It’s liberating to lose an argument. I hate it, really really really hate it, but there’s absolutely nothing like getting your ass handed to you by someone who beats you at your own game. That moment when you stare into space going “Shit, I think it’s over.” That precise second when you realize anything you say back won’t circumvent the logic of your opponent. Absolutely, utterly enraging.

However, good practice for someone like me who takes pride in being able to consistently defend a position.

Case in point, an argument I had with a friend over the purpose of the Emmys. I unsuccessfully took the position that the Emmys should reward the best possible comedies/dramas on the basis of artistic merit. I pointed out the absurdity of Chuck Lorre’s continuous wins (Two and a Half Men) while shows like Community and Always Sunny sit out in the cold. Obviously a few of you have already guessed the follies of my argument:

1. What defines “success”? 28 MILLION people watched Two and a Half Men the other night- clearly it’s a comedic success in that 28 million people get their comedy fix satiated and CBS bathes in advertiser dollars.

2. Who am I to define what is funny? If 28 million people think Two and a Half Men is funny, maybe I’m the idiot (obviously, I don’t subscribe to this sort of relativism, but it’s a valid counterpoint).

Lastly, if Always Sunny and Community, two shows I believe are vastly superior in quality to Two and a Half Men are to succeed, it can’t come at the expense of another comedy. Those two shows have to thrive on their own merits, not the failings of either Chuck Lorre or America’s poor taste. As my friend pointed out, Chuck Lorre slave drives his writing staff, they work hard at their jokes, just as hard as Always Sunny/Community one can assume.

Anyway, here’s a clip of Ashton Kutcher’s wildly successful debut, sans laugh track. I gave Chuck Lorre some leeway here by picking out one of Kutcher’s better scenes (yes, this does mean I watched all 30 minutes, I actually wanted to be pleasantly surprised). I find this incredibly unfunny- but what the hell do I know?

Not much, obviously.

Since Warner Bros has a stick up their ass about free publicity and I can’t embed- here’s the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_mYFYHrBAw