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This is Paul Hirsch

Paul Hirsch

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How To Get Away With Being An Asshole

This isn’t another 2016 election post, though you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was, since “being an asshole” seems to be the theme of this slow-motion trainwreck we call a presidential race. This is actually a review for the new Comedy Central weekly animated TV show, Legends of Chamberlain Heights.

Here’s a brief synopsis. Three high school freshmen attend an inner-city school and act out every racial and socio-economic stereotype known to man. That’s pretty much it.

I have a real problem with this show. The problem is that it makes me laugh, out loud, way too much. And then I start to feel guilty. I shouldn’t be laughing. I should be offended. But I’m not, and I realized it’s because the show follows the same logic I use to justify my own sense of humor.

If your audience (particularly those who should be offended) laugh, then they can’t call you an asshole. That means if you’re going to go out-of-bounds with your humor, you’d better know your audience, and you’d better damned well make them laugh.

That’s both the genius and the downfall of Chamberlain Heights. Look at reviews/ratings, and you’ll see how polarizing this show is. You either “get it” or you don’t (by the looks of things, I’m not sure this show will make it through its first season).

Should I feel guilty for loving this show? I struggled with this, but I feel like I have a good enough understanding of and empathy for the reality this show lampoons that I can enjoy the laughs without it desensitizing me or skewing my perspective of said reality. I think that’s what’s most important, and perhaps the only semi-reasonable justification for enjoying this show so much.

Or maybe I’m overthinking it.

Is this show written by a bunch of assholes? Maybe. Watch it for yourself. If you don’t laugh, maybe the humor doesn’t connect with you. Maybe it will offend you. But if you do laugh, you can’t be mad at the show. You have no one to blame but yourself 🙂