Friday, October 16, 2009

Be A Part of This 'Community'

NBC continues to take a lot of heat in the media for its ratings, but they deserve prime-time kudos for making Thursday nights Must-See TV again.

It takes guts on the network's part to offer the current two-hour comedy lineup on Thursdays featuring four high-concept shows that don't go for the cheap laugh and instead try and offer a higher level of comedy quality.

"The Office" anchors the whole thing, of course, and last week's wedding episode was about as well done as a "big" installment gets. I'm no fan of "30 Rock," but I understand why those who are love it so much. Also holding over from last year is "Parks and Recreation"; yes, it basically sucks, but at least it tries to be something more than a dumb sitcom.

New to the block is "Community," which is my favorite new show of the season (OK, so the only other new show I'm watching is "FlashForward," but still …). "Community" is the kind of show that may not make you belly laugh too many times in the moment, but you'll be chuckling to yourself and talking about it to your friends long after the credits roll. It's clever and smart and just all-around likable. "The Soup's" Joel McHale is a great leading man, but every cast member is perfectly chosen—especially a refreshingly mellow Chevy Chase—and the characters get funnier and deeper with every passing week. Each episode has been better than the last, but unfortunately the ratings-challenged show probably won't last long, so catch it while you can (8 p.m.).

These aren't laugh-track shows throwing out stupid one-liners all night long. They're a cut above, and NBC deserves credit where credit is due.

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