If you turn on the TV nowadays, it seems that reality TV shows are overwhelmingly taking over our prime time. Reality hits like Keeping Up with The Kardashians, American Idol, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Love & Hip Hop, and The Bachelor/Bachelorette are being pushed by networks for the viewers to obsess over. The reason may be that it is much less expensive to create a reality tv show since it doesn’t require scriptwriters, actors, or well-known directors. Place cameras everywhere, add a bit of personal drama, and voila! Let the “real” drama begin!
However, not everyone enjoys watching dramatic housewives, ambiguous wealthy families, or repetitive singing shows on TV! Before reality TV hit the scene in the late 90s, sitcoms like Family Matters, Saved by The Bell, The Fresh Prince of Bel-air, Full House, and Friends ruled prime time. Sure, reality TV can be a bit entertaining at first. However, if you think about it, what do you actually learn from reality stars whose personal lives are always in the public eye? Anyone can be a reality star now. Just get involved in nonsense drama and “YouTube it” or “WorldStar it”!
If you prefer the good old traditional sitcom that holds a bit more reality to modern day’s values and traditions over the screaming reality TV show, then here are a few family comedy sitcoms you may want to watch in the comfort of your home.
This first comedy sitcom could possibly pass as the next Cosby Show of the millennial generation. Black-ish is about an African-American family living the American dream through hard work and family values. The main character is a successful advertising executive while his wife is a successful anesthesiologist. They live in an upper-middle class community with their 4 teen and pre-teen children. Black-ish “gently” tackles race and other modern day societal issues relevant to the African-American community without the negative stereotypes. Their most recent intimate episode was about the characters’ mixed yet inspiring reactions to today’s police brutality topic.
Fresh Off The Boat (ABC)
This next comedy sitcom is about an Asian family that travels from one city to another for a better life and opportunities. This is actually considered to be a memoir based on the famous chef, Eddie Huang. However, this is the first time in decades that an Asian family star on their own show. The main character is Eddie, a school boy that is having a hard time trying to fit in his school since his family follows different cultural traditions. Although there have been mixed reviews about the stereotypes portrayed on the show, the sitcom has been a hit for 2 seasons now.
Modern Family (ABC)
This mockumentary-style sitcom is probably one of the most successful family sitcoms during this last century since it has been on the air for 7 seasons now. This Comedy is about a diverse family that discusses sensitive topics such as religion, race, immigration, gender, and sexuality and gives it a comical touch. The title is self-explanatory to the plot. The sitcom is about a family of 3 generations coming together. The family is diverse in every possible way and matter. At the end of every episode, you will learn a different lesson about family and values with a comical twist, of course.
The Real O’Neals (ABC)
During the beginning of March of 2016, a new sitcom came into town! The Real O’Neals reflects on a modern faith-based family that comically end up having one too many skeletons hidden in the closet, no pun intended. The main characters are teens that reveal to their parents that they each have their own hidden secrets. However, the parents also reveal the news of their divorce which impacts the whole family. The show received mixed reviews since it pokes fun at religion, gender, and other politically charged topics. However, the family shows that they stick together through thick and thin regardless of their own circumstances, which is what makes it a true family sitcom gem.
Fuller House (Netflix)
If you are into spin-offs, then Fuller House is the perfect show for you. This family nostalgic sitcom is a spin-off from the original late 80’s – early 90’s hit Full House. This spin-off is bound to bring you memories from the original one as it now reflects on the next generation of adults. Most of the main characters came back with a new plot. Fuller House also seems to resonate with new millennial generation topics from popular culture to modern family values. Opposite of the original Full House, Fuller is more about a single mother taking on the role of the head of household with the help of her sister and BFF! The theme of this new generation sitcom ends up showing more “girl power” point of views while still holding on to their traditional family values.
Although TV can be a bit taboo at times, sitcoms are a great escape from reality in some cases. In other cases, it teaches us the value of family and realistic societal changes occurring in the present day. What all these sitcoms have in common is that they all are relevant to the changes within society from a micro to macro level as previously mentioned. Plus, there is nothing wrong with reflecting on these fictional characters just for fun.
If you are tired of the hollering housewives, snobby billionaires, or karaoke-singing competitions shown on TV, then maybe a good old “fashionably modern” sitcom will be better to watch. Sure, they may be a bit controversial in their own manner, but at the end of the day, you get a good laugh out of them. The important lesson to take from this is to remember that there is a variety of family-oriented programs shown on TV other than high-anxiety level reality shows. Nonetheless, what’s your favorite TV show from this new century? Do you prefer to watch reality TV or Sitcoms? Try watching one of these 21st-century sitcoms and go ahead…Laugh Out Loud!
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