Why Do Laugh Tracks Feel So Corny?

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The gap between smart content and dumb content is a gyre that's widened into an ocean...

by Isaac Simpson

Yesterday, Netflix released a trailer for a new sitcom called The Ranch, starring Ashton Kutcher, Sam Elliot, and Elisha Cuthbert (see it below). As you can see (rather hear), the show has a laugh track. The staging is, as Vulture called it, strangely "CBS-like." This already feels weird for Netflix, but the canned laughter is just painful. The show looks like an unaware parody of itself.

Viewers' negative reaction was immediate. These comments, just a selection of many like them, were the highest ranked on the reddit thread where the trailer was released:

[–]comrade_leviathan [+1]: Why the hell do we need a laugh track? Was it part of Kutcher's contract or something?

[–]balexander24 [+1]: I came here to say the same thing actually. I was really interested in giving this show a chance, but some how I find the laugh track extremely off putting...

[–]DougCL [+1]: this feels like a fake tv show that characters in another tv show or movie would be watching.