Thursday, May 27, 2010

Laugh tracks

Although I started writing this post about my uncanny ability to tell when a sitcom will be cancelled within three episodes, I can't help but digress and suggest that Laugh Tracks would be a great name for an open mike night on a commuter train. Passengers could take turns using the train PA system to pretend they are stand up comedians.

Okay, maybe not. We'd need a bar car before that would come close to working.

But enough of my digression. I am watching a new series I have never heard of before called 100 Questions. The premise seems to be that a British woman living New York goes to a dating service to find her soul mate and has to answer a 100-question personality test. The first question leads to a flashback to a bad date that brought her to the dating service in the first place.

Presumably each episode will be triggered by one question from the 100-question test. I believe it is wishful thinking on part of the writers to think they can trick the network into keeping the series alive for 100 episodes just to see whether the woman finally meets her soul mate after 100 half hour episodes full of wacky high jinks and overly aggressive laugh tracks.

It is the laugh track that is the key thing signalling loudly to me that the sitcom is doomed. I got the same premonition when I watched Alyssa Milano's doomed series Romantically Challenged. The other signs that that series was doomed included really bad writing coupled with extremely poor acting that even very aggressive laugh tracks couldn't cover up.

At least 100 Questions redeemed itself occasional with some clever writing. And after awhile, I couldn't help but begin to actually like some of the goofy characters. They just need to tone down that damned self-conscious laugh track or they are going to make it to question number 4 on the personality test.

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