TV Guide recently came up with a list of what they consider the top 50 TV shows of all time; the top 5 were (source: http://www.tvguide.com/50th/features/020429a.asp):
5. The Sopranos – “A complex drama built around a thinking man’s mobster who struggles with two families — his wife and kids, and his gun-toting gang.”
4. All In The Family – a show about a family in all its dysfunction, and how they related and interacted with one another.
3. The Honeymooners – about two couples, the Kramdens and Nortons, living in the same apartment building and sharing life.
2. I Love Lucy – very similar premise – about two couples sharing their lives and wacky adventures.
1. Seinfeld – the only one of the bunch I’ve watched; about “four neurotic New Yorkers… with quirky takes on the seemingly mundane events of daily life.”
Do you see what each of these has in common? They are about people in community – about people sharing their lives and interacting. And with the exception of “The Sopranos”, each of them is about normal, day to day life, and the things that can happen to people in relationships. I don’t know exactly why people watched and loved these shows, but I can take a pretty good guess: something about those communities they are watching resonated with them – they recognize a need deep within themselves to be in relationships like these tv personalities.