03/28/2011 MM: "A Roseanne By Any Other Name, Part 2"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
This is really great.  I had to read through it pretty quickly just now, but I think the applicability to design is excellent and it deserves to be absorbed.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

I'm starting to get the impression that the quotes in the first part were all his lines, which is not unimpressive.
Aw, how cute.  My cousin uses wide ruled paper too.  She's in kindergarten, though.
Well, I'm now in suspense waiting for part 3, where it sounds like the real conflict and excitement is going to be. It seems like maro is building up to telling some interesting stories. The general principles that can be applied to everything, including magic design, are good although as far as life wisdom goes, stuff like "There is always good among the bad" is a bit of a cliche, hopefully most of us have lived enough to have figured that out. I don't want to sound critical though, because I like these articles and Maro has written so much great content for this site that he's earned the right to ramble about Roseanne.
For example, during Zendikar it was clear that the main drive for me, tapping the rich vein of mechanics involving land, was not a selling point to other people in the company. Because of that, I spent a lot of time pushing other aspects of the set, knowing that I had to create an expansion I could sell internally. This pressure really pushed me towards the adventure world aspect of the set.



I would like to know more about this.  What kinds of selling points does Wizards respond to?  What does it take to successfully "pitch" a set?
I actually disagree with Amarsir. I'm generally a fan of columns that apply outside lessons to design, but this one just leaves me cold.

Lesson #4 is the first big crack, in my view. It feels exceedingly disconnected from design--why is this lesson important? Why does it matter whether the factors that were pushing you towards the adventure world aspect of Zendikar were internal or external? How would recognition of "what was shaping [your] reality" have given you a better grasp of where you stood on Roseanne? Frankly, that whole section just left me scratching my head.

Lesson #5 I understood much better--you need to pay additional attention to the exciting parts that are naturally going to pull focus, because that's what people are going to be watching, but you need to be aware that other parts need love, too.

However, I think I'll add in a corollary to Lesson 5: "Everyone has their own 'Shiny'." To the best of my recollection, I've never seen so much as a single episode of Roseanne. The most I've ever heard of it outside of Mark's columns are fleeting references to it on TVTropes and various other sources, and I'm just not interested in it. I tend to dislike sitcoms in general, outright despise slice-of-life sitcoms, and have no interest whatsoever in celebrities or Hollywood. So for me, far from being "the shiny", the actors are "the dross", and therefore the rest of the column feels exceedingly forced, like you felt obligated to make it about the actors and thus had to stretch it to accomodate finding a lesson for each cast member, rather than listing lessons that simply arose naturally.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I think MaRo's just bitter that nobody's heard of Roseanne.
The first lesson is obscure and confusing. Is Mark saying he should have been more confident and asked for some specifics, or that he shouldn't have made the poor runner's job difficult by asking for such specific items? And sentences like "I would have a much better sense of where I stood and what I needed to accomplish if I had a better grasp on what was shaping my reality"... just, what?

I agree with sulfuricmage that the rest of the lessons here are very generic. "Don't judge a book by its cover", "There's always room to be surprised"... well, yes, I mean, they're sensible, but they're not new by any stretch of the imagination.

Like zammm, I've never watched Roseanne, so I didn't really have much interest in these actors, and so this week didn't do much for me. I guess Mark is answering the questions he does get asked frequently, though, so I guess I can't begrudge him that. But although I've never minded the Roseanne references before in my ten years of reading magicthegathering.com, I did groan somewhat when Mark said this would be a three-parter rather than a two-parter. I'm looking forward to some more articles specifically about Magic.

(Mata_Hari is exaggerating somewhat though. Even though I'm a Brit, I was aware of a sitcom called Roseanne running in repeats on British TV while I was growing up.)
OK, he's just bitter that instead of doing something people might actually give two **** about he's designing cards for a nerd card game.
Mark obviously owned exactly one t-shirt until the invention of plaid in 1996. (It couldn't possibly be that the pictures were all taken on the same day.)

These life lessons were pretty generic. I think this isn't meeting the standard of previous MaRo lessons articles because of the weak ties to Magic. Part of the problem is that it seems the biggest things he learned from Roseanne were about thriving in a workplace, and he can't exactly provide comparisons to his current R&D coworkers.

And three parts? Seriously?
Usually these days  I dislike Mark's columns and other people love them, so it figures that today I like it and seem to be in the minority.

As my first statement would imply, I frequently disagree with Mark, but today I found we have strong common ground - the later series of Roseanne were awful. The winning-the-lottery storyline was the last straw, so I never saw the last episode which I have just looked up onlin enad it sounds very strange.
"Personally, I believe $50 is the roof that someone will pay for a Standard card, Mythic or otherwise." - Ben Bleiweiss, StarCity Games ----------------------------------------------------------
I really liked this article.  The man has lived an interesting life (as one would expect from the head designer of Magic the Gathering), and I get some great insight from these stories. 

I think Lesson #7, there are many ways to learn something, rings here.  Mark has shared a lot of information with us about his personal struggles and triumphs in life.  How strange must it be to meet these Magic players who know so much about you already, much like how you know so much about Jackie without having met her. 
Man, you already told that story about your interaction with Roseanne, seven years ago!
blah blah metal lyrics
Hmmm... can't be coincidence I found this under my windshield wiper this morning:

DISTRIBUTE FREELY - YOUR LIFE MAY BE AT STAKE!

Television- Obsolete communications medium from the 18th century. Still in use by the utmost dregs of the underclass for kneeling before the American Idol. It's motto: Enjoy what I tell you to or do something else. Victim of its own hubris: Writers consistently wrote condescending scripts, acting on the belief that they were smarter than their audience. Collapse of medium attributed to systemic advertising poisoning and consequent widespread lack of interest.

Magic: The Gathering- First successful CCG, a medium that requires interaction from its participants. Ideological opposite of television. Presents a threat to future dystopias based on its encouragement of communication between all the planet's inhabitants. To counteract this, we have dispatched a temporal agent to 1995, the fulcrum of Magic's history, in an attempt to pre-emptively halt Wild Stallyn Syndrome and keep the planet's population dormant in their harvesting vats.

Our agent will be/has been an inside man on Magic's development staff. He is everything toxic to Magic: He believes he is smarter than its audience, instinctively talks down to them,  and is willing to dictate the nature of fun. Best of all, he believes that creativity is something found in seminars and how-to manuals. In short, he is a television writer.

We further suggest dispatching him with instructions to spread propaganda re: the "psychographic profiles", further fragmenting the community of Magic players, and ensuring the eternal dominance of the mundane. We believe doing so will provide time to bring Project Mythic online, which will be the final sundering of the casual and professional playing communities, and thus, Magic's death knell.
What I'm curious to hear - and I'm sorry if I missed it, if it was mentioned previously - is if anybody from the show knows what he does now, and what a geek culture heavyweight he has become. I'd be really curious to hear about that.
Holy Hanna!

I can't believe all the snotty people who have posted here...

I'm not a psychologist, so I can't discern the motivation behind all of this negativity.  (But I certainly am curious as to why there is so much of it here.)

I will go on record as saying:

a)  I almost always enjoy "Making Magic"
b) I am very interested in this 3-part series
c) MtG design has _flourished_ on MR's watch
d) Mark has also done some really generous things such as the Great Designer Searches, and including people from other areas of WOTC in design teams

What would it take for Maro to earn your approval??? 

This is actually pretty tame, in part because there was so little Magic-related content in here. But, Rosanne is and always has been a lightning rod for criticism. On top of that, many people are already sick of hearing that he worked for her show and certainly don't need three articles about it.

What would it take for Maro to earn your approval??? 

Just in case this was aimed partially at me, I'd like to clarify: Mark has my approval (not that he needs it; I'm not the boss of him). I just really didn't like this article at all. I suspect that others in this thread would say the same.

On top of that, many people are already sick of hearing that he worked for her show and certainly don't need three articles about it.

Eh, I don't mind Mark talking about Roseanne in general, or even basing a series of articles on his time there. I just wish this article didn't stretch as far as it did to cover "the Shiny" he felt obligated to talk about.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I'm enjoying this sub-series, even though I never really liked Roseanne (due to the actress; I never watched it enough to comment on the writing).

In the photo with John Goodman, MaRo looks a lot like Jerry Seinfeld.

I really get a "we took all the photos on the same day" vibe somehow, which makes me think it was probably Mark's last day on the show?
Wait a jiffy...
OVER 9 THOUSANDS OBJECTIONS!!!!

You claim to habe interacted with Roseanne once, but we see you did at least twice!
Once in your story, once wen you took the photo. And who was taking the photographs...? I smell a conspiracy.

We now know the truth guys.

Now I will continue building my yugioh deck.
Kirby's point needs to be addressed.


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Personally, I have never been annoyed by Mark's Roseanne references.  There was a time when he seemed to mention every week even, and I could understand why people would complain, but he has not been doing that recently.  I am glad that we are finally getting the highlights from his time there.  I think Mark waited the right amount of time.  Most people have mostly forgotten about Roseanne (it's fallen out of the syndicated rerun circuit I believe).  It amuses me how often Mark has to keep reminding the reader that Roseanne was the number 1 show while he was writing for it.  I don't think that the show is fondly regarded in pop culture's collective memory.


 


With all that said, I found this article very weak.  I enjoyed hearing Mark's experiences from his time in Hollywood, but I found the connections to Magic to be very loose.  What really irritated me was how Mark would give a short anecdote, often just a general impression of a person's personality, and then say something like "this lesson applies to Magic" without ever pointing what exactly the lesson was.  Several of the points seemed to have no salient lesson that I could discern.


 



With all that said, I found this article very weak.  I enjoyed hearing Mark's experiences from his time in Hollywood, but I found the connections to Magic to be very loose.  What really irritated me was how Mark would give a short anecdote, often just a general impression of a person's personality, and then say something like "this lesson applies to Magic" without ever pointing what exactly the lesson was.  Several of the points seemed to have no salient lesson that I could discern.


 



I've always defended Maro's "off-kilter" articles, even the ones without many Magic references in them. But I agree with this point here, the references here don't really work. In the future, I would suggest that if you can't draw a more logical connection between the two, just drop them and let the article stand as a non-Magic article, but one that gives us a look at the person and the experiences that made them what they are today. 
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
It works for me as long as someone else writes a design article. The problem is that these egotistical tangents of his replace the design article for the week. Making Magic is the Monday column that sets the tone for the week in articles. Articles on Rosanne or facebook or topical blends more or less tell me, "take the week off."

On top of that, many people are already sick of hearing that he worked for her show and certainly don't need three articles about it.

Eh, I don't mind Mark talking about Roseanne in general, or even basing a series of articles on his time there. I just wish this article didn't stretch as far as it did to cover "the Shiny" he felt obligated to talk about.



The show itself was something of a lightning rod. As many people hate Rosanne as love her, perhaps more. I had to get past her abrasiveness just to watch it, and it actually was pretty clever for a sitcom. (Of course being a sitcom eliminates it from any serious discussion.)

But I know for a fact I am far from the only one who groaned at his repeated references to his old job. You get at least six or seven people per time he says something. Now he is in the middle of the never-ending Rosanne series and he is automatically setting himself up for criticism regardless of the article content. And frankly, I don;t think either of these two articles were very good.

We expect a design article on Monday. Surely Ken or one of the other designers wouldn't mind stepping in six or seven times a year to write some useful content to start the week. then Mark could get a second section in the archives called "MaRo's World."
Roseanne did open up Blues Traveller to a wider audience.
(Of course being a sitcom eliminates it from any serious discussion.)


Yes, let's dismiss half the output of an entire medium on the basis that roughly half of the most popular examples are crap. Or did "television comedy is all disposable mass-media drivel" come up on your Pretentious Sound-Bites Magic 8-Ball?
(Of course being a sitcom eliminates it from any serious discussion.)


Yes, let's dismiss half the output of an entire medium on the basis that roughly half of the most popular examples are crap. Or did "television comedy is all disposable mass-media drivel" come up on your Pretentious Sound-Bites Magic 8-Ball?


I can't think of a single sitcom that rates above a 6 out of 10 for me.  The best ones like Seinfeld are merely watchable.  Canned laughter telling you you're supposed to laugh here, regardless of how lame or lazy the joke is, is so last century and lowest common denominator.

Compare with comedies like The Thick of It, Peep Show, The Office UK, Party Down, etc. and the difference in level of writing is night and day.
(Of course being a sitcom eliminates it from any serious discussion.)


Yes, let's dismiss half the output of an entire medium on the basis that roughly half of the most popular examples are crap. Or did "television comedy is all disposable mass-media drivel" come up on your Pretentious Sound-Bites Magic 8-Ball?


I can't think of a single sitcom that rates above a 6 out of 10 for me.  The best ones like Seinfeld are merely watchable.  Canned laughter telling you you're supposed to laugh here, regardless of how lame or lazy the joke is, is so last century and lowest common denominator.

Compare with comedies like The Thick of It, Peep Show, The Office UK, Party Down, etc. and the difference in level of writing is night and day.


I'm not positive, but I would guess you are confusing sitcom with multi-camera comedy. All of the shows you listed are sitcoms (although I suppose you can argue that there is a distinction between sitcom and political satire in the case of the Thick of It). I'd argue that there is nothing fundementally wrong with the Multi-Camera format, despite it often being used by lazy comedies. Shows like The Dick Van **** show, Seinfeld, Cheers, and The Mary Tyler Moore show were all excellent multi-camera comedies, and the format certainly is has its advantages. Newsradio for instance really used the multi-camera format to its advantage (for instance, this sequence in the episode Jumper uses the fairly stationary frame of a multi-camera comedy for a fairly effective gag that wouldn't work very well in a single camera sitcom).

There certainly is nothing wrong with the sitcom as a format. Sitcoms like The Simpsons (through season 8 or so), Arrested Development, Seinfeld, Cheers, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, M*A*S*H, Curb Your Enthusiasm, the Larry Sanders Show, and the Dick Van **** Show are all fairly traditional examples of sitcoms and are shows that I would not fault anyone for ranking highly on a list the best TV shows ever made. Currently Parks and Rec, Community, The Office, 30 Rock, Party Down, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother and Cougar Town are all sitcoms ranging from fine-good that have aired in the last year (with Party Down, Parks and Rec, and Community ranking very highly among all shows that have aired in the last year).

Sorry if this is super off topic, I'm not really sure what on-topic is in this thread.
I'm not positive, but I would guess you are confusing sitcom with multi-camera comedy. All of the shows you listed are sitcoms (although I suppose you can argue that there is a distinction between sitcom and political satire in the case of the Thick of It)


I know there are some people that would argue that "sitcom" encompasses them all, and I submit that that is using a deliberately obtuse definition of sitcom.  It's like calling Adele's song Someone Like You "emo".  Yes, emo is short for emotional and that song certainly is emotional, but that completely ignores what "emo" has come to mean in the context of music genre.  Same for "sitcom".

Decades of situational comedies being pretty much exclusively audience/laugh track based has resulted in "sitcom" being defined by the laugh track.  Ask 100 people on the street to name the defining characteristic of a sitcom, and the overwhelming majority would say laugh track.  Show another 100 people an episode of The Thick Of It and ask them the first word that comes to mind to describe the show, and only a handful would say "sitcom".
(Of course being a sitcom eliminates it from any serious discussion.)


Yes, let's dismiss half the output of an entire medium on the basis that roughly half of the most popular examples are crap. Or did "television comedy is all disposable mass-media drivel" come up on your Pretentious Sound-Bites Magic 8-Ball?



Unless they have improved dramatically since the mid-90's, I stand by what I said. If you want to give me an example of a good piece of television art, I am willing to check it out, but you need to aim much higher than Roseanne.
What, M*A*S*H?
This damn war!

Never was into that one myself. Too many people dressed the same in a single place, well save for Jamie Farr's character. I am probably one of the ten people in the country old enough to have seen the final episode, but didn't.
I'm not positive, but I would guess you are confusing sitcom with multi-camera comedy. All of the shows you listed are sitcoms (although I suppose you can argue that there is a distinction between sitcom and political satire in the case of the Thick of It)


I know there are some people that would argue that "sitcom" encompasses them all, and I submit that that is using a deliberately obtuse definition of sitcom.  It's like calling Adele's song Someone Like You "emo".  Yes, emo is short for emotional and that song certainly is emotional, but that completely ignores what "emo" has come to mean in the context of music genre.  Same for "sitcom".

Decades of situational comedies being pretty much exclusively audience/laugh track based has resulted in "sitcom" being defined by the laugh track.  Ask 100 people on the street to name the defining characteristic of a sitcom, and the overwhelming majority would say laugh track.  Show another 100 people an episode of The Thick Of It and ask them the first word that comes to mind to describe the show, and only a handful would say "sitcom".


I'm certainly willing to accept that The Thick of It isn't a sitcom, but to argue that something like The Office, which pretty much everything including the BBC website call a sitcom. Define sitcom as a multicamera comedy makes stuff like The Odd Couple and M*A*S*H not sitcoms, and defining sitcom as something with a studio audience/laugh track seems like a terrible definition for a genre. But I'd certainly be willing to accept that if you define sitcom as comedies you don't like, then there is no way you could ever like a sitcom.

(Of course being a sitcom eliminates it from any serious discussion.)


Yes, let's dismiss half the output of an entire medium on the basis that roughly half of the most popular examples are crap. Or did "television comedy is all disposable mass-media drivel" come up on your Pretentious Sound-Bites Magic 8-Ball?



Unless they have improved dramatically since the mid-90's, I stand by what I said. If you want to give me an example of a good piece of television art, I am willing to check it out, but you need to aim much higher than Roseanne.


Are you arguing that no television is good, or just no sitcoms? Roseanne isn't exactly the pinnacle of sitcoms (and it had the unfortunate timing of airing at the same time as things like Cheers and Seinfeld, ended with a terrible couple of seasons, and had a star who gained a reputation of being crazy), but its a fairly solid show and it treats its characters financial situation (specifically how poor they are) in a way that very few sitcoms have. But yes, I would agree that Roseanne isn't really setting the Barr very high (Sorry).

In terms of Sitcoms that are good, here's a list of a few to start with:


  • Parks And Recreation (Single Camera, Mockumentary)

  • Community (Single Camera)

  • Faulty Towers (Multi Camera, Laugh Track)

  • Cheers (Multi Camera, Laugh Track)

  • The Simpsons, Seasons 2-8 (Animated)

  • Seinfeld (Multi Camera, Laugh Track)

  • Newsradio (Multi Camera, Laugh Track)

  • The Bob Newhart Show (Multi Camera, Laugh Track) (I prefer Newhart to this, but the good seasons of Newhart are inexplicably not really available)

  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Multi Camera, Laugh Track)

  • Arrested Development (Single Camera)

  • The Larry Sanders Show (Single Camera)

  • M*A*S*H (Single Camera, Laugh Track) (I don't particularly like MASH, but I know plenty of people who swear by it)

  • The Office (US and UK) (Single Camera, Mockumentary)


If you don't think that any TV is good, I highly recommend starting with the HBO trifecta (The Wire, Deadwood, The Sopranos).
I can't stand Parks & Rec but otherwise that's a great list. I would only add Aaron Sorkin's short-lived Sports Night. Which, if memory serves, was being referred to as a "dramedy". (And it's vastly less obnoxious than his subsequent work.)

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Hmmm... can't be coincidence I found this under my windshield wiper this morning:

DISTRIBUTE FREELY - YOUR LIFE MAY BE AT STAKE!

Television- Obsolete communications medium from the 18th century. Still in use by the utmost dregs of the underclass for kneeling before the American Idol. It's motto: Enjoy what I tell you to or do something else. Victim of its own hubris: Writers consistently wrote condescending scripts, acting on the belief that they were smarter than their audience. Collapse of medium attributed to systemic advertising poisoning and consequent widespread lack of interest.

Magic: The Gathering- First successful CCG, a medium that requires interaction from its participants. Ideological opposite of television. Presents a threat to future dystopias based on its encouragement of communication between all the planet's inhabitants. To counteract this, we have dispatched a temporal agent to 1995, the fulcrum of Magic's history, in an attempt to pre-emptively halt Wild Stallyn Syndrome and keep the planet's population dormant in their harvesting vats.

Our agent will be/has been an inside man on Magic's development staff. He is everything toxic to Magic: He believes he is smarter than its audience, instinctively talks down to them,  and is willing to dictate the nature of fun. Best of all, he believes that creativity is something found in seminars and how-to manuals. In short, he is a television writer.

We further suggest dispatching him with instructions to spread propaganda re: the "psychographic profiles", further fragmenting the community of Magic players, and ensuring the eternal dominance of the mundane. We believe doing so will provide time to bring Project Mythic online, which will be the final sundering of the casual and professional playing communities, and thus, Magic's death knell.



Poor them. To fail so hard.
From the article:
The greatest risk, I say to my designers, is taking no risks. The one thing surest to kill Magic the fastest is us not being willing to try out new things. Magic's lifeblood is its evolution and its ability to constantly surprise the audience. Not every idea works out, but ideas that aren't tried never work out.



This is a really important thing to know and to consider, but it has a pretty big corollary: To be able to take risks, you need to be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. If a single mistake is enough to get you fired, you will try hard to always make safe choices.

I'd be interested to see this reflected in part 3, both in regards to Magic's design (what would it take for a designer to be taken out from a team?) and to Roseanne (was there room for experiment or mistakes at all?).

As for the TV argument, it's not the medium that matters, it is the content. The content that is relevant to me comes from the internet, so I don't watch TV at all. (But then again, I'm in Europe, where TV culture is quite different from the US, as I know from personal experience.)

Are you arguing that no television is good, or just no sitcoms? Roseanne isn't exactly the pinnacle of sitcoms (and it had the unfortunate timing of airing at the same time as things like Cheers and Seinfeld, ended with a terrible couple of seasons, and had a star who gained a reputation of being crazy), but its a fairly solid show and it treats its characters financial situation (specifically how poor they are) in a way that very few sitcoms have. But yes, I would agree that Roseanne isn't really setting the Barr very high (Sorry).

In terms of Sitcoms that are good, here's a list of a few to start with:


  • Parks And Recreation (Single Camera, Mockumentary)

  • Community (Single Camera)

  • Faulty Towers (Multi Camera, Laugh Track)

  • Cheers (Multi Camera, Laugh Track)

  • The Simpsons, Seasons 2-8 (Animated)

  • Seinfeld (Multi Camera, Laugh Track)

  • Newsradio (Multi Camera, Laugh Track)

  • The Bob Newhart Show (Multi Camera, Laugh Track) (I prefer Newhart to this, but the good seasons of Newhart are inexplicably not really available)

  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Multi Camera, Laugh Track)

  • Arrested Development (Single Camera)

  • The Larry Sanders Show (Single Camera)

  • M*A*S*H (Single Camera, Laugh Track) (I don't particularly like MASH, but I know plenty of people who swear by it)

  • The Office (US and UK) (Single Camera, Mockumentary)


If you don't think that any TV is good, I highly recommend starting with the HBO trifecta (The Wire, Deadwood, The Sopranos).



I've heard good things about all the HBO shows. I'm not much into television these days, having spent too much time being disappointed by it and very fruitful time without it - six and a half years before someone knocked on my door and offered me a deal right as the World Series was starting and I was having trouble dialing it in on my radio. So I recently took back basic cable because Comcast cut a deal with me that having it with the internet woiuld be cheaper than just internet, but I have not turned it on since the Super Bowl. I think I might actually have gotten HBO as one of the perks, never checked.

I have seen most if not all of the older sitcoms you mentioned and frankly those are significantly better than Rosanne (examples: MTM, almost the anti-Rosanne in more ways than one, Cheers, Faulty Towers, and the Bob Newhart show) but no I do not consider them high art just because they are so much better than what followed. I could list several other shows, including Soap, Night Court, and Barney Miller (just off the top of my head) that were far better shows than Rosanne could ever hope to have been. But I do not remember the last time such a show ever actually counted as must-see television for me. I'm not going to count when I was eight years old and couldn't bear going to school being the only kid that didn't see a specific episode of something.

So I stand by what I said about sitcoms, and I've been making the assumption all along that there exists better television to watch. This has been justified by people telling me about specific shows over the years, with the Sopranos leading the list and Deadwood getting nods as well. But life has been much, much better without the thing on and I admit I will probably never, ever watch even those shows. But sitcoms? No. Compared to each other there will always be better and worse ones, but I don't need to make those comparisons.
So, good drama is art but good comedy is entertainment...riiiiiiight.
My favorite show of all time is The Prisoner, if you must know. (No, not the recent remake.) Yes, I consider that particular show to be a work of art. And if you read the post,you would have noticed that I heard good things about these shows, not that I myself rated them highly. Yes, based on the recommendations I have gotten from people who have similar tastes to mine and also some posters here whose opinions I respect, I am much more likely to watch these shows than anything with a punchline every 20 seconds. Sorry that bothers you so much that you need to lash out.

Furthermore, had other posters not actually provided me some things to think about, the conversation would have died with you calling me an elitist (this seems to be a pattern). Instead, it now dies with me realizing you think "art" and "entertainment" have to be diametrically opposed, and that you started a short side conversation without ever adding anything to it. I offered you a chance to give me examples and other people picked up your slack. One of them even listed a bunch of sitcoms that, from the ones I have actually seen at least, are head and shoulders obover this Rosanne show you seem so eager to defend at every turn, whether it is being attacked or not. (Another pattern.)

To be fair, Roseanne does sit above a number of shows that were out during its time. Which is what I said. It certainly was not an indication of stupidity to be a fan of that show during its time on television.
The moment anybody implies a creative work "isn't art" based on their own imaginary criteria I stop bothering trying to convince them of anything. There is great art and there is horrible art but nothing one person creates to entertain or enlighten other people ceases to be art because it fits some nebulous idea of being overly commercial or somehow compromised. The "According to Jim"-level airwave filler that you seem to think constitutes the full realm of the sitcom is, even at its absolute nadir, art. It's just staggeringly poorly-made art. 
Technically it is all "art" by dictionary definition and I intentionally misused the word in a way that many, many others have before me, yes. (I do this with music too - be thankful you never ended up on the wrong side of such a discussion with me on that subject.)

This admonishment is probably what I deserve for spending too much time trying to ensure my penultimate reply to you was descriptive enough in other areas, even though I knew those would be probably be ignored by you anyway. Be well, and may you find that place where everything you like is described in nothing less than glowing terms.
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