The answer is in the question. Sitcoms aren't real, merely realistic, and this is the point. If they were too real, they'd be documentaries; if they weren't real enough, they'd be fantasy. Sitcoms balance on the edge of the realistic and the believable, teetering only slightly at certain moments; the idea being that the events in a sitcom could happen in real life, but probably wouldn't.

Sitcom relationships are so excellent because they're meant to be; if a sitcom relationship isn't perfect, there's a reason for it. Perhaps the mishaps are funny in a ridiculous sort of way, or perhaps the characters aren't meant to be together in the first place. This question goes hand-in-hand with the other questions about sitcoms: Why does everyone have so much money? Why is it that, no matter how funny a situation may be, no one cares about the long-term consequences? Why do all the characters live so close to each other and only hang out among themselves? Why is everyone always so damn happy? How do so many bizarre things keep happening to the same people? And just where does that laughter and applause keep coming from?

Ultimately, it's important to remember that sitcoms are entertainment; their main function is to enthrall their audience and make you laugh. It's a sad fact that no one wants to watch a show about a group of people that are broke, depressed, lonely and all hopelessly addicted to drugs. Sitcoms provide subconscious role-models and often a lifestyle to imitate; in this respect, they are the opposite of most soap operas (I say "most" because there's always the exception, a show too glamorous and unrealistic to be a soap opera, the serious sitcom without jokes, making it just a "sit"). Still, sitcoms are fun and there are some really good ones out there (i.e. Friends, Frasier, Seinfeld, Will and Grace). Soap operas, on the other hand, piss me off. Why? I'm not entirely sure. Being a more truthful representation of life than sitcoms, surely soap operas are "better"? The point of TV, however, is not to be presented with the truth, but to be entertained. Sitcoms might be plastic, but that's entertainment.

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