The Redeeming Qualities of NBC

It’s hard for me to get really riled at NBC, despite their recent wave of idiocy, and it’s because of four shows: The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Community. Even this week’s Office clip-show had me tearing up during the Pam & Jim montage. 30 Rock’s return in 2010 has included a Gossip Girl plot line (with a scene filmed at the Waldorf penthouse!), a Kevin McHale reference, black-light comedy, and a lot of mocking of poor poor Lutz.

Last season Parks & Rec was a pretty major disappointment, but whatever they changed over their hiatus worked: the show is consistently hilarious and it no longer feels like a crappy Office knock-off. I love them all (Ron Swanson forever) but I think April Ludgate (the dour looking one on the right) is my absolute fave. Especially now that’s she’s Ron’s assistant and the storyline with her and Andy is so underplayed and perfect. Love this show. (Thursdays, 8:30)

On to the next lovable ragtag gang of small town weirdos: the Spanish study group on Community. Troy and Abed are the stand-outs with their end-of-episode moments of genius. The biblioteca rap, for example:

Some of the earlier episodes were a bit hit and miss — sit through the mediocre for moments of awesome — but the past 5 or so eps have been start-to-finish solid. And it’s kind of nice to see Chevy Chase every week, let me be honest. Also if you’re wondering why the cardigan-wearing Annie looks familiar, that’s because she’s Pete Campbell’s wife Trudy from Mad Men (played by the excellent Alison Brie). (Thursdays, 8 pm)

So start watching if you aren’t already! Episodes available on for my American friends, and on (Community here, Parks & Rec here) for my Canadian compatriots.


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