They say when it rains, it pours, and Tuesday nights are pouring with great TV. The only problem is deciding what to watch live, and what to record or watch later online. You'll notice I didn't say, "and what to skip"--that's because all three of the comedies airing at 9 o'clock on Tuesdays are what I would call "must-watch TV." Every week I find myself torn between Happy Endings, Go On, and New Girl, which are tragically all on at the same time. In fact, I'm contemplating upgrading my DVR for the sole purpose of being able to record these three shows on Tuesday nights. While they're all very different, each show has its own strengths, most of which involve hilarious casts, wacky shenanigans, and absolutely no laugh tracks. (Take note, CBS.)
Let's look at some of the pros and cons of these time-slot rivals: New Girl has the advantage of being part of Fox's Tuesday night comedy lineup, which means it's sandwiched between two great shows--freshman comedies Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project (not to mention the always-underrated Raising Hope at 8). But at the same time, I have a love/hate relationship with Fox, and sometimes I like to not watch their shows just to spite them. (I do realize that this is, a) irrational, and b) pointless.) ABC's Happy Endings, on the other hand, needs all the attention it can get, since it is perpetually overlooked and has almost been canceled more than once. I really don't think it's possible to watch this show and not love it. Over on NBC, Go On has been getting better ratings than I thought, due in large part to its hit lead-in The Voice. I guess what it really comes down to is, what kind of sitcom do you want to watch?
In order to help you grapple with this possibly life-changing decision, I've created a brief quiz about your personal tastes in TV to help you choose which fabulous show to watch on Tuesdays at 9:
1. You prefer the star of your sitcom to be...
a. A quirky but adorable girl with glasses.
b. A group of friends.
c. A former Friends actor.
2. Your favorite type of guest star is...
a. Young, hot, funny people (preferably ones who were on Perfect Couples).
b. Older comedy legends and their offspring.
c. Professional athletes.
3. Choose your favorite from the following movies or TV shows:
a. Three's Company
b. How I Met Your Mother
c. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
4. The plot of your ideal sitcom revolves around...
a. The hilarious and often disastrous love lives of the main characters.
b. The ridiculous hijinks of the core group.
c. 80% sarcasm and 20% begrudging sharing of feelings.
5. What's your stance on will-they/won't-they romantic tension on a TV show?
a. Yes, please!
b. I like it, but it shouldn't be the central focus of the show.
c. I've already changed the channel.
6. Which of the following words best describes you:
c. This is a stupid question.
7. You prefer your sitcoms sprinkled with...
a. Sexual innuendos.
b. Pop culture references.
c. Dramatic moments of genuine emotion.
8. Your life motto is...
a. "Pink wine makes me slutty."
b. The Kerkovich Way
c. "Life, huh? Some assembly required, am I right?"
Okay, moment of truth, people. Here we go...
If you answered mostly "a"s... New Girl is your Tuesday night comedy soul mate. If you don't mind hipster glasses and the occasional Urkel impression, you'll love this delightfully funny show about Zooey Deschanel and her man-boyish roommates' quests for love and personal fulfillment...or meaningless sex, whichever is easiest.
If you answered mostly "b"s... Happy Endings is your destination, my friend! Watch these occasionally dysfunctional friends help each other through break-ups, unemployment, v-neck addictions, a visit from Colin Hanks...all of life's usual ups and downs. This show truly is amahzing.
If you answered mostly "c"s... Go On is sure to win you over with its lovable group of misfits who are trying to help each other adjust to life after loss. I promise, for every poignant moment of emotional honesty, there are at least five jokes about how Matthew Perry looks like Rachel Maddow.
With that being said, I hope you all know that the correct answer to this conundrum is actually, d) all of the above. These three shows are some of the funniest on TV (at least until Community and Cougar Town come back), and if you have the opportunity, you should really give all of them a try. You won't regret it, I promise. Unless you'd rather just watch NCIS. Then I can't help you.
Follow Lelia Nebeker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PopCultureNexus