don't like change in general, to be honest, so just avoid it. You can mix genres, but not suddenly, after 3 seasons of something else. It's just not fair. So stop it. Thanks. And babies aren't funny. Ever.

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