It's a phrase bandied around TV land all the time. Whatever the reason, whether in relation to accusations of dumbing down or the lack of programming the whole family can sit down and watch together, it's a line that never goes away.
Now armchair critics all over the nation can focus on a sitcom that eschews edginess for a gentle humour, harking back to the so-called glory days of television.
And it's all thanks to Miranda Hart, writer and star of her own sitcom, Miranda, which begins on BBC Two on Monday November 9.
"My instinct is very traditional. I love the light entertainment of comedians like Morecambe & Wise and Joyce Grenfell," says the tall, brunette comedienne.
Miranda features many of the conventions that defined sitcoms of the Seventies. The central character addresses the audience - or breaks 'the fourth wall' as it's known - just as Eric Morecambe used to in many of the duo's sketches. There's a good old-fashioned 'You Have Been Watching' end credits section too, where each cast member waves goodbye, a lot like Hi-de-Hi! and it's filmed in front of a live studio audience.
"It's more like Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em than Curb Your Enthusiasm," Miranda adds, smiling. "I wanted to make sure it could appeal to everyone. There's no swearing and it's not edgy, but it is definitely for 2009 and there's an element of quirkiness. I aimed to get the balance right.
"I loved filming in front of the audience too, there's that instant reaction. I think it's harder, you have to really work to get the laugh, but it keeps you on your toes.
"I know people will say 'Why did you put a canned laughter track on it?' but we didn't, it's just filmed in front of a live audience and they were laughing. I'm not going to apologise for that, it's real!
"We're steeped in audience sitcoms in the UK, and I think we forget Friends, Father Ted and Seinfeld all have laughter tracks too. It's just on shows that aren't funny where it gets annoying. You notice it because you're not laughing as well."
The gags come thick and fast in Miranda, however.
Written semi-autobiographically - "That means it's either true or an exaggerated truth" - we see Miranda fall from one social disaster to another. She's a character who can't seem to do anything right, whether it's quitting the gym, the subject of one episode, or getting out of a park before it's locked up for the night.
"That actually happened to me," says Miranda, who has adapted some of the scripts for the show from her highly acclaimed BBC Radio Two series Miranda Hart's Joke Shop. "I was walking my dog at dusk, and suddenly I saw the car headlights of the park warden closing the park.
"I tried to squeeze through the fence, but got caught between the fence and a gate. In reality, I removed a jacket and a jumper to get through the gap, but in the programme I'm there in just my bra and jeans.
"As for the episode about leaving the gym, I don't think they get enough stick, gyms. They're a pet hate of mine so I thought of comical stories around that. I think the subject is something women in comedy shy away from as it feels a bit too girly, but I don't think it's been done enough.
"Getting out of your membership is particularly hard. Most people join on January 2, thinking they'll stick to it, but 10 days later they're in the pub with a pie in their hand. I think it's a storyline for women aged between 35 and 54!"
Speaking to Miranda today, it doesn't seem likely she has ever been so socially inept that she could fuel a whole TV series, but she claims she has.
"I'm not that awkward these days, but I suppose the character Miranda is the twenty-something version of me," says Miranda, now 37.
"She finds social occasions very difficult, I did then, not so much now. I try to draw on that awful 'awkward with the world' feeling you have after leaving university.
"Isn't everyone dysfunctional in their twenties? I certainly was back then, working out how to play the games society throws up but not wanting to.
"She's terrible with men, despite lusting after Gary [Tom Ellis], her old friend from university, and she owns a joke shop. I think there's something quite eccentric about someone who would put all of an inheritance into a potentially failing business."
Another theme running through the series is Miranda's 'frenemies', as she calls them.
"You know people you hate but you have to be friends with because of your shared experiences?"
There can't be many people who don't have them. Hopefully they're not as vile as Tilly and Fanny, however, two of Miranda's friends from her boarding school days.
"They think they've shared so much because they were lumped together in a dorm for years, but they're completely worlds apart. Tilly [Sally Philips] is a bossy, patronising, annoying posh girl. Everything has a nickname, so her mobile is the 'mobilomachination', and she gets 'textingtons'. Or something is 'spectaculant'.
"I was at a boarding school too, and there were a few people like that. That was 20 years ago, so I'm just coming out the other end now, relatively unscathed. I got a sitcom out of it, so it was worth those tricky teenage years."
Miranda went to Downe House in Berkshire, an all-girls boarding school attended by model and author Sophie Dahl and BBC presenter Clare Balding among others.
"I don't know if Clare would remember me as she was a few years older - sorry Clare - but she was Head Girl so I knew who she was."
The show might not have aired yet, but Miranda is getting quite excited about the prospect of another series, should the Beeb ask for one.
"I've not started writing yet or anything, but I do have ideas," she says. "It takes a lot of time for me to write though, I'm not Jennifer Saunders," she says, referring to the story about Saunders reportedly writing a script on the back of a napkin.
Talking of Saunders, and her comedy partner Dawn French, they're two comediennes Miranda has often been compared to, having also appeared in their sketch show, as well as The Vicar Of Dibley and Absolutely Fabulous.
"I don't see the similarities myself," she says, "but in a way most female comedians get compared to them because there weren't many others around before us new lot. It was Victoria Wood and French and Saunders as the big names and that was about it, but now there are more so I don't think it will be the same in the future. I think if I am ever compared to them it would be amazing, and if I have even an ounce of their brilliance, then that'd be even better."
Extra time - Miranda Hart
Miranda was born in Torquay in 1972.
She is 6'1" and wanted to be the sixth member of the Spice Girls. "I could have been Enormous Spice," she says.
Miranda appeared in the third series of Comic Relief Does Fame Academy and was the second contestant to be voted off the show.
Miranda's TV credits include Lead Balloon, Nighty Night, Not Going Out, Hyperdrive and Monday Monday, in which she played Tall Karen.
She has appeared on Have I Got News For You several times, making her debut as guest host recently.