Recently one of my favorite Sitcoms did an episode that was funny up until the last minute of the show and then did a tragic ending. Upon going online that night and I saw one of my friends rip the episode. The quote was something along the lines of "This show has lost it's edge lately and this just pushed it too far". He went on to say "If I wanted to watch drama, I'd turn on my real life. I turn to sitcoms for laughs, not for a reminder of real world"
First off the show in question has been pretty sharp this year, so it hasn't lost any edge. It is just as funny and witty as it always has been.
Secondly, the special episode of a sitcom has been a staple of sitcoms from as far back as I remember watching TV. Every single Sitcom has done a show or many that went from just being funny to being serious. For example, Family Ties did an episode where the Mr. Keaton's brother comes into town. Doesn't sound bad does it? Oh, did I mention he is an alcoholic? Or that he was played by Uber-Oscar winner Tom Hanks? Growing Pains did an episode where Carol's friend was in a car accident because he was drunk driving. She went to visit him in the hospital and he was fine! Yeah! But by the time she got home, Mike had to give her the bad news that he had just died. The Friend was played by Uber-Never Going to be Nominated for an Oscar Matthew Perry.Does that sound like a sitcom to you?
Sitcoms are about life. Life isn't always funny, no matter how much we try to make it. And I am sure the next episode of the show in question will be more drama then comedy. It's just a way for the actors to give their characters a little more depth and try to win an Emmy! There is nothing wrong with that, now is there?