TV Land: Where Real Sitcoms Still Live

Say what you will about TV Land, but I’m a real sucker for their original programming. Growing up in the nineties, all I ever used to watch were sitcoms. In fact, I remember those kinds of shows being very popular — especially when I was a dorky yet incredibly attractive kid. The TGIF lineup suddenly comes to mind. Ah, how I miss those days. Currently, some television enthusiasts feel that sitcoms are a dying breed and that they’ve changed dramatically. I beg to differ. TV Land has some of the best I’ve seen.

Where do I even begin? As someone that likes to laugh (and occasionally snort), I get a real kick out of Hot in Cleveland — a sitcom now in its fourth season. I was in college when it premiered and I remember it being a big damn deal because it was the network’s first foray into original sitcom programming. How’s that for being brave? I’d like to think of myself as an optimist. To that end, I decided to give it a chance back in 2010, and I’m pleased to say that I like what I saw. The combined talents of Betty White, Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves, and the lovely Valerie Bertinelli — who never returns my calls — is fantastic, and the show really evokes a special feeling…kind of like watching a sitcom from the past. Hmmm…

This brings me to my next point. You know, I think what I enjoy about TV Land’s comedic fare is that their shows are a throwback to the ones of yesteryear. Now, before I go any further, I just want to say that this is not about to be an editorial praising the channel for its slew of comedies. I’m not working for TV Land. I’m not telling you to watch their shows. This isn’t a praise report. On the contrary, I don’t have time for that fuzzy stuff. Still, I do believe in giving folks their props when they get something right. To that end, I must say that I’m a fan of their programming…well, at least some of it.

The Soul Man is pretty funny. My mother and I watched every episode of the first season this summer, and couldn’t help but crack up at the antics of Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash. Now, that’s one fine woman! Yet, I digress. Watching this sitcom led to me becoming a fan of The Exes starring Donald Faison, which ran after The Soul Man this summer. I’m sorry to report this, guys, but I never saw a single episode of Scrubs. However, if Faison is as funny on Scrubs as he is in The Exes, then I may have to give it a try.

The only TV Land show that I haven’t been able to get into is Happily Divorced. As much as I like me some Fran Drescher — and I do like me some Fran Drescher — I just don’t enjoy it. Perchance they aren’t trying hard enough. Or maybe it’s just boring. I think it’s the latter. Oh, well. You can’t win them all, right? Life has its share of ups and downs. I don’t think of my life as being typically stressful. Nevertheless, I do have my moments. Having these kinds of fun sitcoms on television helps to take my mind off of those moments…just like the sitcoms that I watched when I was younger.

Those shows would make me smile and could really make me forget about problems for thirty minutes…or at least until a damn commercial break. Perchance these TV Land sitcoms do the same. I can tell you that they aren’t complex. It isn’t Golden Globe worthy writing, but the punchlines are there. It’s kind of like cotton candy — fun to eat, but not much to it. It also helps that they aren’t raunchy or crude a la Two And A Half Men. Maybe that’s one of the things that’s so appealing about the programming. This is a good thing.

And who says sitcoms are dying?

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