Beavis and Butt-Head
The animation on the first few episodes of Beavis and Butt-Head was so crude that it was downright terrifying. And the voices sounded like someone doing a third-rate Beavis and Butt-Head impression. Most of the early episodes were just the two characters huh-huh and heh-heh-ing along to things like farts, asses, and of course, frog baseball. The show later became slightly more nuanced without losing too much of its elementary humor and grittiness. The later episodes had at least some semblance of actual plots. Or to quote another Mike Judge project, “they had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting.”
You can’t blame Married…with Children for being a bit rough around the edges in its first season. Being the first primetime series to ever air on FOX, it didn’t really didn’t have a path to follow. So the writers made up their own rules. And man, did they. Fat jokes, misogynist jokes, and poverty jokes abounded. Its crudeness led uptight viewers to boycott the show’s advertisers until they pulled funding. But eventually, America came to accept and even love the Bundys as the country’s most honest representation of blue collar America since All in the Family.
Parks and Recreation
Going back and watching the first season of Parks and Rec is like watching a first place baseball team on a night where all the top players are on the DL. Not only were the show’s current stars Adam Scott and Rob Lowe missing, but the writers clearly didn’t realize the talent they had on their hands with actors like Aziz Ansari and Nick Offerman who went underused. Eventually, Parks and Rec moved away from being the Leslie Knope Show and focused more on the stellar ensemble cast. Yes, that even includes you, Jerry.
That 70’s Show
For the pilot episode and much of its first season, the punchline to just about every joke on That 70’s Show was, “Get it? …Because it’s the 70’s! Isnt that funny?!” But it really wasn’t. It wasn’t at all funny. It was zero funny. Eventually, the relationships between characters became more tenuous and complex and gave viewers a reason to tune in beyond the jokes about perms. (Get it?! Because people had perms in the ‘70’s!)
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