If you’re like me, you enjoy nothing more than watching a classic sitcom rerun while enjoying a delicious burrito – it’s comfort food for the soul. I pondered in the 90’s why there was no cable station just showing (relatively recent) sitcom reruns 24/7. For the last few years, TBS has pretty much taken that approach.
I’ve seen practically every episode of every half-decent sitcom ever – I even went through a sad Drew Carey Show phase – and pretty much can recite scripts verbatim. (Maybe “can paraphrase scripts” is more accurate – drinking affects memory.) How sweet would it be if you could remix these shows Ronson-style to give yourself a little dose of freshness? In a perfect world…
Two and A Half Friends
The Pitch: Familiar Friends + medical procedural + a fat kid = gold
Premise: Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and the rest of the Friends gang embark on a wacky taxi road trip to surprise Joey in LA. Driving through Malibu, Phoebe, startled to see old flame Ryan (Charlie Sheen) in a vehicle going the opposite direction, inadvertently swerves into his lane. Ryan/Charlie overcompensates and drives right into a Korean taco truck while Phoebe’s taxi is atomized by an oncoming semi – her life is saved only by the presence of a huge bag of cotton candy she’d brought for Joey and a medically significant amount of botox. The only other survivor in this horrible, yet wacky, tragedy is the fat little kid nephew (that fat kid) in Ryan/Charlie’s car.
Guilt-ridden, Phoebe and Joey agree to raise the fat kid, which will be difficult because Phoebe will suffer from a string of mysterious medical setbacks as she recovers from her grievous injuries. And, since Phoebe was uninsured at the time of the accident, Joey must work as the butler of the surprisingly non-Korean owner of the Korean taco truck, Mitch (Kurtwood Smith), to pay for the damages.
Hilarity ensues when: The fat kid overcomes survivor’s guilt by participating in sexual innuendo-laced banter with his wacky new guardians. Phoebe’s ongoing medical issues will be solved, hilariously, be a stream of guest star physicians that combine the deductive science skills of Dr. House with the life-affirming antics of Patch Adams, all while enjoying some innuendo-laced banter. Mitch’s demeaning butler demands of Joey will often result in a surprising, but heartwarming, moral epiphany at the end of the episode.
Must-see episodes: The One With Sepsis; The One With A Hilarious Case Of Mistaken Identity; The One With A Lot Of Hormonal Teenage Awkwardness Jokes
Everybody Loves Seinfeld
The Pitch: Indecent Proposal + gratuitous cleavage + wacky family antics = gold
Premise: Due to her husband’s failure to properly fill out paperwork during a routine medical procedure, there is a wacky hospital mixup which results in Debra Barone (Patricia Heaton) accidentally receiving a breast transplant from Shoshanna Lonstein. On a weekend trip to Long Island, Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) literally stumbles into “the rack that got away” and vows to make Debra his bride, despite the fact that she is married. Jerry ultimately wins Debra’s love, much to the initial dismay of her husband Ray (Ray Romano) and his family, by cutting her a check for $75 million.
Hilarity ensues when: Ray subsequently declares war on Jerry and vows vengeance, but Jerry turns the tables on Ray by purchasing the newspaper he works for and giving each member of Ray’s family $25 million in exchange for cutting ties with Ray and pledging allegiance to Jerry. Given Ray’s contractual obligation to the newspaper, Jerry toys with making Ray his butler, but instead decides to make him the theater reviewer and ombudsman – ombudsmen really are subject to a lot of criticism. Ray’s weekly efforts to thwart Jerry will usually come up short due to lack of foresight, insufficient funding/planning and unrealistic optimism.
Must-see episodes: A Decent Proposal (pilot); Where Is Avenue Q, It’s Not Even On This Map; You’re A Terrible Cook, How Are You Going To Write A Children’s Cookbook Without Plagiarizing?
Sex and The Office
The Pitch: Fish out of water + alternative lifestyles + mustard-colored couture = gold
Premise: Michael Scott (Steve Carell) finally decides to take the party planning committee to the next level by hiring a NYC PR firm to promote the annual Arbor Day blowout. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) accepts the job and, after too many fajita shooters at Chili’s, unwittingly ends up in a Craigslist Casual Encounter with Tobey (Paul Lieberstein), where they discover a common interest in “furry” roleplay. Samantha, torn between the greatest sexual satisfaction she has ever known or moving back to the more glamorous lifestyle of NYC, ultimately and shockingly decides to move to Scranton and become Tobey’s full-time furry co-enthusiast. By convenient coincidence, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is also drawn to Scranton by pheromones after randomly meeting The Office‘s long-suffering documentary filmmaker at a lounge in NYC.
Hilarity ensues when: Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) really don’t have much going on so they decide to move down, too, and become temps at Dunder Mifflin. Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) fume that they are no longer the “hot couple” once Miranda introduces Angela (Angela Kinsey) to the Church of Later Day Sapphos and Darrell (Craig Robinson) and Charlotte become an item following a touching karaoke duet of Pitbull’s ballad, “Hotel Room Service”.
Must-see episodes: The Scranton Steamer; Beets and Crimes; Fucking A, Please Stop The Voiceover Already