The thing that separates America from the rest of the world,

more than Hollywood, more than rock-and-roll, are sitcoms. No one else even comes close to the slices of life that roll off the prime time sandwich line every night at retail for the homies, wholesale for the rest of the world, at least for those who ‘get it’. Most don’t. Most countries that produce their own shows go for news, variety, games, soap operas, even historical dramas, but few can come up with a true sit-com, endless variations on a non-variable context, essentially doing the same show over and over again, always different. Formerly the butt of jokes from the intelligentsia, sitcoms now draw some of Hollywood’s cleverest writers and has truly established itself as an art form to be reckoned with. As an abstract format largely divorced from current events and local issues, they do especially well in rerun and export, forever immortalizing the phrase, “the one where”.