TV shows haven't changed in half a decade. If one were to tune into their favorite sitcom or drama, chances are it would be in either a 30 or 60 minute format, including commercials. Thing is, that is just too long for a TV show. Writing for TV is difficult at the best of times, and when 22 minutes (a 30 minute show minus commercials) has to be filled with jokes, most of those jokes are bound to fail. Of course there are some rare exceptions like the excellent 90's show Seinfeld, but even Seinfeld has dull moments.

Imagine for a second a world where you don't have to sit through commercials and an entire show can be pushed out in an easily-digestible, focused, and compelling format. A world where writers aren't pressured to fill 22 or 48 minutes of content, and instead they can get to the true essence of a storyline and write fewer but funnier jokes. A world where you can watch more episodes of your favorite shows in a shorter amount of time. This world exists. And it's on the Cartoon Network during their nightly block of programming under the Adult Swim label.

Adult Swim has not only pushed the envelope with it's sometimes brilliant programming (Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job is probably the best show in the last 10 years and they are continuing that tradition with their spin-off Check It Out With Dr. Steve Brule), but it has re-invented the TV show format. It airs many of its shows in an 11 minute format, uninterrupted by commercials (which air between shows). Amazing shows like Superjail benefit from this format because they are short bursts of TV goodness. They don't drag on, and there are no boring parts (there's no time).

This 11 minute format is so good, I have decided to apply it to the existing TV world. My hypothesis: that most TV shows airing today, whether a 30 minute sitcom or a 60 minute drama, can be compressed to 11 minutes and not only be just as good as the original length, but actually get BETTER. To illustrate, I went ahead and chose a random episode of Friends to use as an example, and I'd say the results speak for themselves. See below for my 11 minute cut of Friends: The One With The Cuffs.

I believe I've captured the essence of this episode by leaving in the funniest parts while ensuring the storyline is complete, without cheap editing tactics (I left the entire opening and end credits in - in fact, I've added a few special touches). I'd love feedback from the community on this one, especially Friends fans:

More 11 minute cuts are on the way, and this is just the first.

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