Quick Thoughts On NBC Comedies

by Jaime Weinman

- 30 Rock really seems to have gone all the way over to making Liz the crazy person and Jack the straight man. Earlier this season I felt like they were alternating, but now I feel like Jack is the most “normal” member of the group, reacting to Liz’s insanity (“Why don’t I have any other friends?”). Last night all three stories revolved in some way around Liz being insane, screwing up, embarrassing herself, or being unable to distinguish between life and the movies. She has become the early Michael Scott, even as Michael Scott himself has become more sympathetic.

- Parks and Recreation isn’t too good so far, though NBC has already picked it up for another season and it might improve by then. I wonder if it looks worse because The Office has gotten sweeter and nicer this season? There’s still plenty of pain on The Office (it is, after all, being run by Paul Lieberstein, who specializes in the comedy of pain), but over the years the characters have grown to like each other more, and we’ve grown to like them more, to the point that an episode can end with everybody dancing and enjoying themselves and it doesn’t seem out of character. P&R is trying to be more about the pain and boredom of everyday work life, but instead of coming off as a cousin of The Office, it comes off as a very different show despite the similar format.

- My Name Is Earl does too many gimmick episodes. That’s not even a thought, just a truism.




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Quick Thoughts On NBC Comedies

  1. I haven’t checked out Parks and Recreation yet, but that theme song is terrible! Why on earth would you pick some sort of quirky march as a theme? There’s no flow to it, no real melody. Awful.

    • I think it matches the show’s spirit perfectly!!! the quikiness, the march? well duh! because it’s a quirky show and has a patriotic/american theme.

      LOVE it!

  2. 30 Rock is just getting boring. I miss Season One Liz.

  3. Aw, I like the P&R theme. And I think the show’s getting better too. I still don’t laugh out loud with the regularity that I do with Office and 30 Rock, but I do legitimately enjoy it.

    I agree with Earl. While I think I like it better than you do, it does do too many gimmick episodes. Although….I enjoyed the meta moment at the end of last week’s episode, where they set up part 2 (which aired this week). The cast all were annoyed the special they were watching was going to be continued (coincidentally to the following Thursday at 8/7 central) and wondered why it couldn’t be an hour show, and Crabman said the network probably broke it up like this to fill out the episode order. Earl’s good at those self-referencing gags, and is overall just a pleasant show to watch. If it’s done after this season, I’ll miss it.

  4. That was maybe the worst episode(s) of Earl ever. 3+ minutes of repetitive filler to tell us all the stuff that happened last week and ended up not even mattering? The Inside Probe conceit got stale after 5 minutes (to be charitable about it) and was foisted on us for two episodes. The jokes in it were forced and repetitive and Geraldo is not funny enough to be administered in doses this lethal. I usually feel like it’s a chore when I see Earl waiting on my DVR, yet find it pleasant enough when I actually watch. The past two weeks the show feels like it’s wasting my time as much as an actual newsmagazine show, only less funny.

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