Footnote Shows

Matt Zoller Seitz is concerned about pop culture references in TV shows:

"Krusty Gets Kancelled" is one of the greatest of all "Simpsons" episodes, but if it were a poem, it would need to have nearly as many footnotes as "The Waste Land" -- and the further away from its original air date we get, the truer that's going to be.

So much post-"Simpsons" comedy is in that vein: "Seinfeld," "Friends," "South Park," "Family Guy" and its spinoffs. Not to mention such recent arrivals as "Community," "Chuck," "Parks and Recreation," "Glee," "30 Rock" and the American version of "The Office." They're all footnote shows: amusing and perhaps hilarious right now, but likely to be dated in five years, quaint in 10, and borderline impenetrable in 20. Or inadvertently poignant. Or chilling.

Halle Kiefer doesn't care:

The fact of the matter is, worrying about whether future generations will find a joke funny seems like the perfect way to stifle anyone's ability to produce something hilarious. Beyond that, the value of comedy specifically has often been its immediacy; why wouldn't we want writers to make jokes that are relevant to their current audience?

Judy Berman pulled together a list of shows she'll still find funny in 2026.

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