Despite my affinity for quality network sitcoms, I didn’t feel like any of them from this past year quite warranted individual reviews, since I don’t have a ton to say about them. So instead, here’s a brief rundown of all the network comedies I kept up with over the course of this 2013-14 TV season, which I’d say is pretty much over at this point. As you’ll be able to tell, of the big four networks, NBC and FOX are really the only ones I seem to care about nowadays. Especially since How I Met Your Mother’s conclusion has finally freed me from the laugh-track-laden clutches of CBS, and I’m still pretty bitter towards those heartless bastards at ABC for cancelling Happy Endings (never forget).
I believe there’s still two more episodes that have yet to air of this latest season of Bob’s Burgers. But considering the kind of show Bob’s Burgers is, I can’t see those final episodes completely reversing my feelings about this season. And my feelings basically are that – and I mean this in the best way possible – that Bob’s Burgers at this point feels like a slightly less innovative version of The Simpsons in its prime. Meaning that the characters are dependably lovable, the laughs are always plentiful, and sometimes even a little bit of heart seeps its way into the show’s delightful weirdness. And there was definitely some weirdness going on in this last season, with episodes revolving around things like My Little Pony-inspired cults and solidified whale droppings. But regardless, I think the show is so invested in its characters and has such a seemingly endless well of comedic talent at it’s disposal that I think we can expect this show to remain a consistent charmer for seasons to come.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s first season ended way back in March, and I already miss it. This show started off surprisingly strong for a first-season show, and then just continued to become more confident and endearing until by the end of it I was looking forward to each new episode as much as any show on television. It’s an example of that if you put the right writers in charge (many of which included Parks And Rec and Happy Endings alums) along with an obviously talented cast, it’s hard to go wrong. But that makes this show sound more calculated than it is, because a lot of its best stuff comes from off-hand moments where it feels like the cast is trying to top each other in terms of playful hilarity. Pretty much everyone in this cast, from Chelsea Perretti to Terry Crews is a lot of fun to watch, but I’d say Andre Braugher’s Captain Holt has the most potential to reach Swanson-like levels of greatness — as little details like his line delivery over being interrupted “mid-soup” were things that made me a big fan of that character and this show.
After the much maligned season 4 of Community, it was really nice to have this show back to it’s old eccentric self. Of course, the reason for this has pretty much everything to do with the return of showrunner (and noted eccentric) Dan Harmon. Even though most network TV shows are about as collaborative as any medium out there, Community‘s recent return to form has proven that this show is Harmon’s baby, and really no one understands what makes it tick more than him. I’ll admit that I’ve never been as huge of a Community-phile as a lot of people out there, so I don’t really feel compelled to argue whether this season stacked up to the pre-Harmon dismissal seasons. All I really know is that it was fun to see this show continue to explore the outer regions of the pop culture universe with episodes like “G.I. Jeff” and “VCR Maintenance And Educational Publishing”. And who knew?
Six seasons and a movie might not be such a ridiculous idea after all.
Just got the news that Community‘s been cancelled. Which is sad, yes. But at least they went out on a high note. RIP.
New Girl is a show that I’ve had a hard time convincing anyone other than my sister to watch, and the fact that season 3 plays heavily on a newfound relationship between Zooey Deschanel’s Jess and Jake Johnston’s Nick might not make it any easier. I was all for Nick and Jess as a couple, but I also liked the way the show ultimately depicted them as two people who couldn’t ever quite get their lives on equal footing. And apart from all the witty banter and hilarious Max Greenfield riffing, this show has settled nicely into being a bittersweet depiction of what it means to be in your 30’s and still not quite have your shit figured out. Sort of like an older, West Coast-set version of Girls — but with more jokes. I guess the other notable development of season 3 was the unexpected return of Damon Wayans Jr. as Coach, who apparently is now back to being a series regular after being written out of the show when Wayans was offered another season of a show that I’ve already mentioned too many times. Anyways, I don’t know that they’ve quite figured out Coach’s role in the show at this point, but considering New Girl doesn’t have that many characters and Wayans is a bonafide charm machine, I’m all for it.
The first half of season 6 of Parks And Rec started off as another expectedly solid season of television, and then the second half had a bunch of episodes that provided some emotional gut punches that reminded me why Parks And Rec is still one of, if not my favorite TV show going. In particular, the episode “Ann and Chris” gave two of the series’ core characters a fittingly heartfelt farewell, while the season finale also reminded us that Leslie Knope’s resiliency is what has and will keep these characters together, while Amy Poehler remains a comedic rock in the face of whatever cast changes the show will go through (like Jon Hamm maybe becoming a regular? Please? He’ll be a shell of a man without Mad Men!) As for the ending of that season finale, I can’t really say how I feel about it since I think it all depends on how they’ll deal with it in season 7, which should be interesting to see. But however it plays out, I’m just glad that it’ll include more Craig, and thusly me getting to see more of Billy Eichner yell at people in primetime.
Yeah, I know. I didn’t give any of these particularly low ratings. But what can I say? I like what I like. And what I don’t like, I don’t watch.