One of the more personally anticipated new series to come along for some time, NBC’s Parks and Recreation (or, as NY Mag put it, “possibly the first NBC program created under Ben Silverman’s leadership that we’ve ever been unironically excited for”) is premiering tonight at 830.
I know some the “test audiences” weren’t all for it, but the reviews have been generally decent. I have a feeling I might still be a bit underwhelmed by the pilot, but as EW’s Ken Tucker put it: “While I laughed out loud only a few times during Parks’ pilot, I dug the performances, the attitude, and the atmosphere that’s being created. One would be foolish to underestimate the series this early on.” Most of the best comedy series took a bit to find itself creatively – Thursday night companions 30 Rock and The Office among them. And its hard to not to trust the pedigree of stars Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, and Paul Schneider, and creators Greg Daniels and Michael Schur.
If Parks succeeds at becoming the show it has the potential to become, the dynasty that once was NBC Thursday nights could truly have one of its most solid (but perhaps LEAST solid ratings-wise) batch of comedies ever. 30 Rock and The Office are definitely two of the 5 best comedy series (though lately a bit inconsistent) on all of television. And My Name is Earl, well, I haven’t watched it this season. But it was definitely decent a season or two ago.
The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers & Night Court ran from 85-87. Since then, the 830 and 930 slots have been problematic. I always hated Wings and Mad About You, but maybe Im in the minority and its arguable the 93-94 season of those two, Seinfeld and Frasier is the last true block of quality.. but how can you argue with: The Single Guy, Madman of the People, Coupling, Suddenly Susan, Union Square, Stark Raving Mad, Daddio, Cursed, Four Kings, Day By Day, Good Morning Miami, Rhythm & Blues, Kath & Kim…
I think tonight’s lineup has a chance of finding a place among the night’s vast history, shown here care of wikipedia (Daddio is in serious need of a wikipedia page.):
The ten best series on this list? For fun: 30 Rock, Buffalo Bill, Cheers, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Frasier, Friends, The Office, Seinfeld, Will & Grace
(I still can’t believe NewsRadio never aired on Thursday nights – I could have sworn it did at one point but I can’t find proof. It would be on there if it was)