Acclaimed traditional sitcoms like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Superstore and Fresh Off the Boat are often damned with faint praise, says John Schneider. Because they look conventional, they aren’t seen as boundary-pushing as shows like Atlanta and Bojack Horseman. “But this perception glosses over the fact that those conventions evolved for a reason,” says Schneider, “and they often allow traditional sitcoms to tell more resonant stories than more overtly innovative shows. Jokes are only the most obvious such convention. A series like Master of None and Atlanta will often go for entire scenes without anything resembling a joke. In many cases, this makes the dialogue feel more realistic, and can often set up bigger laughs later in the episode. But often, the lack of jokes in prestige comedies feels self-aware, a way of telling you this scene is supposed to be important. On the other hand, the comfortable patter of a sitcom like Brooklyn Nine-Nine allows them to sneak in discussions of issues like the NYPD’s credibility and racial profiling without feeling preachy."