18 September 2003 | bisz
Dharma & Greg has changed how I view sitcoms. Having seen all of D&G I don't find anything else to be as funny as it used to be. Frasier, Home Improvement, Drew Carey, According to Jim, Sports Night, all used to be my favorites but now none of them make me bellow out in laughter as hard and as often as Dharma & Greg does.
This show has everything! Intelligent humour which requires the viewer to pay attention and of course the plethora of silly humour for which Dharma is famous. It's hilarious, but also very touching at times, both sides of the coin are written superbly and acted with great skill. Unrealistic things such as dead Indian ghosts and the general craziness of Dharma go side by side with the common realisms of life, characters munching on something as they talk, brushing their teeth, paying their bills. The show covers all types of humour, all types of emotion, all types of situations, it has everything.
The writing and acting in this show are superb. The perfect timing and tremendous skill of Jennal Elfman and Thomas Gibson translate into one of the most memorable relationships on television, Dharma and Greg are as real a TV couple as you can get. The other cast members are also all very talented and play their roles perfectly. With such a high quality of actors, the writers and producers were able to pull off some amazing shows.
Where Dharma & Greg stands apart from all other shows is in how you laugh at it. you don't! You laugh WITH it. In Raymond you laugh at the characters when they get in one of their many arguments. In Frasier you laugh when he and Niles do something snobbish. There is a general trend in sitcom humour, akin to the newspaper saying of 'it bleeds, it leads', that trend is making us laugh by making the characters miserable, making them argue, in general, we laugh at their misfortune. On the other hand Dharma is at its best when we are laughing with the characters, at their happiness, because unlike most other shows, the characters in D&G do laugh. They laugh at themselves, at each other, at the situations they encounter, and when they are laughing and having a good time I find it much more funny, much more real, then when I'm asked to laugh at Ray's pathetic brother or Jim's flimsy excuses to his angry wife. Life is funny, why do none of the characters in other sitcoms realize it?
In short, I find Dharma & Greg to be a very funny, uplifting show, the best I've ever seen. It's sappy to say, but watching D&G makes me feel good, and that's amazing seeing as its only a television show, but I guess that's what makes it such a good one.