‘SNL’ Goes After the Modern Sitcom With ‘The Dudleys’
Few things are as desperate, unfunny, and generally sad as the modern television sitcom, so it's only natural that ‘SNL’ would put this format right in its sights. While ‘The Dudleys’ may not be as wild or transgressive as something like ‘Too Many Cooks,’ its satire of the trouble with TV comedy in the year 2014 is on point, concluding with a statement that’s surprisingly (and welcomingly) vicious for modern ‘SNL.’
When we get our first look at ‘The Dudleys,’ it’s a lame series about a stay-at-home husband, a hard-working mom, and two adorable little girls. However, viewers on Twitter complain about this old-fashioned set-up, so the network responds by making the mother a gay man (enter guest host Woody Harrelson). And then Twitter complains that Harrelson’s father is too much of a stereotype... and then not enough of a stereotype. The complaints continue to rule in and the network, desperate to be hip and cool, continue to submit to every demand on social media, eventually transforming the show into something completely different (fans of ‘Orange is the New Black’ will find much to love with the new version).
Of course, the show is ultimately reverted to its original format when all of the “old-fashioned” viewers begin a letter-writing campaign, demanding the return of the original white, straight characters. The sketch is ultimately a pretty scathing satire of social media bubbles, desperate TV networks and good, old-fashioned racism. Not bad for one sketch.