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Serious moments in Sitcoms that left you Tingley

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Serious moments in Sitcoms that left you Tingley

Old 09-24-04, 07:24 AM
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Serious moments in Sitcoms that left you Tingley

Ordinarily, a TV Sit-Com is a short comedy in a setting where situations come up and are resolved within 30-minutes. The situations that crop up can be serious in nature, but are not all that depth-divulging for the character(s) on the show. In other words, things happen but they really aren't that bad. Characters rarely get into a mode where they leave a chill in your spine from an observation they had, or from something profound, or simply sad.

Some examples:

Night Court:
I wasn't a regular to the show, but I did catch it from time to time and was very familiar with the characters.

Judge Stone (Harry Anderson) is exposed as being the "last judge on the list" - the list was, I guess, from test results for becoming a judge. This becomes a subject of ridicule for Stone, and at first he is ashamed. By the end of the episode, Stone gets more righteous and says to Christine Sullivan (Markie Post), "I may have been the last judge on the list, but I did make the list."

The Facts of Life:
This show, after the first season, became less of a fluff-job and focused on more weighty subjects - there are obviously more examples of "seriousness" here than on most SitComs, but one stands out to me.

Jo (Nancy McKeon) and Blair (Lisa Whelchel) are rivals, and each try to belittle the other as often as possible, and revel in the other's misery. So, Blair's absentee father is coming up to the school to pay a visit, and Blair is ecstatic because its been so long since she's seen him, and she adores him. By the end of the episode, a letter for Blair comes in the mail on the day her father's due to arrive, telling her that he couldn't make it, but left her a check to make up for it. As Blair is reading the letter and looking at the check, you see Jo approach quietly from behind with a serious look on her face, and Jo asks, "what's that?" Blair solemnly replys: "It's...my father."

The Brady Bunch:
This show was a favorite of mine, and as any fan of the show can tell you, it was quite cheesy at times. You couldn't really look for too much seriousness because the creator of the show wasn't into that. So you had situations where the kids competed against one another in potato sack races, or falling off a surfboard, or chin-up competitions. I think the first season and half of the second may have had some of most seriousness of the whole series, and here I will site more than one example.

1. Greg thinks he's the greatest baseball player ever, and puts himself on a pedestal. He is overly confident, but when the big game is over, Greg is defeated. He got creamed, apparently, and you see him in his baseball uniform, in his room, crying. The father comes into the room to both console and advise his son as to why this happened, and that it wasn't the end of the world, etc. But it was Greg's (Barry Williams) disillusionment that got me.

2. We all know Marcia, Marcia, Marcia (Maureen McCormick) - hot, sexy, smart older sister with a squint that could kill if she is pissed. Back when she parted her hair on the side, she was trying to get her new father awarded "Father of the Year." But to do so, she had to sneak letters out without anyone knowing, because it was going to be a surprise. Well, she gets busted climbing out of windows in the middle of the night, gets accused of lying, and is punished severely by her new father (Robert Reed). At one point, in her misery, she decides to withdraw his nomination, but realizes that her father and mother are punishing her because she indeed looks guilty. In the end, the newspaper people come to the house and award her surprised father with a plaque, and he is bewildered when they inform him that his daughter, Marcia, was the one who submitted him in the contest. Dad's look of pride at his daughter, and Marcia's acceptance of that look and big smile as they rush to one another...well, goosebumps every time.
Old 09-24-04, 08:45 AM
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Good post. The Episode of Family Ties when Alex's friend dies in a car crash, in a car he was supposed to be in - 'Why am I alive?! Why am I alive?!' comes to mind.
Old 09-24-04, 08:45 AM
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Lindsey in Arrested Development leaves me "tingley" after each and every episode. But I don't think that's what you mean.

Both The Simpsons and Futurama have had some nice moments for such silly shows. Like Maggie's First Word, Frye's Brother, and Jurassic Bark.

MASH is a given.

Family Ties had an excellent, surreal episode where Alex worked through the death of a friend. Oops, Strafe beat me to it.

The ending of Black Adder IV always gets to me for some reason.
Old 09-24-04, 09:10 AM
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In other words - when did Very Special episodes make you feel very special.
Old 09-24-04, 09:38 AM
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Soap when the father realizes that Jessica Tate is probably going to die, and he says something like "I remember when she was a little girl who stood on my shoes to dance with me. A father should never outlive his daughter..."
Old 09-24-04, 09:43 AM
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I loathe very special episodes, or even serious moments whatsoever. Reason #1 why Seinfeld is the greatest sitcom of all time IMHO.

The best sitcom to ever get away with "serious" moments was Cheers.
Old 09-24-04, 10:14 AM
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Remember that episode of Family Matters where Urkel accidently killed the younger sister with Carl's gun and we never saw her again because they stashed the body over at Balki's?
Old 09-24-04, 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by Meatpants


The best sitcom to ever get away with "serious" moments was Cheers.
I don't know. I think Scrubs does a great job. And because of that I get tingles a lot when watching scrubs. <3 the scrubs.
Old 09-24-04, 10:21 AM
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My favorite is the very special episode of Gumbel to Gumbel, I am getting all tingley thinking about it now.
Old 09-24-04, 10:38 AM
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In that Family Ties episode mentioned, was the friend that died in a car crash a recurring character that had been on the showe for several seasons, or just a new character introduced in that episode?
Old 09-24-04, 10:38 AM
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Blossom. Every damn episode.
Old 09-24-04, 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by Ted The Bug
In that Family Ties episode mentioned, was the friend that died in a car crash a recurring character that had been on the showe for several seasons, or just a new character introduced in that episode?
Unfortunately, it was a new character...which took the edge off quite a bit. Kind of like when a red shirt bit it on Star Trek and Kirk bemoaned him as one of his best friends.
Old 09-24-04, 10:51 AM
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The "musical" episode of Scrubs from the first season. I can't remember the name, but JD's patient says she thinks death is like a big musical number and when she dies, JD sees that number in his head. It's one of the most moving moments I've ever seen on television.
Old 09-24-04, 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by Triple S
Remember that episode of Family Matters where Urkel accidently killed the younger sister with Carl's gun and we never saw her again because they stashed the body over at Balki's?
....and she now does porn!
Old 09-24-04, 11:10 AM
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"A Different World" - Dwayne Wayne stops Whitley's wedding ceremony to a senator and they get married.
Old 09-24-04, 11:29 AM
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I think Scrubs does it perfect, they throw in a scene in a show.

Of course the one with brendan fraser was excellent.

That my friends is the smartest show on TV. Arrested Development is the funniest.
Old 09-24-04, 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by Groucho
Both The Simpsons and Futurama have had some nice moments for such silly shows. Like Maggie's First Word, Frye's Brother, and Jurassic Bark.
The end of Jurassic Bark literally had me tearing up.... My wife walked into the room immediately afterwards and laughed at me for it. Then I made her watch it... ah sweet revenge!

The series finale "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings" and the episode from a few seasons before where Fry gets parasitic worms that make him smart, both give me that tingly feeling also. Man I hate Fox so much for cancelling that show.
Old 09-24-04, 12:57 PM
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right now, scrubs does this very well.

the brendan fraser episode, of course. but i thought the ones with michael j. fox were VERY good.
Old 09-24-04, 02:45 PM
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A Christmas episode of "All in the Family" had Mike invite his draft-dodging friend over for dinner and Archie invited his friend Pinky, who lost his son in Vietnam. Archie finds out about the draft-dodging bit and, obviously, goes berzerk. He and Mike had the following exchange:
Mike: "Arch, when are you going to admit that the war was wrong?!?"
Archie: "I'm not talking about the war! I don't want to hear about that GODDAMN WAR NO MORE!"

The way O'Connor delivered that last line, he was practically in tears, and at the very top of his voice. You know, when you can't scream loud enough and you're almost inauduble because you're so loud? That gets me every time.
Old 09-24-04, 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by Charlie Goose
A Christmas episode of "All in the Family" had Mike invite his draft-dodging friend over for dinner and Archie invited his friend Pinky, who lost his son in Vietnam. Archie finds out about the draft-dodging bit and, obviously, goes berzerk. He and Mike had the following exchange:
Mike: "Arch, when are you going to admit that the war was wrong?!?"
Archie: "I'm not talking about the war! I don't want to hear about that GODDAMN WAR NO MORE!"

The way O'Connor delivered that last line, he was practically in tears, and at the very top of his voice. You know, when you can't scream loud enough and you're almost inauduble because you're so loud? That gets me every time.
Reading that just gave me tingles. Bravo, CharlieGoose!
Old 09-24-04, 03:21 PM
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Mad About You "Natural History"
Paul and Jamie fight over each having separate plans on the first day off in a while for both of them. While fighting they also argue about if it was really Fate that brought them together as a couple- Paul says it's was all luck.

Later they are surprised when they run into each other at the Natural History Museum. Jamie says it's Fate that brought them together today despite each having separate plans- Paul disagrees. While there one of them talks about their last time at the museum- when they were kids there was a blackout while on a school field trip. But neither can agree on whose story it really is- Paul claims it happened to him and his cousin Ira, Jamie says she was there with her sister Lisa.

Then in a flashback, we see in the confusion of a blackout kids trying to find their way out- Paul and Ira are there and they bump into Jamie and Lisa. Jamie drops her purse and Paul helps to pick it up. Back to present day, as they leave Jamie drops her purse and Paul helps to pick it up. As he does he seems to remember a faint memory and finally admits that MAYBE it was Fate that brought them together.

Call me a sap, but that episode gets me everytime.
Old 09-24-04, 03:33 PM
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Different Strokes.. with Arnold and the other guy at the creepy bicycle shop
Old 09-24-04, 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by Charlie Goose
A Christmas episode of "All in the Family" had Mike invite his draft-dodging friend over for dinner and Archie invited his friend Pinky, who lost his son in Vietnam. Archie finds out about the draft-dodging bit and, obviously, goes berzerk. He and Mike had the following exchange:
Mike: "Arch, when are you going to admit that the war was wrong?!?"
Archie: "I'm not talking about the war! I don't want to hear about that GODDAMN WAR NO MORE!"

The way O'Connor delivered that last line, he was practically in tears, and at the very top of his voice. You know, when you can't scream loud enough and you're almost inauduble because you're so loud? That gets me every time.

That was a very intense and emotional scene.
Old 09-24-04, 04:01 PM
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One thing to keep in mind is that All In the Family was geared for these moments and had many of them, as it was a dramatic-comedy. That said, it was still a very tingley scene.
Old 09-24-04, 04:01 PM
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"Good Times" when the mother finds out the father was killed-

"James, DAMN DAMN DAMN!

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