Up your nose with a rubber hose
Why didn't anyone tell me Gabe Kaplan was a professional poker player? Still alive AND a professional poker player!
I walked in on my nine-year-old son watching a recorded epsiode of High Stakes Poker this morning and went, "Hey! Is that Gabe Kaplan?" He said, of course, "Yeah, why? Who is he?"
I found I couldn't explain "Welcome Back Kotter" in any accessible way. "Like, there's this guy Epstein who always has a note from his mother?" It doesn't translate. I doubt today's kids would get many of our old sitcoms, "Nick at Night" notwithstanding.
My son doesn't even know what a sitcom is since I don't watch any. I always get comments from reality show haters when I post about them, and I respect that perspective on the world, certainly, but it's when I hear people effusing about "Friends" or "Will and Grace" that my gorge rises. I HATE those shows. The utter phoniness of it all, the characters speaking in ways that no real person has ever spoken, entering stage left, hitting mark, futzing fakely with grocery bag, delivering "funny" line, pausing obviously for laugh track, exiting stage right, and AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH.
I can't take it!!!
I swear I'm not lying: Sitcoms make me nervous. It's all SO FAKE! They give me actual anxiety--that's how much I hate all the over-scriptedness and transparent punchline setups and LAUGH TRACKS oh god please kill me. I feel embarrassed by their trying so hard, by their pointless walks across the stage where you can practically see the "x" on the floor where they're supposed to stop, by their dumb lines and . . . I'm sorry. I'm doing it again. But I hate them so much.
I caught a few minutes of a "Will and Grace" rerun just the other day and decided to watch a bit to see if maybe it was so popular because it was a new breed of sitcom or something. They say face your fears, right? I lasted about 5 minutes, which seemed like an hour. It was HORRIBLE. Some cookie cutter Wacky Best Friend characters were over-acting all over the place and I knew exactly what was going to happen next after every setup and hated myself for knowing and please, please don't ever let me face my fears again. I prefer to avoid my fears. I sleep better that way.
I don't know when this terror struck me because, as implied by my delight in seeing Gabe Kaplan alive and well, I liked several sitcoms as a kid. We watched Gilligan too, though I don't remember why. Do I need a therapist to help me root out the traumatic event in my past that caused me to associate sitcoms with hideous psychological torture? Or did I finally just discover that they suck?