David Hong’s emotional state deeply disturbs me. Anyway, let me respond, because as usual, David is totally wrong.

David, you are wrong. Many shows changed, even the ones you mentioned, you fool. Cheers changed significantly with the switchover to Kirstie Alley. The Facts of Life, didn’t Cloris Leachman come on in the later seasons? Three’s Company changed when Chrissy (Suzanne Somers, star of She’s The Sheriff) was replaced by that other chick, Priscilla Barnes.

The problem isn’t that they change, it’s that they try to hang on to the old formula, and that’s why they die. They gotta stay fresh. Anyway, Cosby Show and Growing Pains added the kid to recapture that kid flavor of the earlier years, and that obviousy didn’t work.

Anyway, the Simpsons is a good example of this. In the first few seasons, the humor was weird and the emphasis was on Bart as this kid leader. They changed things around, and that change was good, it’s what kept the Simpsons good. Now the humor is different, and the emphasis has changed subtly. It’s clearly much more on Homer. Anyway, change is good.

Not to say that Friends is a good show though. I only last week sat through an entire episode of Friends, mostly because it was boring every time I saw a clip. And last week wasn’t that funny.

Another thing David is wrong about – Simpsons is not timeless. Because there are way too many pop culture references, and that kind of stuff gets outdated quick. Like, who’s gonna laugh at McBain or the Arsenio references in Late Night With McBain in 30 years? Only us. Arnold will be like Steve McQueen, the biggest star of his time, but like now, who of the younger generation would get any McQueen parodies? The Simpsons is almost entirely like that, and without the contemporary cultural context, it’s not nearly as funny.

I did watch My Two Dads. Costarring Greg Evigan, I believe. And they had this big truck sofa. I hated the kid in that show, and she was the weak link in Step By Step. Just way too whiny. And too convincing to be acting. I was too overwhelmed by dislike for her to notice Paul Reiser. But I never thought he was that bad.

And Step By Step, the College Years was a great show. The episode featuring the reunion with Lisa Turtle… wow. I needed my Kleenex for that one. Compelling television.

I think a year of Korean music has seriously damaged David’s musical tastes, perhaps irrevocably. The boy band phenomenon is a good thing???!!! Good music???!!! It’s trite, repetitive, and terribly overproduced. I can’t believe he thinks they sing well. How can you tell through all the production? Isn’t it clear that the focus on them is on style over substance? There’s a reason for that. Namely, there is no substance. Oh my goodness, there is so much about it that I hate. Number one the repetitive drums. Ack. And the worst thing is Dave likes 98 Degrees. They’re derivative of a derivative genre! You can’t get worse than that! I’m so angry right now.

All is not lost, David. Go buy Caedmon’s Call’s 40 Acres immediately and do not stop listening to it for the next 72 hours. Do not stop listening to it. It’s your only chance, and you’re hanging on a thread, like Uma Thurman, Marcellus’ wife, in Pulp Fiction, after her heroin overdose.

By the way, am I (and maybe Dave) the only person that remembers all those bad 80s sitcoms? That remembers the TV series Nell with Nell Carter (and Joey Lawrence)? 227? Who regularly watched Amen with Sherman Helmsley? Who remembers when Menudo appeared on Silver Spoons? The Punky Brewster episode where Punky and Cherie believe Cheese Doodles increase breast size? Or when Henry has an ulcer? Or watched Amazing Stories? Or Misfits of Science?

I watched way too much TV.

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