Friday, September 18, 2009

NBC’s Thursday Night Slate Made Me Laugh

*Warning, spoilers ahead from recently aired premieres of NBC comedys*

I didn’t have high expectations when I turned to NBC last night. Didn’t expect to laugh out loud. But laugh I did. Hope it’s not an aberration.

Amy Poehler’s Parks and Recreation dramatized an awkwardly twisted parody of how penny-ante political scandals can spiral out of control in short order. Sure, a penguin marriage ceremony at the Pawnee Zoo is silly stuff with no substance, simply a shallow PR attempt to lure foot traffic. But it’s really not that unrealistic to have something as innocuous as a zoo event morph into a scandal. Such as when Leslie Knope inadvertently married gay penguins (she thought it was a male/female pair), making her a target of a conservative family organization that wanted her to annul the marriage, then resign and, simultaneously, a hero to her local gay community. Poehler absolutely pulled this off with aplomb.

I think that broadening the subject matter with which Leslie deals will only help. The first season was a bit bogged down in Leslie’s singular quest to transform a dirt pit into a park. (Hulu now has the season two premiere on its site.)

Speaking of Poehler, she also appeared on Saturday Night Live’s Update Thursdays and did a “Really!?! With Seth and Amy” segment on the recent spate of public incivility. Spot. On. Best line: Seth advising Kanye West about what to do if he sees an older woman holding a “World’s Best Grandma mug” and he thinks some other nana is a better grandma.

I likewise was laughing at The Office’s bizarro first scene. Parkour anyone? Seriously? There’s such a thing?

Community was kind of snappy and kept a running Gilmore Girls-ish loop of pop culture references throughout. Wonder if they’ll be able to keep up the meet-cute conceit and give this show some legs for the long haul.

Anyone else catch the 8-10 NBC slate? Thoughts? By the way, am I the only one who hasn’t heard of Parkour before?

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