Comedy television is back. I say this with complete conviction. After a decade full of questionable programming mostly due to reality show one-offs and Two and a Half Men, television finally has its act together. It’s been developing for years and we’ve now reached the pinnacle, the apex, the proverbial peak of the comedic mountain. This Thursday, September 17, television will provide perhaps its funniest night in over ten years. Here’s your breakdown:
Parks & Recreation, 8:30PM EST, NBC
Although Parks & Recreation’s pilot season seemed like a shell of its indirect predecessor, The Office, there were still plenty of laugh out loud moments that give the second season a lot of promise. The cast is proven, as is the writing staff, and it’s only reasonable to suggest that the growing pains have sorted themselves out. Plan for more established character nuances (especially with Aziz Ansari’s character), as well as a stray from seeming so Office-ish. This is just to get you warmed up.
The Office, 9:00PM EST, NBC
Putting The Office on this breakdown maybe hipster-cred suicide to some people. The Office is the Coldplay of comedy television. It’s predictable, aging a bit and no longer obscure enough to be cool to like. However, you know what you’re getting with The Office (as well as Coldplay), and none of it is ever bad. In fact, a lot of it is pretty damn good. Entering its sixth season, The Office’s characters have become well established and comfortable in their persona, allowing for the actors to really explore some great comedic delivery. This is when sitcoms hit their sweet spot, so I’d advised not to miss this season.
Community, 9:30PM EST, NBC
Most of us are probably annoyed already with Community, having to listen the same twenty-second Matt & Kim audio clip that blasts over the show’s promo 9000 times a day. Granted, NBC has hyped this show quite a bit, but rest assured, this will be a quality television show. Featuring comedy vet Chevy Chase and The Soup’s snarky host Joel McHale, Community already has the elements to become a great option this Fall. The only real question is longevity, as McHale’s career is starting to take off and community college is supposed to only take a couple years.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 10:00Pm EST, FX
And now we have The Holy Grail, Always Sunny. Entering season five, this is the best comedy on television since Arrested Development and perhaps even (gasp!) Seinfeld. Some may say it’s premature of me to make such comparisons, but when this show clicks for people, it never stops running on all cylinders. Its characters work in a harmony unmatched in television right now. I dare people to watch this show and not laugh.