Comedy Central's 'Big Lake' - Is this a joke?

I’m half-way through the first episode of Big Lake, and I feel like I’m missing something. Is it supposed to be this bad? I mean, is it like a spoof of a horribly produced sitom or just a horribly produced sitcom?

If it is comedy central, I’m going to guess there is nothing funny about it…

Of course, Jon Stewart is the exception.

And Reno 911.

I guess I had higher expectations for this show since it was created by the *Funny or Die *guys.

Remember, half of Funny or Die is . . . die.

And South Park, and Tosh.0…

The first clue it would suck was the inclusion of Horatio Sans. Oh, and it sucked so very, very hard.

You might want to stop there. Or maybe back up a bit.

I am baffled by it.

It is so unbelievably bad. The laugh track alone is suicide-inducing. Terrible acting.

I went thru a couple of ideas:

  1. It’s a spoof of sitcoms.

No. This isn’t. There is no spoofing. They are actually doing a direct comedy.

  1. I’m not the target demo.

Okay, I know that I don’t “get” certain things, etc. And there’s people out there who like low brow humor and “Everyone Loves Raymond”. But, no. No one, even in the “Jackass” fan base, could possibly enjoy this.

The idea that not only did some people make this, but executives at CC saw the pilot and decided to buy the show, makes me weep for the future of the human race.

Some people need to get fired.

I thought I read a few months ago that Comedy Central was planning to move to a more high-brow, conceptual sort of comedy, basically because of new management.

I guess not though? This was the worst of bad cliche-ridden pointless sitcommery I’ve seen in a long time.

Yep, the writing, acting, lighting, laugh-track, etc. are all deliberately terrible. I didn’t care for the first episode, but first episodes are usually the worst. I enjoyed the 2nd ep, though.

What’s the evidence that the terribleness is deliberate?

… and Futurama …

And Mind of Mencia!

Oh, wait, nevermind…

It’s all consistently bad in a manner that mimics every family-friendly sitcom I’ve ever seen. Also, it’s produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, whose comedies involve a lot of deliberately bad exaggerations of stock characters and genre films.

You can throw Chappelle Show and Colbert and Strangers With Candy on the list of good CC shows. They’re capable of some pretty good original programming, even along with the misses.

Big Lake is pretty bad. What’s surprising to me is not that it isn’t very good, but that it’s so conventional. When CC strikes out, they usually do so while attempting something different or edgy. A trite, laugh track sitcom with a hackneyed, adult-son-moves-back-in-with-parents premise? Why? What did they think was promising about this?

This. It’s a type of deliberate awfulness that many people can’t appreciate as humor. I think this is why most people have either very positive or very negative -but not lukewarm- opinions of Will Ferrell; he’s very skilled at this sort of pastiche. It’s the sort of thing that falls very flat if the writers and actors are too deadpan about it; there needs to be at least a little bit of winking to the audience I think.

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman quite similarly stuck very intentionally to hackneyed soap opera tropes as a vehicle for social satire. (Many critics didn’t see any satiric art in that show, either, and ultimately it couldn’t survive, but I think it stands up quite well historically.)

I think that’s the first time I laughed at that show. Expect him to incorporate it into his act next week.

And MST3K.

Yeah. I’m going back 19 years to pull a relevant example. What of it?

If this is right, then from what I saw, the imitation is too successful. :wink: