There are always rumors in the television world, whether it’s what has been cancelled, what is being renewed, what is coming back after a long absence for another season or what new shows are in the works. For being as obsessed with television as I am, I try my best not to pay attention to the rumors because it is often very difficult to determine which are true and which are not. Lately however, I have heard a few of the same rumors from a number of different sources about NBC’s Thursday night comedy lineup. These rumors, which I pray are not true, have been talked about so much that I feel the need to make my own personal plea to NBC about them.
The driving rumor behind this post states that one of the Big 4 (that’s right, my Big 4 doesn’t have shit to do with sports) NBC comedy shows, Community, Parks and Recreation, the Office and 30 Rock, is going to be cancelled. The rumor then goes on to state that NBC is trying to decide between Community of Parks and Recs as the show to be cancelled. Are you kidding me? Of the four shows I listed, those are the two that I would keep beyond a shadow of a doubt. The youngest of the four mentioned shows, Community has just really hit its stride. Every episode is full of pop culture references and seems to be an adventure in itself. The Troy, Abed, Annie trio that has formed is enough in itself to keep the show going but nearly every moment of the show is brilliant and clever. Parks and Recs on the other hand hit its stride last season and is still going strong. Initially only being added to revive the show, Adam Scott and Rob Lowe not only brought a dying show back to life but they made it their home. The show not only has some of the greatest characters on television right now, Ron Swanson and Chris Trager, but it also manages to be heartfelt and hilarious at the same time. Why NBC would consider taking such great characters off the air I will never know.
Now, if we believe this rumor is true, the fact remains that one of the Big 4 need to be cancelled so if not Community or Parks and Recs then what? I believe that the first of the Big 4 that needs to be cancelled or ended is the Office. Gasp! Blasphemy! Traitor! Office fans, give me a minute before grapping your flaming torches and pitchforks. Odds are if you’re reading this I’m as big of an Office fan as you are, if not bigger. I’ve seen every episode of the Office and have loved pretty much every minute of it, even this past season without Michael Scott. I think the Office needs to come to an end simply because I love it so much. Nothing ruins a television show more than watching it get run into the ground. I don’t want to see that happen to my beloved Office. We have had eight great seasons of laughs and at this point in time, going for too many more would just be greedy. Eventually, the show would lose what makes it so special and instead of having part with it, we will have to watch it die. I don’t know about you but I prefer a fond but sad farewell to watching a death any day of the week.
I do not want the Office to be cancelled in the sense that it is ripped from the air this instant. I want there to be one more season where the show ends and leaves audiences satisfied. This could pose a problem if NBC absolutely has to cancel something before the next season starts but I really don’t want to see Parks and Recs go. There is an argument to be made for Community being cancelled now that creator Dan Harmon has left (I don’t think by choice) the show but that is another post for another time. I think instead of cancelling one of the Big 4, NBC should focus on making this season a great but final season for the Office, ending everything with Holly and Michael’s wedding (once again another post for another time).
Well, there’s my response to these wayward rumors, now it’s your turn to tell me what you think. Do you think I’m crazy or do you love the possibly cancelled shows as much as I do? Most importantly, if you’re sure that I’m wrong about these rumors, let me know because then we don’t have to keep worry about them. If not, please NBC, keep some of your best shows alive.
An Orangechair Plea to NBC #2 and #3 soon to follow
While watching Parks and Recreation I often find myself wondering how they possibly continue to make Ron Swanson funnier. I feel like every new episode gives us a new, hilarious Ron Swanson scene that becomes my new favorite Swanson moment. A week later a new episode comes out and I have yet another new favorite moment. Well, this week Ron Swanson’s hilarious moment gives Parks and Recs its first funniest moment of the week.
This week, Parks and Recs aired their Valentine’s Day themed episode. The episode features lonely, single Ann, a Valentine’s Day mixer, a depressed Chris Trager, Orin (creepy), Ann and Tom on a date (WHAT????) buy most importantly, riddles. To figure out where he is supposed to meet Leslie for their Valentine’s Day evening, Leslie has left Ben a series of 20 to 30 elaborate riddles to solve. Enlisting the help of Andy (because April hates Valentine’s Day) and the seemingly begrudging Ron, Ben spends the episode traveling across Pawnee solving riddles.
At first, Ron tries to convince the camera that he hates riddles. Convincing everybody they encounter that he is only helping because he has nothing better to do, Ron can’t hide the truth for long. Ron Swanson, though he wants no one to know it, loves riddles. As they uncover more riddles, Ron grows giddy (it’s honestly the best word to describe it) with excitement. He is instrumental in solving the riddles and when the three men split-up, Ron comes back having solved the most riddles. The situation itself is highly amusing the funniest part comes with the episode closer. Ron, knowing Leslie’s tendency to give extravagant birthday presents, shyly asks for a long involved riddle for his birthday.
Close seconds for last week’s funniest moment came from the Office and 30 Rock. I thought Andy dancing to footloose was great and Jack Donaghy calling his negotiation with himself a “Jack off” had me rolling on the ground laughing. As funny as those moments were, Ron Swanson and his puzzle obsession came out victorious.
I will be honest, after the slough of guest stars on last year’s office finale, I was initially disappointed when James Spader was chosen as the new boss. As the new season has progressed however, I have not only come to accept Spader’s character Robert California, but I believe that he is a perfect addition to the Office.
Robert made it obvious from his first appearance in Scranton that he is a strong, opinionated person. When Robert appears, Office fans are not only mourning the loss of Michael Scott but they also know the Officer personalities very well. We know Kevin to be amusingly moronic and Jim to be the charming prankster that can get away with anything. Robert California comes in and seems to turn a number of the character’s stereotypes upside-down. In one episode, California believes Kevin’s rambling to be brilliantly metaphoric and he manages to give Andy a rather unconventional (given Andy’s character) pep-talk the helped him to become the great branch manager he is. The most amusing ability Robert has is to effortlessly see through Jim’s charm. Without even knowing he’s doing it, Robert ruins many of Jim’s jokes, pranks and ploys. Robert is a sophisticated, philosophical genius of a man who fits in very well as a superior in the Office.
The writers of the show have added an interesting plot twist to Robert’s life in the form of a divorce. Slowly, the suave, sophisticated, confident man unravels, changing from business suits to sweat suits and from drinking wine to slamming shots at the office Christmas Party. Robert continues to fall into dismay, appearing at the Scranton office more and more and eventually swimming naked in front of the entire office. Though he seems to be slipping into a mid-life crisis, Robert is not shirking any of his responsibilities. He continues to work at his job in Florida while traveling to Pennsylvania to occasionally and awkwardly check up on the Scranton Branch.
I am trying to figure out what is happening with Robert California but I can’t quite figure out where the show is taking him. At one point, it seemed like they were putting him and Erin together (which would have been weird) but that idea was squashed in the last episode. I don’t know if they are trying to write Robert out or make him a more active character but the more I think about it the more I realize that I don’t want Robert California to leave quite yet. Hopefully, he can keep it together as he slips into his mid-life crisis and give us at least one more season of his quirky humor.
I have already stated the following two facts in a number of different posts but it never hurts to emphasis. I am a nerd and I am completely obsessed with television. That being said, it makes sense that during television season (when new shows come out weekly) NBC takes all meaning out of TGIF. Every Thursday night, NBC premieres their stellar, comic lineup which includes Community, The Office, Parks and Recs and as of last Thursday, finally 30 Rock. Comedy Thursday, as I have come to call it, is the highlight of my work week. Sure, the week technically eneds Friday but I look forward to the comedy that follows the end of the work day on Thursday. This year however, there was a glaring flaw in my NBC Comedy Night and its name was Whitney.
I am NOT saying that Whitney Cummings is not a funny comedian. She is not my favorite but in the right situation, her raunchy style of humor can be very effective. The problem is, a show with a laugh track is NOT the right situation. The humor on Whitney seems forced and out of place and it certainly does not belong on NBC Comedy Thursday. To make matters more frustrating, MBC launched a comedy this season that belongs on Comedy Thursday. Up All Night, the hilarious show starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnet as new parents, originally aired on Wednesdays. Maya Rudolph rounds out the show’s stellar cast. From the first minute of the first episode, I found myself wondering why the show was on Wednesday nights. The style and humor of the show is quite reminiscent of the Comedy Thursday shows and the show is good enough to be in that lineup.
Over the Winter break, someone at NBC heard my mental frustration. Last Thursday, when the lineup returned new, Whitney had bee bumped to Wednesday night while Up All Night replaced it as the comedy night closer. For the first time this year, Comedy Thursday felt complete. Instead of turning my television off a half an hour before comedy night should have ended there was finally a worthy show filling the final half an hour. I have heard the argument that Up All Night does not fit in its new Thursday slot, an argument I would chose to disagree with. I think most of us can agree that whether it belongs there or not, it is certainly a better fit than Whitney. Personally, I think the show belongs there. It is a hilarious, witty show that belongs on NBC’s best night of comedy.