It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and a link to the classic WKRP in Cincinnati episode “Turkeys Away” in my Facebook newsfeed has prompted me to binge-watch this weekend, at least the season one dvds.
This series has always been one of my all favourites. What struck me this weekend is how well the series held up. The eclectic characters are still funny: let’s face it: Herb Tarlick’s suits will always be good for a laugh. But what really struck me about watching season one was how easy it would have been for the characters to be the caricatures they appear to be at first glance. What makes the show still relevant and watchable today is that they didn’t. Mr. Carlson, the clueless station manager who’s never really sure what’s going on, talks calmly to a young girl through a tornado. Herb for all his chasing of Jennifer, really loves his wife Lucille and is heart-broken when they split. Without ever breaking character, they prove to be more than the outlines they first appear to be.
That being said, with a work week that included 3 evening meetings resulting in a PVR that was reaching its maximum capacity, I found myself watching old DVDs. Very little in the PVR appealed to me as much as re-runs of show that aired when I was in elementary school. I used to enjoy sitcoms more than dramas but the only sitcom I watch consistently now is “The Big Bang Theory”. I’ve started others but the humour seemed more mean spirited than funny. As a big fan of sarcasm, I realize it’s a fine line. Maybe I’m being picky, but I like to believe that the characters actually like each other (like Herb going on the ledge to rescue Les). Otherwise, it just feels like high school clique-y-ness. And that’s not fun to watch.