x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Admittance is the first step

It's only now I can finally admit that I never liked Seinfeld ¿ and I'm not fond of the American Pie films, either.

I've got a bit of a confession to make and I think it's about time it came out. It's been on my mind for a few years now, lurking in the shadows like a stalker, but I've kept it to myself for fear of public retribution. It's a weight, however, I can shoulder no longer. Here goes. Please be gentle.

I never liked Seinfeld.

I know, I know. This admittance is, I realise, near heretical, tantamount to denouncing the existence of oxygen, water and Kim Kardashian; the sort of statement that would have had hooded men with maniacal laughs use my body as a pin cushion for red-hot pokers just a few centuries ago. But I can't help it.

I tried. Heaven knows, I tried. I sat through at least three episodes, back-to-back, desperately willing the mildest hint of a suggestion of a chuckle to emerge from between my lips. But nothing. I just never found it funny. At all. "The greatest television series of all time," something that has had undiscovered tribes in the Brazilian rainforest crying with laughter, totally failed to entertain me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a miserable old soak who would rather sit through a documentary about the gestation period of baboons than anything deemed funny (although I have just sniggered at the word "baboon"). My favourite TV shows include The Office, I'm Alan Partridge, The Thick of It, Peep Show, Police Squad and countless other comedy greats that have had me in hysterics for more than a decade. I've even found myself giggling very, very, (very), occasionally at Friends. But Seinfeld, no.

I don't know what it is exactly. The dialogue, the general lack of story, the rather tedious characters, the cheesy slap-base soundtrack, Jerry Seinfeld's massive white trainers, I'm not sure.

I've always been averse to any sitcom that relies heavily on a "wacky" neighbour for laughs, a factor that automatically rules out about 90 per cent of US sitcoms.

Maybe I'm old fashioned in wanting my comedies to feature intelligent scripts that build up to hilarious climaxes, rather than a wild-haired character who turns up at least twice an episode to say something outrageous.

In any case, with Seinfeld, my inability to muster a smile only made me feel abnormal, when the whole world is seemingly convinced that the show is the best thing since Mr Bun the Baker first realised he couldn't get a whole loaf in the toaster.

To be honest, I think there were plenty of others like me who were just too scared to speak out. But now, having wrenched the floodgates open, I believe it's time to declare one's opinions proudly. In which case, I'd like to say that I never particularly liked any of the American Pie films either.