NBC’s Thursday Nights: Community, Parks and Rec, The Office, 30 Rock and Whitney

Thursday night on NBC has an amazing history of being home to some of the most popular comedies. From Cheers and The Cosby Show to Friends and Will and Grace. They had a few shaky years at the end of Friends, but they have slowly built back what was a respectable comedy lineup back on Thursday nights with Community, Parks and Recreation, the Office and 30 Rock. Unfortunately, all these shows haven’t hit their stride at the same time to build that viewership base and the ratings for these sometimes great shows has suffered.

Beginning in the fall, NBC will bring back Community, Parks and Rec and the Office while introducing Whitney. 30 Rock will be brought back mid-season (probably when Whitney get’s canned). Grizzly Bomb will be reviewing these shows throughout the year so check back every week for updates. Let’s take a look at a preview of the programming lineup and see if it can reclaim “must see” status.

Community

Community kicks off it’s third season with some exciting things in the works. The show follows the lives of a study group at Greendale Community College as they work towards degrees. Well, that’s how it started in season 1, but it soon morphed into one of the most self-referential, meta shows of all time.

Throughout season 2, the show took on different aspects of pop culture and television itself.

Looking forward to season 3, what we know so far is freaking awesome. John Goodman is joining the cast as an assistant dean. Any time you can add somebody of his caliber to an already great cast which includes Donald Glover and Alison Brie, is outstanding. It also looks as if there will be a musical number, which normally is just silly in a TV show, but done in the style of Community it should rise to the level of The Simpson’s musical episode.

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation is the show I am most excited about. They hit their stride last year. We talked earlier about some of the Ron Swanson plot points, including the regrowth of his facial hair and his first wife Tammy as well as his mom Tammy coming on the show. We also will get to see what happens with Leslie running for office as well as her relationship with Ben.

Not that the plot is what makes this a great show. This is a well written comedy that has serviceable enough story to allow the great characters do great jokes. Hopefully they continue to grow on their success and don’t let the characters become charactertures.

The Office

Alright, I am going to preface this entire section by stating that this show jumped the shark when Pam and Jim got together, should have been canceled long ago, but I still watch it. That out of the way, I sort of am optimistic for the upcoming season because the drama over the departure of Michael Scott. That really ate up a lot of the show and replaced comedy with drama.

James Spader will be part of the cast, filling the role of boss at least for a while. Maybe this change will be enough to liberate the show from some of the weight that they have accumulated over the first seven seasons and open the writers and actors to some new experiences. It could go back to being a great show, but I doubt it given the preview below. Probably the same decline of the show that’s been going on for years.

30 Rock

Like I said earlier, 30 Rock won’t be back at the start of fall, but will most likely replace Whitney or Prime Suspect later in the season. The big news surrounding this show concerns whether or not this is the last season with the impending end of Alec Baldwin’s (and all the other’s) contract. Baldwin has said that the show will end. Lorne Michaels, executive producer and SNL creator, has stated that the show will go on.

Realistically, I think based on the flow of this show, I would have to agree that a Baldwin-less show is a canceled show, or at least one that should be canceled (see The Office above). I have always enjoyed this show and look forward to the misadventures of the cast and crew of TGS. I will enjoy this last run.

Whitney

Okay, I do not know anything about this show other than what I have seen in the promo below. It looks TURRIBLE. This show will not make it. I have seen some of Whitney Cummings stand up, and it is not all that good. But given that I think it is terrible, it will probably replace Two and a Half Men as America’s favorite comedy.


Images: NBC

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