The snippet below sprung to mind recently when V told me she wasn't enjoying Two and a Half Men so much these days because the risas enlatadas are becoming too distracting:
"Laughter on American television has taken the place of the chorus in Greek tragedy. It is unrelenting; the news, the stock exchange reports, and the weather forecast are about the only things spared. But so obsessive is it that you go on hearing it behind the voice of Reagan or the Marines disaster in Beirut. Even behind the adverts. It is the monster from Alien prowling around in the corridors of the spaceship. It is the sarcastic exhilaration of a puritan culture. In other countries the business of laughing is left to the viewers. Here, their laughter is put on screen, integrated into the show. It is the screen that is laughing and having a good time. You are simply left alone with your consternation."