The Last Laugh

I have a big problem with what I watch on TV or Netflix: it’s almost exclusively dramas.

It’s not that I don’t like comedies.

But far too often, comedies are difficult for me to watch. I identify a little too much with a character, or maybe I don’t, but when I watch, and a character is in a sticky situation, I’m embarrassed for the character. I can feel what they’re feeling a little too much…and it’s uncomfortable.

I noticed this over a recent weekend. I was busy knitting, and needed a half hour more of TV time after binging on Marvel’s Daredevil so I could finish the row I was on. So I flipped through Netflix, decided I didn’t want to start anything long or involved, so I turned on The Andy Griffith Show. I recently started letting my kids watch it because it’s wholesome, I don’t have to worry about them hearing words I don’t want them knowing yet, or worry about the situations being too graphic. At 1 AM, probably a pretty good choice to accompany some knitting when I’m just trying to get to a stopping point.

The episode was really sweet. We’re still in the first season, and Andy & Barney were on a double date with Ellie May and Thelma Lou. The power went off for a couple minutes at Ellie May’s house, and when the power came back on, it was obvious Andy and Ellie May had taken advantage of the situation. (Get your head out of the gutter, this was the late 1950s, after all!) But Barney and his date had sat through the momentary outage with their hands in their laps.

As the episode went on, Andy teased Barney about not getting a kiss from Thelma Lou, and eventually Thelma Lou turned things on their head by trying to make Barney jealous by suggesting that Andy was after her now. Things progressed from there, but as the episode went on, I couldn’t help but feeling badly for…really, all of the characters at some point.

I don’t know if all people react to comedies like this. It could just be me. But I watch very few of them as a result. One of the few I’ve glommed onto is The Big Bang Theory. I do enjoy it, but probably because there are references to most of my fandoms throughout. And I can identify more with the characters than probably any other show on TV, at least as far as comedies go.

But still, it doesn’t make it any less painful to watch most comedies.

Maybe the old adage about laughing with someone, rather than at him, holds some truth?

I know for me, it does.

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