IT NEVER does one well to declare a genre dead. It may grow stale, may ossify like bone, it may even seem to fade from view. But genres have a tendency to regenerate, too: the Western, for example, rides back into town against an explosion of creativity every ten years or so. At the beginning of this decade, obituaries poured forth for the romantic comedy. That similar articles had been written at the beginning of the 1990s—and were proved wrong by a near-golden age of rom-coms—seems not to have occurred to anyone.
As serious long-form storytelling has migrated to the small screen, so, too, has the romantic comedy. With longer running times and multi-season arcs, characters have been allowed to develop more fully and ingratiate themselves with viewers more completely. In the same way that narrative drama has found ways to interrogate earlier forms—the deconstruction of the gangster film over seven seasons of “The Sopranos” remains the gold standard—so have the creators of romantic comedies found ways to tell stories that at once both…Continue reading
How television is changing the rom-com