Home > Tv show review > Do I have a sense of humor?

Do I have a sense of humor?

I’m sure I used to have a sense of humor. When the Dilbert strip started I thought it very funny. When I sat at work meetings—which unfortunately I did most days, for big chunks of the day—I often got distracted by the unintentional humor, often to my detriment: sooner or later someone would notice the smile on my face or ask for my opinion and I would be left to choose between allowing I had long lost track of what they were saying or having to make up some non-answer answer. To my shame I usually chose the latter.
As my company changed, not for the best, and I found myself inhabiting the Dilbert realm, I stopped thinking Dilbert was funny. Since I retired, it’s been funny again.
I can’t tell whether I still have a sense of humor. Recently we watched the first episode of a Netflix comedy, “Master of None.” Neither Ruth nor I thought anything even remotely funny took place during the half hour show. In fact, we thought it particularly unfunny. And yet, a column by Emily Nussbaum in the New Yorker (11/23/2015) thought it was “strong, wide-ranging and genuinely funny.” She thought an incident was particularly funny: the main character, musing about having kids, thinks it could be an amazing experience though, what if he wants pasta and he couldn’t find a sitter?
“What? I’m not eating pasta? That would be horrible.”
That’s the punchline. Obviously I no longer know what is funny.
Maybe I’m old. (Actually, I am old) What I mean is that a sense of humor may deteriorate with age. Why not? So many other things do. Maybe. But I still crack up watching “The Court Jester” for the umpteenth time.
Last night we watched “Doll & Em,” an HBO comedy on its second season. I don’t know if Ruth likes it, its about two women friends. After watching the third half hour episode episode I tried the fourth and then I begged off, I could take no more.
Ruth asked me if we had watched the whole last season of “Episodes,” a Showtime series. Like “Doll & Em” it is based on English actors in America. All four seasons of “Episodes” are available on demand, so I replayed the last show. Ruth remembered it as soon as it started but we re-watched the whole show and we both laughed. It was funny when we first saw it and it is still funny.
Nussbaum’s article claimed “Master of None” cracks open, starting with the second episode, an ‘instant classic’ about second generation immigrants and their parents. Alas, I’m afraid I will miss it. I feel toward it the same way I feel about torture: the threat of it alone would be enough to make me confess. To anything. No way I’m watching that show again.

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  1. November 19, 2015 at 11:29 am

    To be fair the first season of Doll and Em was okay. In this season Em has a husband and they do not belong together which leads to some weirdness. Doll is a flake and I like that. Ruth

  2. Evie Shaffer
    November 27, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I thInk you have a sense of humor, Jim. Your writing makes me smile.

    • November 28, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Rats. I was aiming for a laugh.

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