For the past couple of weeks, Vulture has had a slew of television writers and critics break down the best sitcoms of the last 30 years. It's March, so it's done in bracket form. Cheers, Roseanne, Friends, Arrested Development. They're all there. But, as the semifinals of their tournament played out on Friday, the Internet was treated to fine analysis on two of the most iconic shows to ever make it into our living rooms: Seinfeld and The Simpsons.
Only one of these shows could advance to the finals, but David Lipsky does a wonderful job praising both before walking the plank and choosing a winner.
Even our strongest comedies — the Michael Scott Office, Arrested Development, Archer — are comprised, anxious. The central joke is the non-competence of the face at the head desk. (On 30 Rock, Liz Lemon frets about not being qualified for her job. A friend’s consolation: “This is America. None of us are supposed to be here.”) And Louie and Girls take place in a tidal pool of the seventies, a recovery zone of not enough sleep or money and optional showers. It’s wobbly, hangover, bedhead. The Simpsons and Seinfeld are how we looked to ourselves when the sun was still out. It’s why their jokes remain so Olympianly well formed: They hail from a era when the world featured enough time and calm.
For the television nerds out there. this was the piece that the entire tournament was built around. The Duke/North Carolina Final Four matchup. It's Friday and you probably don't have anything better to do anyway, so spend a few minutes reveling in the greatness of '90s television (and find out who was named victorious). [Vulture]