The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Is NBC’s Thursday Comedy Night Still Being Done Right?

2 min read

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Two years ago NBC had a wild and crazy idea: let’s put four really great shows into one two-hour block so that people will actually want to watch an entire night’s lineup. And man, was it good. “Community,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office” and “30 Rock” all aired back-to-back in an awesome parade of hilarity.

Unfortunately, NBC somehow didn’t grasp that the concept of putting good shows with other good shows was great, and their Thursday night lineup hasn’t been the same ever since.

This fall season is particularly terrible because it’s so close to achieving that coveted two-hour block of perfection. But “30 Rock” was sadly bumped to midseason and replaced by “Whitney,” which details the exploits of two “edgy,” white liberals as they live together in sin as quirkily as the laugh track will allow. Don’t watch “Whitney.” Unless you’re Whitney’s mom, you’re going to regret it.

“Whitney” aside, however, NBC’s Thursday night lineup does feature three other incredible returning shows.

The season three premiere of “Community,” however, was lackluster. It certainly had its laughs, but the Greendale Gang’s return from summer vacation lacked the same punch it had last season. But every show has off episodes, and a mediocre premiere is no reason to fret over the quality of the rest of the season.

“Parks and Recreation” is no doubt the spotlight of NBC’s lineup, garnering massive amounts of critical praise and a huge fan base that the show proved it earned with a spectacular season four premiere. The Pawnee parks and recreation department is back in action and just as funny as ever. And Ron Swanson sports a full beard. If you haven’t been watching “Parks and Recreation,” you’ve been missing out on one of the best shows on television.

Most notably, last Thursday night saw the return of “The Office” without its star Steve Carrell. Andy (“The Hangover’s” Ed Helms) took over as regional manager and “Boston Legal’s” James Spader joined the cast for a solid premiere. The introduction was priceless as the Dunder Mifflin gang showed off their planking skills. While it was far from the series’ best episode, the season eight premiere proved that “The Office” still has legs.

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