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Americans and Irony

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I see that while Fleabag scooped up awards at the US Emmys and Golden Globes, in last night's National Television Awards we Brits voted for Mrs Brown's Boys as Best Comedy.

In reply to Andy Clarke:

I dont understand any of the references but if your having a go at the Yanks have a like

22
 Blue Straggler 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Name Changed 34:

I don't think he is, but in any case why should "having a go at the Yanks" instantly warrant a "like"?

I think he is having a go at the British. 

1
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Emmys and Golden Globes are voted for by a select group of industry experts, whereas the NTAs are voted for by people who watch This Morning and read tabloid newspapers (not a sneer, a fact).

I suspect in the mid west British comedy still means reruns of Benny Hill.

Also worth mentioning that the Golden Globes isn’t decided by Americans, it’s the Hollywood Foreign Press.

Fleabag probably ticks a lot of boxes in relation to an American view of British quirkiness. Personally, I liked it, but always thought it wasn’t quite so good as all the awards and praise suggested. Mrs Brown’s Boys is obviously a crime against humanity.

Post edited at 10:02
In reply to Blue Straggler:

 why should "having a go at the Yanks" instantly warrant a "like"?

Because they are  uncouth, vulgar and bellicose

24
 Le Sapeur 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Name Changed 34:

> I dont understand any of the references but if your having a go at the Yanks have a like

It's the 'irony' bit.

 Fruitbat 29 Jan 2020

>whereas the NTAs are voted for by people who watch This Morning and read tabloid newspapers (not a sneer, a fact).

Which also explains why Antndec (TM) were voted best TV presenters for the 19th year in a row (or. something similiar, I was only half-listening to this on the radio news).

In reply to Le Sapeur:

> It's the 'irony' bit.

😶

In reply to Name Changed 34:

> I dont understand any of the references but if your having a go at the Yanks have a like

How ironic...

 nathan79 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

So many responses and none making any reference to how mind-bogglingly unfunny Mrs Brown's Boys is!

1
In reply to Name Changed 34:

>  why should "having a go at the Yanks" instantly warrant a "like"?

> Because they are  uncouth, vulgar and bellicose

Is there a joke in this that I am missing? (and you aren't really describing the entire population of America)

 Fruitbat 29 Jan 2020
In reply to nathan79:

NickB mentions the awfulness of MBB in his 09:59 post, both directly and by inference.

In reply to Andy Clarke:

Given the contents of the Middle East Peace treaty they must have a sense of irony  

 Tom V 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Name Changed 34:

To a man?

 Wiley Coyote2 29 Jan 2020
In reply to nathan79:

> So many responses and none making any reference to how mind-bogglingly unfunny Mrs Brown's Boys is!


Humour is highly subjective but I find it hard to understand how something that wins a viewers' poll can be airily  dismissed as 'mind-bogglingly unfunny' when clearly,  by definition since it has been voted best comedy,  a lot of people obviously find it hilarious. The history of entertainment is littered with'Comedy Greats' who left me completely stony-faced but sometimes you just have to accept the fact that just because something is not to your own taste it does not make it 'mind-bogglingly unfunny'.

6
 overdrawnboy 29 Jan 2020
In reply to nathan79:

> So many responses and none making any reference to how mind-bogglingly unfunny Mrs Brown's Boys is!

The cast seem to find themselves amusing.

 overdrawnboy 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

> Humour is highly subjective but I find it hard to understand how something that wins a viewers' poll can be airily  dismissed as 'mind-bogglingly unfunny' when clearly,  by definition since it has been voted best comedy,  a lot of people obviously find it hilarious. The history of entertainment is littered with'Comedy Greats' who left me completely stony-faced but sometimes you just have to accept the fact that just because something is not to your own taste it does not make it 'mind-bogglingly unfunny'.

Democracy of taste, are the majority always correct? The public used to trundle along to public executions as entertainment and amuse themselves hurling sh#t and abuse at people in the stocks. I feel MBBs is the exact opposite, the sh#t flying in the other direction.

1
 two_tapirs 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

The UK has been doing a great job recently of highlighting why we're not sensible enough to be allowed to vote.

1
In reply to nathan79:

> So many responses and none making any reference to how mind-bogglingly unfunny Mrs Brown's Boys is!

The depths BBC comedy have descended to. To be blunt, its absolutely awful.

On a more positive note, I've been watching Brooklyn 99 on Netflix and love it. A rare example of a good quality American sitcom.

 toad 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Wanderer100:

If you want take yer brain out and cackle hysterically, try the Goes Wrong Show. Not subtle, or knowing or ironic, just 30 minutes of escapism and physical comedy.

 Wiley Coyote2 29 Jan 2020
In reply to overdrawnboy:

> Democracy of taste, are the majority always correct? .

I still love the irony of someone saying, in a thread headed 'Irony' that the the show voted Best Comedy by the public is 'mind-bogglingly unfunny'

It's clearly making all those who voted for it laugh more than any other TV show. If you accept causing laughter as the definition of funny it must therefore be funny, like it or not

1
 MonkeyPuzzle 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

Have you met the public? They're deeply unfunny and usually ruin my day whenever I have the misfortune to meet them.

 Wiley Coyote2 29 Jan 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Have you met the public? They're deeply unfunny and usually ruin my day whenever I have the misfortune to meet them.


I have some bad news for you: to the rest of us you are part of 'the public'

 Tom V 29 Jan 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

"Meet an asshole in the morning and it's just another asshole; meet assholes all day and you're the asshole". Elmore Leonard.

In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

I wonder how many votes it took to win. Maybe it’s fans are predisposed to voting for things, maybe the only opportunity they have to engage with the outside world.

 MonkeyPuzzle 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

> I have some bad news for you: to the rest of us you are part of 'the public'

Well exactly.

 dsh 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Wanderer100:

> The depths BBC comedy have descended to. To be blunt, its absolutely awful.

> On a more positive note, I've been watching Brooklyn 99 on Netflix and love it. A rare example of a good quality American sitcom.

Brooklyn 99 is great but a rare example? Plenty of great American Sitcoms from the last 10 years.

  • Parks and Recreation
  • It's always sunny in Philadelphia
  • Workaholics
  • Broad City
  • Modern Family
  • Curb your Enthusiasm
  • Louie
  • Veep

Special mention to Letterkenny which is Canadian.

Apart from Fleabag which isn't really a sitcom more of a comedy drama name a good British one that has released episodes in the last 10 years? I can think of Catastrophe, Cuckoo, and Friday Night Dinner, 2 of which have an American as a main character.

There's definitely more awful TV from the US too but since you can just stream what you want I don't have to watch that crap.

Also people say Americans don't understand Irony but I think most people don't understand Irony.

In reply to Wanderer100:

> A rare example of a good quality American sitcom.

Personally, I generally prefer US ones, particularly the animated variety, but also those forced to resort to using real people. I guess it's because to my taste they exhibit a more finely developed sense of irony. The Simpsons and MASH are surely the Sistene Chapel and Scuola di San Rocco of the sitcom world.

In reply to dsh:

> Also people say Americans don't understand Irony but I think most people don't understand Irony.

I'm very disappointed I didn't manage to provoke a mention of Alanis Morissette.

 Ridge 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> I'm very disappointed I didn't manage to provoke a mention of Alanis Morissette.

Go on then. Isn't it ironic that Alanis Morissette doesn't quite understand the concept of irony?

In reply to dsh:

Ok. The only one on your list I have watched is Modern Family which I loved as well as American Dad. The rest I've never heard of although I admit the Simpsons are very good as well but I never really think of animated shows as sitcoms .

 tehmarks 29 Jan 2020
In reply to nathan79:

My parents and a fair few of my older extended family love it. I don't get it. I really just don't get it.

Fleabag, on the other hand, was excellent.

 toad 29 Jan 2020
In reply to Ridge:

Or that a Canadian is used as an example of American non-irony

 Fruitbat 29 Jan 2020
In reply to toad:

I'd noticed that, too, although apparently Alanis Morissette is now a dual-citizen of the US and Canada. The Canadians don't always have a great sense of humour, though, so maybe this extends to their irony levels.

 Blue Straggler 30 Jan 2020
In reply to dsh:

I can’t get into Parks and Recreation or Veep (is there a claim to be made that Veep is somehow “British” btw?! ) but I understand the appeal. Can I add the much-overlooked Community to the list? I love that one 

 redjerry 30 Jan 2020
In reply to dsh:

What...no mention of Sienfeld?
Whats the matter with you people.

In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

> I have some bad news for you: to the rest of us you are part of 'the public'

I think he was being ironic.

In reply to dsh:

> Brooklyn 99 is great but a rare example? Plenty of great American Sitcoms from the last 10 years.

> Parks and Recreation

> It's always sunny in Philadelphia

> Workaholics

> Broad City

> Modern Family

> Curb your Enthusiasm

> Louie

> Veep

> Special mention to Letterkenny which is Canadian.

> Apart from Fleabag which isn't really a sitcom more of a comedy drama name a good British one that has released episodes in the last 10 years? I can think of Catastrophe, Cuckoo, and Friday Night Dinner, 2 of which have an American as a main character.

> There's definitely more awful TV from the US too but since you can just stream what you want I don't have to watch that crap.

> Also people say Americans don't understand Irony but I think most people don't understand Irony.

Am being controversial if I suggest that the American Office is (much) better than the original?

In reply to Blue Straggler:

I’ve never seen Veep, but it is an American remake of The Thick of It, with Armando Iannucci still very much at the helm.

In reply to redjerry:

> What...no mention of Sienfeld?

> Whats the matter with you people.

He said from the last 10 years, the last episode of Seinfeld was 22 years ago.

In reply to dsh:

Your list of American sitcoms includes one that is based on a British sitcom, which you haven’t included in your British list (Veep/The Thick of It). I would say that you have missed some brilliant stuff off your British list.

The Royle Family, Peep Show and the above mentioned The Thick of It where all still making shows in the last decade. I also enjoyed Episodes. One massive omission from your list is my favourite sitcom for many a year, Detectorists.

 Blue Straggler 30 Jan 2020
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Am being controversial if I suggest that the American Office is (much) better than the original?

No you're not, this a popularly established opinion. 

 dsh 30 Jan 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

> The Royle Family, Peep Show and the above mentioned The Thick of It where all still making shows in the last decade. 

You're right I didn't realise The Thick of it was in the last decade. I'm not personally a fan of Peep Show after the first couple of seasons but I can see why people like it.

I also forgot about the American Office.

I was really just responding to the claim that good American sitcoms are rare. I probably missed a lot from both sides.

American shows do tend to have longer runs and thus greater risk of getting stale. That's why the best ones of recent years tend to involve really building characters over time and actual plot development rather than relying on the same jokes, especially in the era of binge watching.

Post edited at 16:27
 Tom V 30 Jan 2020
In reply to dsh:

All this has inspired me to dust off the DVD player and  get out my boxed set of Frasier, The Final Series. So far I have been rationing myself ( same with a few classic films) but I'm increasingly aware that this may prove to be folly.

I think I'll limit myself to two episodes per day, though. 

 wbo2 30 Jan 2020
In reply to Wanderer:apparently the new series of Curb your enthusiasm is back to its painful best  

 Blue Straggler 30 Jan 2020
In reply to wbo2:

Thanks for reminding me, I am quite a few seasons behind! Maxed out at S6 so a lot for me to go at!

 pasbury 30 Jan 2020
In reply to toad:

> Or that a Canadian is used as an example of American non-irony

Now that really is ironic. I was expecting a much deeper vein of irony to be mined by this thread.

 GerM 30 Jan 2020
In reply to Name Changed 34:

>  why should "having a go at the Yanks" instantly warrant a "like"?

> Because they are  uncouth, vulgar and bellicose

Surley this gets top marks for irony in a thread referencing Mrs Brown's Boys.

In reply to dsh:

> Also people say Americans don't understand Irony but I think most people don't understand Irony.

Say something ironic to an American and it will confuse them for a day.
Explain irony to an American and it will confuse them for a lifetime.

2
 Offwidth 31 Jan 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

Are you stuck in the 1960s?  There is plenty of exquisite US comedy where irony is only part of the base of a Maslow like triangle of complex joy, and some examples of such work stretches back several decades. Fraiser, name-checked above, is a wonderful gentle example. 

Mrs Browns Boys is to me an example of how low we can go in comedic terms, way beyond the OPs irony. This does seem new... from my childhood onwards I can see the genuine humour of the most popular shows in the past, from Morecambe and Wise onwards, despite prefering niche comedy.

 jasonC abroad 01 Feb 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Thought this was interesting (how Mrs Brown's Boys is so popular)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-46619935

I only watched it once a few years ago, it was daft and I found myself laughing a few times.

 Lankyman 02 Feb 2020
In reply to jasonC abroad:

Just read the review and am surprised to hear Brendan O'Carroll comparing his show to long ago shows like 'Are you Being Served?' I'm old enough to remember that and thought it was hilarious at the time (Mrs Slocum's pussy indeed). Mrs Brown's Boys leaves me cold. My mum loves it.

 Offwidth 02 Feb 2020
 Lankyman 02 Feb 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

I like Stewart Lee. It's just dawned on me the significance of Mrs Slocum's name - after all these years ... Genius! The name I mean, not me.


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