Take an hour of your life and look at the emotions you experience: frustration, anger, jealousy, happiness, disgust, pride - and that's just watching Deal or No Deal.
I need all the shades in the dramas I watch and some of the darkest of my favourite shows are the funniest. Since Sky Atlantic popped up on my planner I've found myself hooked on new series and old favourites. Even though I have the box set of The Sopranos I was watching it all over again, week by week, marvelling at the depth of character and subtlety that sits alongside the moments that make me laugh out loud. Of course the trick with funny in a show like The Sopranos is conjuring the unexpected, be it slapstick or a mispronounced word - there's plenty of them, the Wise Guys ain't always too wise - or the incongruous alongside the surreal. The darker the show the funnier the comedy.
The best episodes of House are seldom those that build on a comic plot. House intentionally being funny is not half as funny as him being a flawed, miserable, cantankerous, self centred, medical genius.
Let's come this side of the pond, to a series that's a mainstay/highlight in the ITV schedule - Doc Martin. The good doctor is a distant, distant relation of House. He too is miserable and cantankerous and self centred and a jolly good doctor too - even if his phobia of blood was a determining factor in leaving his London job and heading to a GP's surgery in Cornwall.
But unlike those other great rude TV characters Basil Fawlty and Victor Meldrew, I often find it hard to feel sympathy for Doc Martin. He is so socially inept the longer the series has gone on the more his rudeness grates. In some recent episodes he seems to have had no dialogue other than a terse 'Yes'. He may now be the father of a child but isn't it time he started to show outward signs of growth.
You only have to look at the audience figures to see that this formula is a winner with the audience but here's the thing about 'comedy drama' - I just wish it was a tad more dramtic and all those 'funny' characters were a bit more real - which I'm certain would make them funnier.