Thursday, September 30

Better With You Review/Sitcom Problems

"Better With You" is a new sitcom on ABC on Wednesday nights airing along with the three new hits from last season--"The Middle," "Cougartown" and the coveted "Modern Family." Last year, "Scrubs" took the 8pm lead before it was canceled and they would air reruns of either The Middle or Modern Family at 8 during the summer. Lots of magazine and websites have been saying 'the sitcom is back,' this ABC took as 'the bad sitcom' can be back. "Better With You" is any other cookie-cutter sitcom from the 90's, what killed the sitcom. Reality TV didn't kill sitcoms, the laugh track killed sitcoms. Granted, kid's shows on Nick and Disney have laugh track but that isn't network television. "Better With You" wouldn't be different in any other era. It is about three couples from three different generations, much like Modern Family, they are family.

Two sisters and their parents. 20-somethings not married, expecting a child (Joanna Garcia), thirty-somethings married for a couple years and the parents married for like over 20 years and retired (Debra Jo Rupp). It has its funny moments and the quick wit of Jo Rupp is killer. Garcia has experience from "Reba" and Jo Rupp was on "That 70's Show," and the inexperience of the others shows. Kurt Fuller is indeed a character actor and has been on sitcoms before but never as a lead, and with Jo Rupp, they just don't gel. But what bugs me most of the show is the multiple cameras and laugh track. Network executives don't understand that the reason sitcoms like "The Middle," "Cougartown" and "Modern Family"were successful because they are single camera and HAVE NO LAUGH TRACK.

And they put "Better With You" in between the shows, following "The Middle." It is in the title, they show have it in the middle of the schedule. I am sure they thought if they put "Better With You" first or last, people would ignore it. And for good reason, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I think if they got rid of the laugh track and went single camera and changed some of the cast, they would have another hit.

For example, NBC knows what they are doing. With Thursday nights, their comedy shows are single camera and have no laugh tracks. "Community" and "Outsourced" are much in the same style, like mini movies. "Outsourced" is quite funny and the characters are interesting and relateble, even though it takes place in a foreign country.