Sitcom Super Fans Ruin It For The Rest Of Us
Victor Yocco, PhD
Hey Neighbor, I’ve come to visit you here on Schrute farms to engage in some serious Yada Yada Yada. On behalf of those of us who choose to walk this world without binging multiple seasons of The Office, Seinfeld, Friends, or whatever sitcom is all the rage, I need to share this insight: sitcom superfans ruin these shows for the rest of us. We find it off-putting that you view all of life’s events through the lens of a story line from your sitcom of choice, put quotes in our mouths that you say belong to characters from the show, or otherwise try to emulate a life that aligns with a scripted show, dubbed over with a laugh track, planned irony, and pop culture icons as actors.
As someone who is slightly humorous in real life, I’m tired of being asked “was that a line from the Office or Parks and Rec?” This is real life bitch, and I’m mentally flexible enough to make up a joke that aligns with a real-life situation in real time. Regardless of what Michael Scott might have said in a similar scenario. Stop trying to tarnish my shine.
I don’t want to know the characters from your show. Someone named Soup Nazi deserves a brief smile at best. No soup for you, is nothing. Someone likely conceptualized that line while using the restroom. It took no effort. In my mind, I prefer to wrongly assume The Soup Nazi in this situation is a chef who believes Campbells is the superior brand of soup.
I don’t want to be a character from your show. I have the pleasure of being an active user of dating apps. The real pandemic there is the number of profiles claiming to be a Pam looking for their Jim. Sorry folks, sadly no one is going to script our lines or pay us ridiculous amounts of money on a per episode basis to be in a relationship together. But if you’re looking for a knight in shining armor to come ruin your current engagement, I can promise you that version of broken Jim exists in many scary incarnations in the online dating world.
I encourage you to tone it down or write yourself out of the plot of those around you who might choose to casually enjoy sitcoms without letting them consume their worldview. We can find something more benign to discuss, like my go to topic of the current weather.
I need to get back to reality now. My reality of true crime TV shows, where Sad Ross is phrogging in the housing projects of New York City, Kramer has been arrested for hate crimes, Jim is actively under investigation for embezzling from his office, the soup Nazi is serving time for poisoning patrons purposely, and the staff at the Parks and Rec Department are mapping out their plan to stem the flow of unidentified bodies being dropped off at local green spaces. Does that all sound insufferable?
*For each moot, we generate a cover image using DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'Sitcom Super Fans Ruin It For The Rest Of Us' in the style of James Ensor, Victor's artist of choice.*