“This should be a sitcom,” is something I hear often among my friends. Usually we are sitting in the living room of someone’s apartment, having beers and discussing hijinks that we experienced during the day. “Why isn’t this a TV show?” and “We could totally be a TV series” are other iterations of the same idea, that our lives are so unique and entertaining that we could be the next “Friends” or “Girls” or “Seinfeld”.
If this is a thought that is going through your mind, as exciting as it is, your life probably doesn’t have be a sitcom and you don’t really need to shop around the details for a deal with Netflix. For the majority of us, once our lives have hit sitcom-hilarity levels, this means your life is interesting enough that you are generally pleased with the amount of mayhem going on. It is so interesting and funny that it resembles shows that attempt to capture that exact feeling of life-absurdity.
My general feeling about mainstream art is that it exists to fulfill a spiritual deficit. We watch sitcoms for comfort and also to be distracted from our own lives which can often be very, very boring. “The Office” managed to heighten the deadening 9 to 5 tedium of cubicle work into a hilarious and emotional roller-coaster, in a way that was relatable but also completely absurd. “30 Rock” gave me a peek into the world of being a writer in New York. “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” satisfied my desire to occasionally be pieces of shit, when my day-to-day lifestyle demanded composure and manners.
Television brings color to otherwise dead moments. We all have our own little prisons that prevent us from feeling alive. It can be responsibility, fear, financial limitations, etc., but through the lens of art we dream for a moment that the stakes and circumstances have changed. But, what happens when we have reached the point where we don’t even need television to reach the baseline comfort and hilarity of a sitcom? For me, it is a form of accomplishment. When I have the thought “This could be a sitcom,” I feel blessed to be living a life that is so entertaining that I would watch it in my free time.
Right now I am sleeping on a friend’s couch, struggling to pull my life together. One of my housemates is juggling workplace romances and another is preparing for doomsday. We spend our afternoons drinking La Croix and watching cars fuck each other up with poor parking maneuvers. A steady rotation of friends filter through with cookies and beer and stories. Our lives are filled with a number of events, tragedies, celebrations, heartbreaks, and hopes. It feels so riveting to be a part of it. So when someone, gasping with laughter, asks “Why aren’t we a sitcom?” the answer is that we don’t even have to be.