I grew up on classic sitcoms. Cheers, the Cosby Show, Family Ties, Good Times… all the great ones of the 80s, 90s and 2000s. One of the things that has always been cemented in my mind is that sitcoms have studio audiences or laugh tracks.
Many recent sitcoms have changed that up, and left the laugh track behind. My wife loves some of these shows, and I’ve seen a few episodes here and there of Scrubs, but it always irks me when there no laugh track. The absence of laughter is so distracting to me that I often have a hard time enjoying the jokes going on as part of the story.
My wife has gotten me to try out Parks and Rec however, and I’ve found that I’m very much enjoying it. The other day I realized why I can enjoy this show, despite it’s lack of laugh track, and that’s because it’s filmed in a mockumentary style. It’s not a typical sitcom presentation, and instead there are parenthetical asides to the camera, and mini-interviews. It makes it flow much differently than a typical sitcom, and that frees my mind to enjoy it more, because I’m not expecting a studio audience.
Perhaps watching this show will cure me of my obsession with laugh tracks and I can start to enjoy some other shows. For now though I have 5 more seasons to plow through…