A lot of sitcoms are, in fact, darker than you realize. At its core, “Two and a Half Men” is about loneliness. “The Big Bang Theory” is about alienation. “Mike & Molly” is about self-hatred. You would never know it from the shows themselves, but you do, sometimes, feel it while watching them. To laugh at these things with our mental families may allow us to cope with our own loneliness and alienation and self-hatred. It may be that the sitcom’s constant avoidance of any final, dramatic catharsis is its accidental strength. If so, that would make this least lifelike form of entertainment the most comfortingly similar to real life.


— Chuck Lorre