Blogging is very much a learning process. I’m constantly learning as I write, about what writing style works for me, which types of post are most popular and how to draw in commenters (thank-you to everyone who offered me their advice on my Comment! Please… post), but recently, due to my coverage of this season’s Binbougami-ga! I’ve also learnt about which genres of show are best to write about. Comedy. Eurgh, it’s almost impossible to cover a comedy! OK, it’s not exactly impossible, per se, but I can guarantee it’s extremely difficult to produce anything of much below. Below are the reasons why. These reasons also represent why I shall be hesitant to pick up a comedy again.
The first reason why it is extremely difficult to write about a comedy is that comedies rarely ever have a strong storyline, in other words, a story with rising action, conflict and a resolution. I’ve mentioned this in regards to Binbougami-ga!, but the same could be said of countless comedies: Azumanga Daioh, Lucky Star and Nichijou among them. Now, that doesn’t mean these shows aren’t any good (I massively enjoyed each of the three above shows), but it does mean they would be bastards to write about! You cannot focus on how the story unravels, comedies are often episodic, which means posts are likely to feel as though they have no overarching structure, and there is often very little character development- there being no huge obstacles for characters to overcome. All this means that you have to resort to simply explaining the jokes used by the show, a fruitless task.
So why is explaining jokes to people such a fruitless task? Well, is it necessary to explain to somebody why they find something funny? Surely what’s important here is that they’re being entertained, not why they’re being entertained? Besides, what makes us laugh varies from person to person. For example, whilst some believe the humour in Angel Beats feels forced, I found it to be one of the funniest shows I’ve ever watched, merely because of how ridiculous it was, the scene where each of the crew sacrificed themselves to the second Tenshi, becoming less enthusiastic with each sacrifice, immediately springs to mind. I found Nichijou hilarious for much the same reason. However, some like structure to their jokes, they like them to deconstruct a particular concept or social practise, and to have some kind of a punch-line, which I can appreciate. What I’m trying to get at here is that differences in opinion are bound to arise, which means that the risk of alienating readers who simply cannot see things from your point of view is quite high, but then again, you run that risk when writing about almost anything, huh?
Who knows, some may find having jokes explained to them insightful and informative, but I think that that’s probably not the case. There’s nothing particularly insightful about saying “Look Yamazaki’s dressed up as the Prince of Tennis, which is funny because he’s actually playing badminton, lol ,lol, lol!” But in order to appeal to as big an audience as possible it seems to me as though comedies try to keep their jokes as simple as that. I struggle to think of very many comedies that really pick apart social convention- seriously, Arakawa Under the Bridge is about all that comes to mind here- or use complicated visual metaphors, or any other similar technique, to create humour simply because some people just might not get it, and when people choose to watch a comedy, it’s rarely ever because they want to watch something that’ll give the ol’ brain something to chew over, but rather, to watch something that requires very little brainpower, enabling them to sit back, relax and be entertained, which is all very well and good for these people, but is a disastrous mix for us bloggers, who are, therefore, forced to look for deep, hidden meanings that probably don’t exist or try to wangle that Yamazaki’s outfit actually indicates the powerful influence of the media on youths’ behaviour, calling into question whether or not fictional characters shape our identity to the same extent that the flesh and blood people around us do, or some other such bull…
So whilst I by no means am adverse to a good comedy, I definitely do not enjoy writing about them. I’m all for blogging opening readers up to new insights, but perhaps in this genre’s case ignorance is bliss?