It’s been a long and agonizing winter break, but TV is officially back. We waited and waited and finally NBC brought back their Thursday night lineup. Parks and Recreation has been gone forever because of Amy Poehler’s pregnancy but now we’ve got it and we should all be glad we do. So, with Chuck on Monday night and Thursdays the way they should be, things are back to normal.
Monday is Chuck and Thursday looks like this: Community, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock. What? Oh, that’s not the complete lineup? Are you sure. I think it is. Yeah, I just checked and that’s the complete…wait a second. You don’t count Perfect Couples and Outsourced do you? You do? Ha, no way. Really? You know that those aren’t complete shows, right? Each episode is only 30 seconds long. Perfect Couples is the thirty second sitcom that’s stuck on my DVR at the end of Community and Outsourced is the thirty seconds at the end of my 30 Rock. Those seconds can tell you a lot and I’ll break down those bits, too. So, here’s how TV looks these days:
Perfect Couples: A guy that was good in an episode of Pushing Daisies has a stilted and annoying conversation with his wife who is laying really strangely in bed through their whole talk, then we see some uncharismatic no one who I can barely remember and finally a shouting match between some bearded annoyance that is the worst person, the worst person, I have seen on TV in years, shouting at his unattractive wife for taking up too much of the bed. It’s seriously like the writers Googled “married couples cliched complaints” and picked one at random to be the springboard of their show. I do not understand it and I wasn’t about to stick around to try.
The Office: Doesn’t that name look good in print. That is a good looking name for a show and I’m glad it starting treating itself that way after many mistakes. Michael Scott finally pulled back and showed that he’s capable of acting human again and that made him totally likable. Michael films a video to talk himself up or down depending on some news he’s expecting and when the news comes in the scene that follows is the best scene in The Office since Jim and Pam’s wedding. It was so good.
Parks and Recreation: This is the one. It was the best show on Thursday all of last year and it came back right in stride this time around. It was worth the long wait. The only thing I don’t understand is a real small thing, but really annoying, too. Just to set up my point, this show is filmed in a mockumentary style just like The Office. That means that it’s supposed to seem like a real-life documentary, just funny. Having said that, they made a change in scenery that is really hard to understand. Parks and Recreation centers around the Parks Department of Pawnee, IN. The characters often eat lunch in a little courtyard of their building, it’s really nice to see as a viewer. There are live green plants and sunlight and wind and air and good dialogue. But somehow while they were away, they took away this picturesque courtyard and changed it to take place in a soundstage that we’re supposed to believe is still the same courtyard. It looked totally believeable, too…if this was Sesame Street! What were they thinking? Did they think we wouldn’t notice? Cutting corners is one thing, but how could they film a documentary style show on a soundstage? That’s it. Great writing, great acting, it’s the best show on Thursday night.
30 Rock: Well, it’s still 30 Rock. Not 30 Rock from Season 1 or Season 2, but it’s definitely one of the better shows on TV. Outsourced doesn’t even deserve to have it’s name written so that will be the last time for a while. I don’t watch it. I don’t know why anyone would.
Now for Chuck: This show is great, but the last minute of this past weeks’ episode is as infuriating as anything I’ve seen on TV ever. Ever. Ever! You can’t stretch a rubberband forever, eventually it will break. My enjoyment of this show was almost totally shredded by the casual and sudden and obtuse manner in which the writers of Chuck expected us to swallow a HUGE plot change without any setup as if we’re just going to take this and roll onwards. Don’t tease me, you know? Everyone has a breaking point, so how about Chuck gives me a break and just gives me what I want. If you set my expectations don’t be suprised that I’m expecting something to happen. Man. The one thing that saved me from boiling over completely was the preview for next week’s episode that gave me some hope that this ridiculous delay tactic will be settled sooner than it seems.
All in all, I’m glad my DVR is filling up again. Oh, and Go Bears!