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    henrygandorf

    i did a standard surly search and didn't find a thread, and i think i know why.

    when mf first came out, i thought it was hilarious.  even though seasons 2-4 were a little uneven, overall, the show was great.  there was drama with split showrunners after s1, so that explains part of it, but mostly it was solid.  then it went into syndication, and i was able to watch several of my favorite episodes again, and still loved them.  "the old wagon", "good cop bad dog", "phil on wire", and "yard sale" are all-time classics.

    then, season 5 came out, and suffered from the very common sitcom fatigue that you'll often find around the 75-100 episode mark.  that's a lot of fucking tv to write.  it also started to do annoying shit like taking the entire cast and crew to australia (for a half hour episode that wasn't even a season premiere or finale).  you're rich, we get it.  around season 6, i started to look around and realize this isn't fun anymore.  i asked a few other people, and most were like, "yeah, it's not as good, but we still watch it every week, we still laugh."  ok.

    sidenote - i am not a broadcast network snob.  i know a lot of people (and i'm sure there are plenty on this board) that are just done with broadcast network tv (abc, cbs, nbc, fox).  we still watch a handful of shows.  the wife watches more than me, but whatever.  if something is quality, i'll still watch, just no procedurals.

    so it was around seasons 6-7 where i stopped watching, maybe would catch an episode from the dvr and half pay attention to it, or the next day on hulu, stuff like that.  i know it's been on forever, but lost track.  bits and pieces here and there, saw some storylines come around, then watched some from this past season, because it was the end.  it was pretty bad, unsuccessfully trying to recapture its early success.

    what was interesting about modern family through the years was its non-participation with streaming services with its catalog.  pretty much every sitcom (current or past) can be found somewhere on the main streamers.  most are on hulu.  and even though it was contractually obligated to show their current season through abc on demand and hulu (next-day), the previous seasons were only avail through standard syndication broadcasts.

    after the latest wga standoff, modern family predictably settled in with hulu, and for the first time, all the seasons were available to stream.  so since i hadn't watched all episodes, and hadn't watched most in a while, i thought this would be a fun rewatch, as we like to put sitcom reruns on while we're going to sleep.  in my head, i was thinking, ok, there were ~10 seasons, and most was pretty good, i think it petered out around 7-8, and there's some garbage at the end (which most every show has, up to and especially seinfeld).

    i was wrong.  after the first 4 seasons, there was a big drop.  and what i thought i remembered as a few more solid seasons were really a few more solid episodes, and around season 5, this show was pretty much done.  and what i thought were a couple dead seasons - were five full fucking garbage seasons.  this show went to 11.  literally.  everything after season 6 was almost unwatchable.  but i persisted.  i made my way through, enduring such taunts as "you're not even laughing" and "why are you doing this to yourself?"

    even some of the nostalgia brought in with the final season was hollow and empty.  i didn't care about the future of these characters, because i didn't really care about the past few years of their present.

    the whole thing has me wondering - are broadcast sitcoms as we knew them, over?  shows like brooklyn nine-nine are fading and have been reduced to shortened seasons, and i think this is the only way to do it.  i don't think the old structure of 18-24 episodes per season is sustainable for a variety of reasons.  animation can pull it off, but there are obvious exceptions that make that possible.

    we gave the new abc show - home economics - a try (i'll watch literally any pilot), and it's harmless, but sad.  and one of the actors makes it almost unwatchable.  i thought i knew him from somewhere, and i was right.  he was in some of the later seasons.  of modern family.   


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    2 hours ago, Deej said:

    Need to do like British sitcoms. 2 or 3 seasons of 6 shows a season and then end it.

    i mean, i guess. 

    i'd rather a show go as long as possible with the chance of creating great moments or episodes.  there are 40-50+ good, funny episodes of modern family.  i'd rather that than have 12-15 great episodes and be bummed that it's over.  it's not like the show robbed me of seeing sofia vergara or ty burrell in other tv or film projects.  it's not one of my all-time favorites, and never was destined to be.

    its legacy got tarnished but that's not my problem.  i just didn't realize upon first viewing how many full seasons near the end were steaming hot garbage.

    as an addition to the initial post, the show had the challenge of dealing with child actors becoming adult actors.  this often sucks.  there's a clear difference in the later episodes when the kids are featured too much.  there's a direct correlation between manny/lily screentime and episode suckage.

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    Maybe not network, but I do think there is still a market for feel good, light hearted comedies, thus why Ted Lasso was such a hit.  Seems like (to me) it’s a niche the streaming services haven’t cared about. 

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    35 minutes ago, Don Johnson said:

    Maybe not network, but I do think there is still a market for feel good, light hearted comedies, thus why Ted Lasso was such a hit.  Seems like (to me) it’s a niche the streaming services haven’t cared about. 

    i agree, and it's aggravating that the main streaming services don't have much of an appetite for weekly-type self-encapsulated sitcom episodes.  everyone is concentrating on doc series and cliffhanger hour-long shit that folks can binge.  it's curious, because eventually these services will need people to come back week after week to keep up subs and in some cases, ad sales.  we could definitely do without netflix, as i feel like we only watch it for one weekend every few months when something pops up.

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    I much prefer a model of either come up with a compelling story and tell it in as many episodes as it takes, no more and no less- or if it’s episodic in nature then don’t do it unless and until you can create 10-15 solid episodes. 
     

    Streaming doesn’t seem to provide quite that level of freedom but it’s much closer than network requirements. 

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    Happy Endings did 3 seasons. I think it’s the right amount for ensemble cast network sitcoms. 
     

    I think New Girl went on a little too long, but it was good until the last season. 
     

    It’s weird to write it, but How I Met Your Mother might deserve a spot in the network sitcom half of fame. 9 seasons, 208 episodes, and they produced 20+ shows every season. The show was must watch television on Mondays from 2005 to 2014, and remained consistently good for all 9 seasons. The ending was admittedly terrible, but it’s 1 bad episode out of a very solid 208.

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    21 hours ago, henrygandorf said:

    the show had the challenge of dealing with child actors becoming adult actors.  this often sucks.

    This. Once the cute little kids grow up they should be sent off to boarding school or something. 

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    On 5/2/2021 at 12:39 PM, henrygandorf said:

    we gave the new abc show - home economics - a try (i'll watch literally any pilot), and it's harmless, but sad.  and one of the actors makes it almost unwatchable.  i thought i knew him from somewhere, and i was right.  he was in some of the later seasons.  of modern family.   

     

    View full article

     

    I can't listen to that fucking voice!

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    what i remember about MF: S1 was hilarious, and Phil and his son stole the show. the show used to be appointment viewing for me. that said, i have always, and will always hate Manny. hate the character, and hate the shitty actor who played him. 

    anyway, i fell off from watching the show at some point, and when i tuned back in it was *so* fucking bad. super formulaic, paint by numbers crap. every episode: there's some sort of misunderstanding between members/factions of the family; hijinks ensue; then each episode ends with everyone having learned a lesson/remembering how much they love each other. iirc this show started winning emmy's by the boatload when this happened. such a disappointment.

    Edited by shadow_operative
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    1 hour ago, shadow_operative said:

    iirc this show started winning emmy's by the boatload when this happened. such a disappointment.

    if i understand you correctly, then your memory is not accurate.

    modern family won best comedy series in seasons 1-5, then was nominated (but did not win) in seasons 6-8, then was not nominated in seasons 9-11.  probably a pretty accurate reflection actually.  it doesn't always work this way.

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    1 hour ago, henrygandorf said:

    if i understand you correctly, then your memory is not accurate.

    modern family won best comedy series in seasons 1-5, then was nominated (but did not win) in seasons 6-8, then was not nominated in seasons 9-11.  probably a pretty accurate reflection actually.  it doesn't always work this way.

    ah. well then good for the folks at the Emmy's. unrelated, but the Phil Dunphy stairs gag was one of my favorite running gags on TV.

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    1 hour ago, Billy Pilgrim said:

    The kids killed the show. Especially Lilly and Manny. 

    starting around season 4-5, in every scene, manny always had to do something with his hands.  it's like what they teach 5 year olds in acting class.  he never stopped all the way to the end.

    once you notice it, you can't not notice it.

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    On 5/2/2021 at 1:39 PM, henrygandorf said:

    the whole thing has me wondering - are broadcast sitcoms as we knew them, over?  shows like brooklyn nine-nine are fading and have been reduced to shortened seasons, and i think this is the only way to do it.  i don't think the old structure of 18-24 episodes per season is sustainable for a variety of reasons.  animation can pull it off, but there are obvious exceptions that make that possible.

    We are definitely in some kind of transition. I'll say up front, I don't know what broadcast TV is like these days in terms of viewers and advertising revenue, but if either of those are declining, that doesn't mean a show can survive simply by raking in the streaming bucks since networks want the upfront money for expensive productions.

    I think going forward, the amount of time a series will be supported by a network is probably reduced quite a bit, and I wouldn't be surprised if a series is only allowed one bad season and no chances to pull itself out of a nosedive. The flip side to that is that if a show is "profitable" (however a network wants to define that), it's going to be supported long past when it should have been put out to pasture as long as it's profitable, because the networks maybe considering streaming deals down the road.

    If Modern Family started in 2019 instead of 2009, would it even still be on the air?

     

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    I keep thinking we will see a decline in the number of series - broadcast, cable, and streaming, but the quality will rise, but we aren't - the numbers of series keep going up, and the quality is there for many of those shows.  We are seeing a helluva lot of niche series, with shorter seasons (10 episodes a season or less).  Disney and HBO are showing that you can spend a shitload of money on big shows with fairly short seasons, and reap the subscription rewards.

    Hell, Amazon is spending almost $20 million or so an episode for the 10 episodes of Lord of the rings (more than Game of Thrones). And Amazon is spending around $10 million per episode on Wheel of Time (which is also around 10 episodes), Netflix is spending $8 million or so per Witcher episode (less than 10 episodes), and who knows how much on Shadow and Bone.

    Apple is throwing hundreds of millions at Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, and I have no idea how many episodes there will be. Of course fantasy and sci-fi will always require big budgets, but Apple has Mythic Quest and Ted Lasso.

    Ted Lasso on Apple, as well as Netflix's "three season" thing could very well be the model for networks going forward, streaming or otherwise, to follow. Find somebody/something you can build a series around, have the writers plan out three seasons or so (using the Netflix model), wrap them up and move on.  Fans may yearn for some more, but there's no risk of shit going downhill, especially if the writers can plan for three seasons.

    Grace and Frankie on Netflix, with it's 5-6 seasons is the exception for comedies on streaming services.

    Feels like everything will be getting more and more niche, with shorter seasons, and shorter runs overall.  Nobody is looking for the next Big Bang Theory that could run to nearly 300 episodes.

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    I've got an acquaintance from Arkansas who was ranting several years ago about how Modern Family jumped the shark when one of the actresses got breast reduction surgery and he vowed to only watch the first 2-3 seasons of Modern Family as a result.

    But he's odd in the head, he has like 5 or 6 kids (he doesn't believe in birth control), and another one is on the way.  I will text him and see if he went back and watched later MF seasons, but as of last week, he doesn't even respond to texts.

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    14 minutes ago, atomheartbevo said:

    Nobody is looking for the next Big Bang Theory that could run to nearly 300 episodes.

    broadcast networks are.  that's where the money is.

    there will always be old people.

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    19 hours ago, henrygandorf said:

    broadcast networks are.  that's where the money is.

    there will always be old people.

    Let me rephrase that: They aren't going to give many shows that chance going forward.  

    There's a lot of shows that are up and down, up and down in quality and ratings, and as long as things even out, they can hang around.  

    It feels like these days that a lot of those types of shows are going to have a much slimmer margin of error, particularly shows with large casts that are expensive to make.

    If Modern Family starts in 2019 instead of 2009, how long would it run for?  

    It's for another thread, but there's also the specter of building shows for eventual streaming.  I think that may have an influence on how a lot of shows are handled on the broadcast networks, but they seem to be still trying to figure it out.

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    13 minutes ago, atomheartbevo said:

    It's for another thread, but there's also the specter of building shows for eventual streaming.  I think that may have an influence on how a lot of shows are handled on the broadcast networks, but they seem to be still trying to figure it out.

    the thing is that most of the streamers would prefer not to house multiple seasons of other network's properties.  eventually, paramount+, peacock, hbomax, and disney will round up their own shows and that'll be that.  netflix did not like having the office, west wing, mad men, etc be their most popular shows.  hulu seems content on being the main network to carry old sitcoms, and hopefully it stays that way. 

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    21 hours ago, atomheartbevo said:

    Nobody is looking for the next Big Bang Theory that could run to nearly 300 episodes.

    You're right, but shouldn't they be?  Warner/HBOmax paid $425 million to take streaming rights for Friends away from Netflix.  Peacock is paying $500 million for The Office.  Seinfeld is moving from Hulu to Netflix in a "$500 million plus" deal.  HBOmax is also paying $1.5 billion for *checks notes* Big Bang Theory and 2 1/2 Men.  Seriously, wtf?

    Anyway, people will watch sitcoms over and over...kind of like how I used to watch Seinfeld in syndication every night at 10.  The streamers seem to think that drives subscriptions.  So if they're willing to pay this much for rights, why are none of them trying to make their own in house?  Wouldn't that be more cost effective than chasing the next big streaming "hit" of 6-8 episodes that people binge in a weekend and never think about again?

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    14 minutes ago, WBT said:

    You're right, but shouldn't they be?  Warner/HBOmax paid $425 million to take streaming rights for Friends away from Netflix.  Peacock is paying $500 million for The Office.  Seinfeld is moving from Hulu to Netflix in a "$500 million plus" deal.  HBOmax is also paying $1.5 billion for *checks notes* Big Bang Theory and 2 1/2 Men.  Seriously, wtf?

    Anyway, people will watch sitcoms over and over...kind of like how I used to watch Seinfeld in syndication every night at 10.  The streamers seem to think that drives subscriptions.  So if they're willing to pay this much for rights, why are none of them trying to make their own in house?  Wouldn't that be more cost effective than chasing the next big streaming "hit" of 6-8 episodes that people binge in a weekend and never think about again?

    Chuck Lorre has to be the richest SOB in Hollywood, and his best show is Charlie Sheen Era Two and Half Men. This is incredible. Lorre could buy and sell Larry David, and his funniest show is boner jokes and Jon Cryer. 

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    7 minutes ago, billfromlaketravis said:

    Chuck Lorre has to be the richest SOB in Hollywood, and his best show is Charlie Sheen Era Two and Half Men. This is incredible. Lorre could buy and sell Larry David, and his funniest show is boner jokes and Jon Cryer. 

    Incorrect. 

    image.png.85b763cf468af94e5f4858e18d91c836.png

     

    As for the thread topic, I like to watch the later episodes while wondering which of the no-talent kids will end up fully tatted and behind bars. The terrible acting makes me hope it's all of them. The actor who played Manny has to be one of the worst child actors since Oliver on The Brady Bunch. And it must be genetic because his sister is just as atrocious.

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    Feels like everything will be getting more and more niche, with shorter seasons, and shorter runs overall.  Nobody is looking for the next Big Bang Theory that could run to nearly 300 episodes.


    Fuck yes they are looking for that. Especially now that comedy clubs are opening back up.
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    2 hours ago, WBT said:

    HBOmax is also paying $1.5 billion for *checks notes* Big Bang Theory and 2 1/2 Men. 

    I was about to make a joke that you don't know math and a billion is the one with 9 zeroes behind it, then I googled it. Holy fucking shit.

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    S1 was hilarious. Then S2-S4 were okay, but watered down. It’s like they knew they had to reach more people and lost the S1 edge. I stopped watching after that. It wasn’t worth the 1 laugh a show at that point 

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    S1 was hilarious. Then S2-S4 were okay, but watered down. It’s like they knew they had to reach more people and lost the S1 edge. I stopped watching after that. It wasn’t worth the 1 laugh a show at that point 

    Season 1 episode 1 was Incredible. Especially when he explained ‚Äúwtf.‚ÄĚ
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    I like the show.

    IMO,

    Seasons 1-4  A/A+

    Seasons 5-6 B+

    Season 7-11¬† C (although there were a couple of great episodes in Season 7 & ūüėé

    Best character: Phil, with Claire a close second

    Worst character: Gloria

    Best Season: 2

    Best Episode: Caught in the Act

     

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    22 hours ago, Herpa Derpa said:

    Incorrect. 

    image.png.85b763cf468af94e5f4858e18d91c836.png

     

    As for the thread topic, I like to watch the later episodes while wondering which of the no-talent kids will end up fully tatted and behind bars. The terrible acting makes me hope it's all of them. The actor who played Manny has to be one of the worst child actors since Oliver on The Brady Bunch. And it must be genetic because his sister is just as atrocious.

    this post brings up an interesting point.

    lorre wanted to make this show, they worked out of the same office on the warners lot, many of the same below-the-line people worked on it, but it was for netflix, and with michael douglas, who should never be on a cbs monday night (or any night) sitcom.  i thought the first season was ~good, and i think we watched a couple of episodes of season 2 and kinda forgot about it.  will people who loved it rewatch it?  would it do well on reruns even if it made enough episodes (which it never will)?

    you can't just bring lorre to netflix (kominsky) or bring mike schur to peacock (rutherford falls) and expect big bang, 2.5 man, parks and rec, or brooklyn 99.  it just doesn't work that way.  i don't know why it doesn't, but i know it doesn't.

    netflix decided to give huge money (both up front and budgets) to showrunners who got rich off of hour-longs (murphy, rhimes) and half-hour (barris), but none of which seems capable or encouraged to create shows that will have rewatchability.  even if their shows are great and popular (jury is still out), then you're still left with the same problem, but you spent way more to get there.

    i think netflix is in trouble longterm.  everyone who wants it already pays for it, and they're dumping huge dollars into new stuff that isn't discernably better than their old stuff, which wasn't that good.  what is netflix known for?  ozark?  stranger things?  the crown?  bojack?  those were all i could think of and it's been 10+ years and unlimited budgets.  and i would only call 2/4 of those "great".

    knowing a little bit about the backstory, i would also call bojack a very fortuitous fluke in netflix's favor.

    this also brings up a separate point about tv shows and who owns them (and who owns the rights to distribute them first run and syndication).  the wga drama already wrecked 18 months of shit over just this issue.  not all shows on fox are owned by fox and made on the fox lot and available on fox on-demand/streaming.  people are going to be forced to choose sides and soon.  

    broadcast network television is going to look a lot different in 5 years.

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    There are plenty of great shows that are only on Netflix. Narcos and The Crown are the two that come to mind first. The problem is that they are short and there isn't a lot to keep people interested in between those shows coming out. It seems like an expensive model that doesn't pay very good dividends.

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    It's on Peacock now - showed up maybe 3 months ago? Anyway, Modern Family and Arrested Development had the best pilot episodes of any recent comedy that I can think of. MF started going downhill around the time Gloria had Joe, but there was so much greatness before that. Phil's birthday episode in the first season (Game Changer) still cracks me up, especially when he starts acting crazy at the end. When we find out Cam played football in college (Coal Digger). Etc.

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    2 hours ago, NotActuallyALonghorn said:

    There are plenty of great shows that are only on Netflix. Narcos and The Crown are the two that come to mind first. The problem is that they are short and there isn't a lot to keep people interested in between those shows coming out. It seems like an expensive model that doesn't pay very good dividends.

    Disagree. I subscribe to most platforms sans HBO and I watch Netflix the most. It’s not really that close actually. 

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