Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday Night TV Time

Just some quick thoughts on the best three hours of TV every week -- other than the 1PM-4PM block on NFL Red Zone every Sunday, of course. Yes, I'm talking about the Thursday night three-hour block of comedy on NBC and FX. Since the four NBC shows premiered last night, and the two FX shows have had two episodes each so far, I thought it was about time for some first impressions of this season. So here's a post about the three hours I spend in front of my TV every Thursday. Well, three of many, I guess. Fuck you all. I'm a grad student now, dammit.

I'm aware. On to the reviews:

Community: If you liked the first season, you'll like this one too. If you thought the first season was just okay and entirely too referential and Abed is funny but kind of pisses you off sometimes with all of the movie references and that the funniest part by far is Chevy Chase's racist and inappropriate comments, you'll think that about this season too. I think it says something that my favorite part of the entire first episode was the 30 second spot at the end with Betty White singing Toto with Troy and Abed. Although if the show was just 22 minutes of that, I'd probably watch it over some other shows I watch. I'd definitely watch it over Outsourced.

30 Rock: It's back! It's back! It's funny again! After last night's episode, I think we can all agree that last season never happened. The back-and-forth dialogue that made the show so funny from the beginning and that for the most part, was absent from the show last season, was back last night. Maybe they just threw all the stuff they thought of over the summer into the first episode. But I'm hoping that last night was the start of another strong season from what I once thought was the funniest show on TV. You know what's not the funniest show on TV? Outsourced.

The Office: Off to a great start. They're definitely pulling out all the stops for Steve Carell's last season, like that opening musical number. That's something you would have seen a few years ago -- you know, before the show got all soap opera-y on us. As I said with 30 Rock, if the premiere is any indication, we're in for a very good season -- unlike that new show Outsourced, which most likely won't last until November.

(Side note: when I did a Google image search for "prison mike," I found the picture above. But I also got this one. It's funny because everyone thinks he's awesome again just because he beat the Lions. I find this fact funnier than I found Outsourced.)

Outsourced: I've already made my opinions clear here, so I defer to Alan Sepinwall on this one: "What's most upsetting is that NBC decided to bench Parks and Recreation -- not only the best comedy on that network, but on all of television last year -- in favor of this cheap, lazy, unfunny mess." Having said that though, I'd rather watch Outsourced than Javy Vazquez as he hits three batters in a row, forcing in a run in the process. But I'd still rather watch Javy than Curb Your Enthusiasm.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: I'll need two paragraphs here, just to fully explain myself. I've done a lot of thinking though and I'm ready to put this down on imaginary internet paper -- I've been disappointed with the first two episodes. There, I said it. Not to say there haven't been funny parts. Dennis fake choking out his soon-to-be ex-wife was hilarious. So was Charlie's creepy lawyer uncle. But I feel like I've heard all the arguing between all the main characters before. If a show wants to be awkward, that's fine -- just as long as it backs up the awkwardness with an appropriate amount of humor.

To me though, the whole marriage plot line made it seem like they were running out of ideas. I'm pretty convinced that this can't happen though. The show's been too funny for too long. It's just like Derek Jeter's past few months. An 11-time All-Star doesn't hit over .300 for the first three months of the season and then magically lose his touch just because he's 36 years old. Just as a show with five strong seasons shouldn't be written off because of two episodes reeking of desperation. Now that none of the crew is married/ruining marriages anymore, it'll be back. Speaking of which, you should break up with Minka, Derek. She's awful for your OPS.

The League: So far, it's been better than Always Sunny. Maybe it's because expectations aren't as high here as they are for other shows, but I've found myself laughing more this season -- and not just at the football humor. I really think it's time for non-football fans to start tuning in. If you can put up with a handful of jokes directed at football fans, you'll be rewarded with the other 95% of a very, very funny show.

Now it's your turn. Were you as happy with 30 Rock as I was? Do you feel like Always Sunny has slipped? Did any of you actually like Outsourced? Hell, did any of you actually watch Outsourced? Let's hear what you guys think. The comment box is hungry. Feed it. Om nom nom nom.

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