This is a big wave in television comedy programming to make the user uncomfortable. Shows like Borat, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Office are trying to be funny and keep you squirming in your chair at the same time. And I guess they work because these are all highly popular shows. To me, however, they make me a little too uncomfortable to enjoy the comedy at the same time.
Being made uncomfortable is often very important for our development. One of the best books I have ever read is We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families by Philip Gourevitch — a harrowing story of the Rwandan genocide — a book that continually keeps you uncomfortable through the very last page. But being made uncomfortable in a comedy is another experience. While long been a part of British humor, it seems to be taking the new continent by storm.
As a comedy, I prefer experiences that are funny or uplifting (like High Fidelity — one of my favorite movies) or just absurd (like Seinfeld) and I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy these new crop of high-minded comedies that are designed to make us cringe.