[Guys! I'm on vacation this week, so please attempt to enjoy this classic I Love Television™ column from the golden-oldie days of 2004. Were you even born then??—Humpy]
Today's column is titled "Sitcoms Make Me Vomit." And after reading this headline you may say, "Oh silly Wm.™ Steven Hump-Me! Sitcoms may nauseate, but they rarely cause people to vomit. Tut, tut, tut." Oh yeah? Well, TUT YOU! I know vomit when I see it, and "it" is currently covering the tops of my shoes!!
For those who still think my job entails sitting on my plump 'n' juicy watching hour after hour of Smallville's Tom Welling taking his shirt off—you couldn't be more mistaken! As a TV columnist I'm FORCED to watch EVERYTHING. Therefore it's necessary to watch hours of Tom Welling taking his shirt off, just to wash the sitcom-induced vomit from my palate!
For example, there's ABC's 8 Simple Rules. Originally, John Ritter starred as an old fogey trying to stop horny boys from porking his daughter. Was it funny? Not at all. BUT GET THIS! Now John Ritter is dead... and IT'S STILL NOT FUNNY! Whoooooo! Whoooooo! Hey, ABC; hear that noise? That's the "clue train" coming, and it's going to Cancellation Land! Alllllllll ABOARRRRRRRD!
Another comedy premise that makes my chilidog lunch leap out of my stomach is the "Fat, Ugly Guy with the Hot Wife" trope. Now, I'm not denying that occasionally fat, ugly guys—THROUGH SHEER DUMB LUCK—sometimes wind up with hot, sexy wives. There are all sorts of reasons for this. Perhaps she's blind—or mentally delayed. But here's my point: There are dozens of sitcoms with this premise, which is statistically fawking impossible!! The worst offender is, of course, According to Jim, starring ugly, fat guy Jim Belushi and hot wife Courtney Thorne-Smith. What a waste of a sweet piece of ass! Just the thought of that blubbery whale on top of that juicy mama makes me want to BLEAAGGURRGGHHHHHH!
Then there's the "smart-mouth sassy kids." Ohhhhh boy, don't get me started! I swear to Christ if MY kid ever shot his mouth off to me like those rotten punks in these sitcoms? They'd be starring in their own show, called Thank God My Mom's a Dentist. Smack! Ker-POW! Ker-BLAM! Whammo! Snap, crackle, POP! Strangle, strangle, throw, CRASH, aiiiiieeeeeeeeeeee, plop. Yeah, that's right, you wisecracking piss-ant. Where's your smart-ass comeback NOW?
However! There's ONE sitcom that doesn't make me vomit, and it's Arrested Development. Jason Bateman—who used to make me vomit in The Hogan Family—stars as the only sane member in a house filled with rich eccentrics. But! It doesn't have a stupid laugh track, it doesn't have a fat husband/sexy wife, the smart-ass kids are actually likeable, and it co-stars David Motherfreakin' Cross (Mr. Show)!!
Next to HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development is the best-written comedy on TV. Therefore I can eat whatever I want, and enjoy this wonderful situation comedy in absolute safety from any vomitous results. Hmmm... I wonder if there are any more of those three-week-old mussels left in the fridge?
This Week on Television
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13
9:00 TNT LEGENDS
Debut! A former deep undercover agent is dragged back into the game when terrorists start terrorizing!
10:30 FXX WILFRED
Series finale! Ryan says a tearful goodbye to his imaginary talking-dog friend.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 14
10:00 IFC GARFUNKEL AND OATES
Riki and Kate meet their porn-star doppelgangers. I WANT A PORN STAR DOPPELGANGER!!
10:00 DSC SHARKAGEDDON
About "shark attacks in Hawaii." That's not "a sharkageddon"... that's a bad day in paradise!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15
10:00 DSC MEGALODON: THE NEW EVIDENCE
Another fakey Shark Week "fake-o-mentary" just like last year's fakey fake-out.
10:00 MAX THE KNICK
The docs face a typhoid epidemic... which I think is an old-timey version of Ebola.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 16
10:00 DSC SHARKSANITY
The best moments from this year's Shark Week, for those who only want the ass-biting bits.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 17
10:00 SHO MASTERS OF SEX
The hospital tries to ban black participants from the sex study—which reduces its "hotness" by 80 percent.
10:00 FX THE STRAIN
Eph is arrested by the FBI for the crime of having a stupid nickname and drinking too much milk.
MONDAY, AUGUST 18
9:00 CW AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL
Season premiere! Tonight's competition: Who can take the best selfie. OH DEAR GOD MAKE IT STOP.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 19
10:00 COM DRUNK HISTORY
The drunks go to Philadelphia, with special guests David Cross and Winona Ryder!
10:00 SYFY WIZARD WARS
Debut! Penn and Teller host this new reality competition for magicians. (Excuse me, but magicians are NOT wizards!!)