NBC’s fall schedule is up on several sites throughout the Internets, but I decided to go with a link to Michael Ausiello’s Entertainment
Weakly Weekly online column to report what I had strongly suspected but am nevertheless devastated to hear…
Parks and Recreation didn’t make the cut for the fall. According to the network, however, it will return in midseason…or in television-speak, it has been placed on “hiatus.” This is never a good sign.
I realize that modern television programming is sort of out-of-sync with what I usually discuss here at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear…and if pressed further, I’ll readily admit that I don’t watch many of the new shows. But I was curious to check out a pair of sitcoms on the recommendation of Salon’s Heather Havrilesky—one of them being Parks, and the other Community (which did get a second season renewal). I was able to watch both shows thanks to the NBC On Demand service provided by CharredHer…but it soon got to the point where I made the effort to tune them in via their regular Thursday night berth on the network.
I started out as a big fan of Community and while I still think the show is a delight, Parks quickly overtook it as my favorite new situation comedy. Co-created by Greg Daniels, a tremendously talented scribe who also gave birth (along with Mike Judge) to another one of my favorite series, King of the Hill, Parks started out as an intermittently amusing “mockumentary” in the vein of The Office (which Daniels also had a hand in developing) but rapidly morphed into a devastatingly smart, funny parody of small-time American life.
I asked my sister Kat one time if she had a chance to glimpse this series and she told me with a perfectly straight face that a friend of hers had asked her not to watch it because it poked fun of their shared college major (parks and recreation). But I can’t help it—the show makes me laugh out loud, and it just seems to get better every week. My favorite character on the show is Ron Swanson, the apathetic, Libertarian department manager who has a large photographic blow-up of a breakfast on the wall of his office; in one episode (“Tom’s Divorce,” 12/03/09) he takes advantage of a breakfast bar located in the town’s strip club (you can’t imagine how many people told me afterward that they thought of me when they watched that).
NBC will move 30 Rock into Parks’ old time slot—and while I’ll admit that I watch this Emmy-winning comedy with the same regularity as Parks and Community, I’ve never laughed as hard at it as I did the time the Pawnee parks and rec office went camping…and someone ended up shooting Ron in the back of the head.
My Thursday nights are really going to suck come this October.