Must See TGIF

I’ve come to realize that I’ve been much too serious in my last few blog posts. What happened to the light-hearted, fun-loving Chris of old? Yes, we’re now a full year into this global pandemic, but that’s no reason to not spend time laughing. In all honesty, laughter is the one constant in my life over the past year.

Friday nights have been sitcom viewing nights for my wife and I for a couple of years now. We record a handful of episodes over the week and then just watch them all on Friday night. On top of this, we always have a sitcom on the go that we watch on a near-daily basis.

For the purposes of this blog post, I am going to talk about some of my favourite sitcoms.

I consider myself lucky to have grown up through those magical periods of time known as TGIF (ABC’s lineup of Friday night sitcoms) and Must See TV (NBC’s Thursday night lineup). My love of sitcoms was definitely anchored during this time. One of my all-time favourite series, Perfect Strangers, was one of the original cornerstones of the TGIF lineup. I still love this cute, clever, silly, fish-out-of-water story of Balki Bartokomous moving from the tiny Mediterranean of Mypos to the US to live with his distant cousin. I have the first few seasons of the show on DVD, but as I’m writing this I may have just checked out the pricing on the remaining seasons to complete my collection.

Don’t be ridiculous! Of course I remember Perfect Strangers!

Another childhood favourite of mine was The Golden Girls. What 10 year old wasn’t obsessed with the madcap adventures of a group of four older women sharing a home in Miami? This show was ahead of it’s time, dealing with a wide-array of topics such as same-sex marriage, HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, interracial marriage, gambling, assisted suicide, sexual harassment and more. (I swear… it was a sitcom!) But through all of these heady topics, they managed to balance out the lessons and stories with humour. I’m such a big fan of the show that I, along with my wife and two friends, dressed up as the girls (I was Rose). And yes, there does exist photographic evidence of this, but I wanted to spare the other three individuals pictured, so I haven’t included it.

I wasn’t discriminating in my selection of sitcoms. Over the years, I’ve run the gamut from shows like Full House, Blossom and The Cosby Show to Arrested Development, The IT Crowd, Silicon Valley and Faulty Towers, and nearly everything in between. And that’s not even beginning to think about the hilarity coming out of Canada (Kim’s Convenience, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Corner Gas and Schitt’s Creek anyone?) If there was something to laugh at, I’d give it a chance.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to appreciate these shows even more. The list of sitcoms that my wife and I have plowed through during COVID-19 is still growing. We always have a series on the go and typically watch a couple of episodes each night before bed as a way to end the day on a happy note. It’s like the old saying goes – laughter is the best medicine.

The show we’ve been hooked on for the past couple of weeks has been Superstore. We plowed through the five seasons that are available on Netflix, and we’re now catching up on the final sixth season that just finished airing on NBC. This is pure entertainment. Although an entirely different context, the staff members and customers in the show have reminded Isabelle and I about our time working at Ambassador Video, but I’ll talk more about that another day.

Here’s a short video someone put together of a few funny moments from season 1 of Superstore.

I could enumerate a laundry list of sitcoms that I love and recommend, but I’d rather hear what your favourites are. What are you watching now? What are your all-time favourite shows? Even just taking a few minutes to stop and think will bring lighthearted memories and brighten your day. Don’t believe me? Why not give it a try?

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