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"Golden Eras" Limit Artistic Expression

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By putting finite, overarching terms on a period of comedy, or really any artistic expression, such as "the GREATEST era," a critic paints himself and the entire medium into a corner from which is difficult to escape. No comedic era is the GREATEST era, because comedy changes greatly, maybe more than most art forms, to suit the tastes of the time. I'll agree that they don't make them like they used to, sure, because we're in a time of improvised dialogue comedy that tends to be mostly vulgar, but there is still a lot of physical slapstick in those movies. Judd Apatow and his disciples have ushered in a lazy form of humor that feels both committed to the joke, but also outside looking in and commenting on the zaniness as to have their cake and eat it too. They are also prone to the five-take joke, where instead of using the best zinger or insult, they use five options. It's boring and gratuitous, and unfortunately popular. But that's also merely what is the trend right now. Give it a few years, a new era of comedy will see itself in, slip on a banana peel, and make us all laugh again.

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I agree with your consensus.  If anyone saw the TV version of "Fargo" either last year or this, it had some very funny slapstick in it, but as you say, not vulgar.  There's a scene where Kirsten Dunst hits a 'mob' man with her car and while he's stuck in the windshield she keeps driving through the ice and snow.  Very funny slapstick.

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