This week, I'm going to focus on this week's episode of Parks and Recreation. The Rapture-inspired plot not only yielded a lot of wackiness (long live Zorp!) but also some interesting character introspection.
It's always fun to see how our favorite shows celebrate Halloween. This week's comedies featured wacky costumes and even ghost stories, and yet all felt like a bit of a letdown. Let's take a look at how each comedy tackled the spook-tacular holiday.
"I want to go to there." This Liz Lemon quote kept echoing inside my head while watching three-fourths of NBC's Thursday comedy block this week. Almost all the shows ventured out of familiar settings, and as a result we were treated to a housewarming party, a camping trip (with candy! and puppies!), and a garden party. And then we even witnessed a marriage proposal at the end of the night. All in all, an eventful evening. Let's dig right in!
For this installment of TNL, I've decided to focus on the most beloved new show of the fall season. That's right, Whitney. Since NBC has chosen to give it a full season pickup, I think its time to accept the show is here to stay until May. So before I get to the other recaps from last night, allow me to offer a few suggestions for how to make Whitney worthy of the laughter generated by its studio audience.
In a kooky coincidence, the phrase "battle royale" was uttered on both Community and Parks and Recreation. In the spirit of the strange competitions exhibited on both shows this week, I'm going to crown one of our NBC comedies the winner of the Thursday Night Battle Royale.
(Spoiler alert: It wasn't the show filmed in front of a live studio audience.)
Like many people in the '90s, I tuned into NBC's enormously popular Thursday night comedy block for Friends, Seinfeld and many other shows in that time slot over the decade. At the time, it was like the TV equivalent of seeing Jurassic Park on opening weekend: It just felt like the thing to do.
Thursday nights on the Peacock Network are a completely different experience today. Unlike their '90s counterparts, Community, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and The Office aren't huge rating successes. (And 30 Rock is currently on hiatus until midseason due to Tina Fey's maternity leave, replaced by a little show called Whitney. Maybe you've heard of it?)
The Office is a show about an everyday office and the romances therein. There are a lot of fairly responsible portrayals of verbal violence and references to sexuality, but there are few opportunities to portray rape. But on the rare instance that rape does enter the narrative, The Office whiffs it by playing into tired patriarchal tropes about false rape allegations and making a mockery of male rape victims.