If you’re asking me, and lets face it you’re probably not, a lesson spent watching Community, Seinfeld and Buffy, is a lesson well spent.

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Novelty episodes. Not really a fan of musicals, I always end up feeling quite awkward for the characters. Cringing for them, and wondering ‘why would you do that?’

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I have a friend, who is the biggest Buffy fan I know. We would watch it together (a late discovery, so we had the DVDs) during sleep overs, maybe make a cake, or eat ice-cream. Staying up late, watching television and eating junk-food, the downfall of our generation, well I don’t regret any of it!

One of these nights she declared that I had, had, haaaad to see the musical episode. It just might be the reason we were on this earth, aka I could die after viewing this and die a content chappy. A somewhat intuitive statement considering the subject matter of the episode. ELBOW-NUDGE, ELBOW-NUDGE. Anyway, I approached with trepidation, but also with a level of awareness of the greatness of Buffy.

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And yeah, it’s kinda shit, but isn’t that also what Buffy‘s kinda about? Being so shit that it’s great? I’m sure that could be heavily disputed, but it’s my blog, and my opinion… so it stays!

Power-trip aside (not to mention cover-up of truth with my blatant one-sided opinion, hello have you met the blog on documentary?), the point is, is that musical episodes do realise they’re contrived and are taking the micky out of themselves. In our post-modern world of reference overload, special episodes realise the film tradition they are representing, and tend to be highly self aware in their delivery. i.e. that shitness is an included necessity.

Community takes this to a new level, and when Community gets referenced… that just gets full on. Community has a special episode just about every second episode, and as a ‘generation y hipster’, I love it. I’m kidding, I am not a hipster (but that’s just what a hipster would say, wouldn’t they?)

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It seems as though we have so much information easily available to us (and maybe through the influence of academia) we are constantly sourcing and citing as a part of modern speech. It might even be the somewhat recent obsession with copyright laws that makes us extremely careful of acknowledging our inspirations and influences.

We often view commercial television as dumbed down, and vying for cheap laughs, there are obviously shows that confound these expectations. Seinfeld is one, I think if you actually explore Buffy you’ll find it has more substance behind it also. More recently I think the humour in modern television shows tries to be wittier, up-to-date and filled with double-meanings. It aims to make the audience feel a part of a group; a smart and on-the-ball group. It’s a satisfying pay-off. It’s kind of intellectual bribery, with some tribal mentality thrown in for good measure (in the sense that we natural like being a part of a group). I am very much looking at YOU, How I Met Your Mother.

Even Gossip Girl does this, seriously, watch some of it. There are a lot of quips that can be picked up, and possibly it could be said that today, there is a growing trend for there to be two layers of writing. Something for your average viewer, and something for hyper aware viewer.

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Although, it must be said that Two and a Half Men does not fall under this trend, and apparently it’s really popular. That is probably a whole blog post in itself, and something that no amount of analysing or heightened awareness can figure out.

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… and Law and Order, what the freak is that on about? Community did a hilarious episode about it though…

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1397847

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