What Type of Sitcom Do You Enjoy?

Earlier this evening I tried out a new sitcom called “Great News.” It’s about a cable news show. The commercials made it seem pretty funny, and there’s no laugh track, so it was worth a watch.

While it was funny, I found myself struggling with something. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until it hit me: Nearly every scene in the show featured 2 or more people arguing with each other. And I’m not talking playful banter–the characters were genuinely irate at each other.

I turned it off. Conflict is great in any medium, but when I watch a sitcom, I just want to sit back and laugh. I don’t want to watch people fight. That doesn’t make me happy.

I was curious if my other favorite sitcoms were largely argument-free, so I looked at my current season pass shows and created the following lists:

Few Arguments

  • South Park
  • Modern Family
  • Louie
  • New Girl
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Nathan for You
  • Broad City
  • Portlandia
  • Detroiters
  • Fresh Off the Boat
  • Trial & Error
  • Powerless
  • Crashing
  • The Good Place
  • Master of None
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Many Arguments

  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Silicon Valley
  • Vice Principals

Have you noticed any patterns like this in your viewing habits? The other big pattern I can think of is that I generally prefer sitcoms where the main conceit isn’t someone lying to someone else and spending the episode covering it up until the big reveal at the end. I enjoyed Friends despite that core structure.