24: Change everythingThis is exactly what we've been saying about 24, and I just mentioned in the last Entourage review that the episode felt too short. While I don't necessarily agree with absoultely everything that was said here (i.e. killing off Entourage characters...Drama needs Turtle to play off of), most of it is right on.
I'll end up watching 24 no matter what the writers do, but the show seriously needs to make drastic changes if it wants to remain even remotely relevant. Make the terrorists win one season, and force Jack to spend the entirety of the following season searching for survivors. Move Jack to another country. Relegate Jack to a secondary role. Do anything to change the plot from its formulaic "LA is under attack and Jack has personal problems" origins.
The Office: Create a character whose sole purpose on the show is to punch Pam Beesley in the throat every other episode
I'm dead serious. Pam was absolutely adorable in the first and second seasons: her shy, understated glances at the camera frequently worked as the perfect punchline to Michael Scott’s ridiculously offensive ramblings, and her blossoming quasi-romance with Jim was cute enough to make even a grown man interested in how it turned out. Season three, however, has taught us that Pam's really just a hugely indecisive bitch.
I want Roy! No, wait, I want Jim! No, wait, I want Roy, and I'm going to go through with the marriage! No, wait, I'm going to break off the marriage! But not pursue Jim! And act indecisive and pitiful for a few episodes! Wait, I'm going to get back together with Roy! No, now I want to break up with him! And I only now decide that I actually like Jim despite the fact that he's already found a much cooler, much hotter, much more compatible girlfriend! I'm Pam Beesley!
Scrubs: Stop being ridiculous
Some comedies can be weird like this without being distancing – Scrubs is not one of these comedies. Most of the bizarre humor of the first few seasons was derived from the fact that, no matter how kooky or weird things got, the audience could take solace in the fact that everything out-of-the-ordinary was just a figment of JD's imagination. Not so, in the new season. When JD is kidnapped by gay old people and thrown onstage with the Blue Man Group, he really gets kidnapped by gay old people and thrown onstage with the Blue Man Group. When JD can't get through to the hospital because the entire staff is dancing to Turk's ringtone, the audience is supposed to accept the fact that this is happening in the real world, and not just in JD's subconscious.
This decision essentially removes one of the most important elements of any good comedy: the straight man. When JD acted kooky in the old seasons, his relatively normal friends made fun of him. When JD acts kooky during this season, his friends act kooky in kind and the entire show turns into one long Looney Tunes affair. The events may be kind of funny taken out of context, but, when worked into a half-hour show, the gags are distancing and awkward.
Entourage: Make the show twice as long
It's not like the show is particularly hard to film: all of the actors are basically playing variations of their real personalities, all the filming locations are real places, and all the plots are (however loosely) based on real events. Entourage's charm comes from the fact that its characters are oddly realistic and likeable despite the fact that they’re generally douchebags, so why not give us an extra 30 minutes with Vinnie Chase and his crew? Doubling the average episode length would give us more plot, more comedy, and more time with the characters we like.
Oh, finally – and this is just a minor request – please kill off every character except for Ari Gold, Lloyd, and Johnny Drama. Just a small suggestion. When I say that the douchebag characters are oddly likeable, I'm only referring to Ari and Johnny. Turtle and Vinnie can get hit by a bus. Just putting that out there.