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Dear 30-Minute Sitcom,

Where have you gone old friend?  It’s been so long since we’ve spoken, I hardly remember your face.  I know you’ll tell me you never really left, but we both know that’s not true.  Sure, you roll out a few new versions of yourself every fall, but let’s be honest, you’re just going through the motions at this point right? 
 
Do you remember when we first met, back in the late 80s?  I do.  My parents introduced us when they decided I was old enough to stay up past 8:00pm.  Upon receiving the news of my newly extended bedtime, I was immediately thrust into the world of weeknight comedies.  Like an explorer discovering a lost city, I was overcome with what lie before me.  I quickly fell in love with shows like Perfect Strangers, Growing Pains, and Who’s The Boss.  Who could forget the nights spent with Family Ties and The Wonder Years?  I certainly can’t.
 
My late-elementary through middle school years were our heyday, don’t you agree?  You introduced me to great new friends like Will Smith, Uncle Jesse, and Steve Urkel.  I became pals with Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, Doogie Howser, and Cory Matthews.  
 
Those glory days of weeknight sitcoms weren’t all fun and games though.  I learned some real life lessons through your combination of wisdom and humor.  Jessie taught me not to take speed on a very special episode of Saved By The Bell.  Stephanie Tanner taught me about peer pressure on Full House.  And let’s not forget the special guest appearance by Tom Hanks on Family Ties as Alex Keaton’s drunk Uncle…classic lessons learned.
 
As I entered my high school years, we began to lose touch.  I suppose that’s what tends to happen sometimes when childhood friends grow up.  We still saw each other on Thursday nights though when we hung out with Jerry, Frasier, and our Friends.  But even those weekly get togethers eventually faded away.
 
Today, we’re more like distant cousins than the best friends we once were.  I’ve done my best to keep ties with you throughout the years.  I jumped on board with The Office, Modern Family, and The Big Bang Theory.  I spent a half hour each week with Doug Heffernan and Arthur Spooner.  But let’s not mince words here, you haven’t exactly given me a lot to work with recently.  I don’t blame you entirely.  It’s not your fault that television has changed over the past decade.  Weeknight programming has become a showcase for “reality” stars, not sitcom stars.
 
I can’t flip the channels from 8:00pm-10:00pm most nights without landing on a show about 30 women fighting over 1 guy or B-list celebrities learning to dance, or idiots from Jersey fist-pumping in a club.  It’s a shame really, but it is what it is.  Perhaps if you put a little more effort into your own product, things could go back to the way they were?  I’m sorry, that was a bit harsh.  But c’mon…do I have to bring up Whitney.  I mean what was that.
 
Anyway, it’s been nice catching up with you and I hope someday soon we’ll be able to spend time together again.  This past fall, you showed some promise with new shows like New Girl and 2 Broke Girls, so I remain cautiously optimistic for the future.  I hope one day my children will know the same joy I did as a young boy discovering the new world of quality comedic programming.  Until that day, I bid you a fond farewell.  Till we meet again, old friend.
 
Sincerely,
Jim
 
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