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“Progressive” PC: Comedy is Dead and Is Now a Fading Memory of Itself

I only recently binge-watched this 9 season series, and I L.O.V.E. it.

I have re-watched it a few times already. It is being my TV escape go-to. I will watch atleast a couple episodes everyday. My favorite episodes still make me laugh my ass off. My husband always asks why we never watched it in its regular TV run. But I like binge-watching episode to episode without commercials.

There was no overt political bend in “The Office”. It had only brief mentions of Obama being POTUS and, unbeknownst to the writers, producers, and cast at the time where the future political road post-Obama would go, a couple mentions of Trump in regards to his TV show “The Apprentice” at the time. All “The Office” characters had their own quirks, idiosyncrasies, imperfections, and differences, but they all tolerated each other, got along, and eventually accepted their differences. They were far more alike than they thought. No matter your politics you laughed at every character. However, in these few short years since the series finale its lead star says “The Office” could not be remade in today’s climate…

The Federalist: Steve Carell: ‘The Office’ Would Be Too Offensive Today. If So, What’s Left? – Steve Carell just made the best argument for loosening the vice grip of political correctness, and it involves ‘The Office.’

… In an Esquire profile published Thursday, Carell contemplated carefully whether viewers would accept “The Office” if a remake were to come about today. Here’s the relevant portion of his response:

…apart from the fact that I just don’t think that’s a good idea, it might be impossible to do that show today and have people accept it the way it was accepted ten years ago. The climate’s different. I mean, the whole idea of that character, Michael Scott, so much of it was predicated on inappropriate behavior. I mean, he’s certainly not a model boss. A lot of what is depicted on that show is completely wrong-minded. That’s the point, you know? But I just don’t know how that would fly now. There’s a very high awareness of offensive things today—which is good, for sure. But at the same time, when you take a character like that too literally, it doesn’t really work.

Carell is tip-toeing around his own judgement on the “very high awareness of offensive things today,” and understandably so. But if “The Office” is too politically incorrect for mass consumption, we’re in dire straits.

“The Office” represents a rare intersection between high-quality comedy and widespread likability. There’s a reason “Curb Your Enthusiasm” doesn’t run on a major network. Its audience is too niche. But “The Office” managed to find the cultural relevance of a network show like “The Big Bang Theory” without sacrificing the quality of its comedy or relying on a laugh track.

As Carell observes, the show was “predicated on inappropriate behavior.” Michael Scott’s “wrong-mindedness” was, indeed, “the point.” Far from condoning it, “The Office” actively satirized racism and sexism and other bad behavior. The humor draws on a shared cultural agreement that Michael (or Dwight or Andy or Todd Packer)— like Archie Bunker before him— is wrong.

Mind you, this series took place in the 2000s, not the era of say very un-PC “Blazing Saddles”, which that movie’s writer/director, Mel Brooks, has said could not be made today as well. What a sad commentary on where we are today.

Indeed.

Carell forgets this short but concise point in a brief encounter with show creator Ricky Gervais as “David Brent” from the original BBC “The Office” and his American counterpart “Michael Steel”.

It is yet one more reason why comedy ain’t funny anymore, because it is solely aimed at one political side and no longer a tickle but a nasty street beatdown and stomping. People are literally walking out of stage stand-up shows and even music concerts because people go to these pricy public gatherings to escape the crush of politics and be entertained for an hour or two, not hear the singer stop singing to bash Trump and his supporters, or hear comics not spreading around the satire and insult to both political sides evenly … if at all. It is why Hollywood’s leftist ideology/politics riddled movies tank at the box office (we shall see how the American Flag-planting controversy on the soon to be opening “First Man” will go, eh?). It is also why a lot of TV shows are suffering in the ratings, as those as well are dripping with politics and one-sided political opinion. It is why Roseanne enjoyed her brief “Roseanne” one season comeback and why there was outrage when she was surgically removed from the show (it is set to return without her after her main character has been written out by killing her off) after she publicly did what I have seen countless celebrities do on social media … make very unPC and perceived ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’ comments and hateful even death-wishing on political opposition. But Barr’s was aimed at Valerie Jarrett, a leftist member of Barack Obama’s circle. Those other celebs attack conservatives, and in far more ugly and disgusting ways than Roseanne did.

“The Office”, at its core, is a microcosm of our country. When it comes down to it most of us have far more in common than we are led to believe by today’s MSM and powers-that-be in politics and the politicized entertainment industry, whose recent offerings have fallen flat.

People long for a time when we were not simply laughing at each other, but were laughing at ourselves. That time is passed, atleast for now, I guess…

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One comment on ““Progressive” PC: Comedy is Dead and Is Now a Fading Memory of Itself

  1. I Love Lucy made fun of Ricky’s accent. The Honeymooners had fat jokes. Dick Van Dyke had bald jokes. All In The Family had Jewish and black jokes. Seinfeld had jokes about gays (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and one show was dedicated to spearing Native Americans (i. e. Indians). And they weren’t racist. They were FUNNY. We all laughed at ourselves. As Seinfeld said, “People have got to lighten up!”

    “Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end.”

    Liked by 2 people

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